View Full Version : TSA Handgun / Civil Penalty Question

October 12, 2008, 06:22 PM
I made the COSTLY mistake of leaving my Glock 30 in my backpack while going through a TSA checkpoint. I wasn't arrested but have to return to TN to book myself and stand trial for the misdemeanor offense. Of course the handgun was confiscated. The magazine was loaded but a round was not chambered.

I spoke with a homeland security officer who informed me that I would be assessed a four figure civil penalty, in addition to the TN fine (Good thing I had a good weekend in Vegas last week). She stated that the fine would more than likely be reduced 50 percent if paid within 30 days.

Still don't believe I did this. Anyone else had a similar experience. The officers were really cool. I knew I was gonna to the clink. The officer said I would have to petition the airport to have the handgun returned.

Officers said it happens a few times a week. I have a FL Concealed Carry License. The officer said the judge would probably suspend my license for at least a year. Anyone know how this might work? Is there a possibility that FL would suspend it or does reciprocity mean that whatever the TN judge rules will apply in FL?

I tried doing a search but didn't find anything relevant. I did a google search but didn't find what I was looking for. ANY help or advice will be appreciated.

October 12, 2008, 07:59 PM
Please tell us you are getting a lawyer with experience in this kind of case to represent you.

You cannot afford to go to court without one.

You should immediately write down everything you went through on paper in the exact order that it happened and what the officers at the checkpoint said to you and if possible their names.

And you need to stop talking to them as they are not defending you in court.

They will be defending how they arrested you.

Do not be a smartass if they try to talk to you.

Just tell them,"I am very sorry,my lawyer said I could'nt talk about this anymore."

You need to stop calling everyone and posting on the internet about this and go get a lawyer as soon as possible.

Talk with this only to your lawyer only provide those details,(court date times) that you need too to anyone else.

You may be going back to jail so you might want to get your things in order.

You go to court without a lawyer,your chances of going back to jail go way up.

Don't let this misdemeanor charge fool you.

You need to get legal help on this issue.

Scattergun Bob
October 12, 2008, 08:47 PM
Please take the previous posters advise, seek legal counsel tomorrow!!!

Do not listen to the TSA agent, she is just trying to insure her case. LE can use any trick to get you not to prepare for court. Take this VERY seriously, know do not think, close this line of conversation with everyone except your counsel.

Good Luck

October 12, 2008, 09:06 PM
SHUT UP AND GET A LAWYER - in that order!!!

October 12, 2008, 10:22 PM
The one place gun control makes sense...
Shut up and lawyer up, I wouldn't do any replying to this thread either.

I unfortunately worked for the TSA for a while the screeners at the airport don't know jack and the supervisors and managers know less. If it was a TSA lawyer she should be talking to your lawyer.

I'll refrain from lecturing you, but not only were you legally in the wrong, but that was a serious SA blunder.

October 13, 2008, 06:24 AM
a full bottle of Coca Cola (I almost wrote 'Coke') in my back pack in Amsterdam....

I better leave it alone...but I do have to ask.... just can't help it...

How in the world do you forget you have a Glock in your backpack when going to the airport?

October 13, 2008, 09:16 AM
How in the world do you forget you have a Glock in your backpack when going to the airport?

Good point!

October 13, 2008, 12:35 PM
Unless you like gambling with days, weeks, months, and possibly years of your life (in jail) better consult with an attorney now.

You have no "friends" in a court of law, unless you bring your own. And due to your unfortunate blunder, a well practiced (which also means: well paid) attorney could be your best friend at your trial.

October 13, 2008, 04:45 PM
The same thing happened to this guy:


A former cop, turned actor, also "forgot" about the pistol in his carry on bag. It was a costly mistake for him, as he was arrested.

Don't think for a minute that without a lawyer you are going to get only a slap on the wrist. A court is not going to have sympathy for someone who "forgot" he had a gun. A jury will not likely buy it either (your jury will not have any gun owners).

Be prepared to have to face this event not only now, but also to come back and haunt you later.

October 13, 2008, 10:48 PM
I would agree... get a lawyer

But not all hope is lost. about 3 months ago Jerry Lewis was caught with an unloaded .22-caliber Beretta in his bag at McCarran International Airport in "LAS VEGAS". The judge dissmissed his gun charge.

Here is the artical online

Good Luck

October 14, 2008, 06:17 AM
I guess they do like to gamble.

good luck, I hate to say it because I think most of our troubles in the world are the fault of lawyers... but you need one butt quick.

October 20, 2008, 04:15 PM
Guess I got lucky....the charge was dismissed and all I had to pay were court costs!!!! I had to surrender the weapon as a condition. My lawyer got her man and was on the J-O-B. It was all negotiated with the D.A. so I never had to appear before the judge. She was telling me that the big issue would have been "intent" had we gone to trial. The mouthpiece definitely helped as I probably would have been looking at a year of probation and a couple of hundred $'s in fines if it weren't for her.

Nevertheless, my CCL is safe and the entire incident is expungable. WHEW!!! Have not received the civil penalty as yet from the Feds but they were telling me to prepare for a four figure sum.

Just wanted to share my experience, no matter how boneheaded it, was with fellow owners and license carriers. I'm far from perfect. I'm still in awe at the lack of information there is out there other than the occasional article on a random celebrity caught going through TSA. (My mom asked me if I thought I was a hollywood actor or something) We are all capable of making a careless mistake. It's not the end of the world.

I'll never catch a "rushed" ride to the airport with my wife again. All I can hear is her yapping at me to "Come on, Come on. I've gotta be to work at 8:15." I even told her to go ahead and she refused since she had started waiting. My new life resolution is to listen to gut from here on out NO MATTER WHAT!!! Still wouldn't trade her for the world. Gonna make her replace my Glock 30 I surrendered with a Sig P250.

October 20, 2008, 04:24 PM
Thats good news for the most part. Could have turned out a whole lot different. Sorry to hear you had to surrender the weapon.

October 20, 2008, 04:54 PM
Glad things seem to have worked out for you. I recommend inquiring with the TSA about your ability to fly commercially again, certainly before any big plans have been made and importantly, paid for.

Brian Pfleuger
October 20, 2008, 05:14 PM
Officers said it happens a few times a week.

No, it doesn't. Unless he's talking nation wide. Handguns at checkpoints are a rare event indeed.

Scattergun Bob
October 20, 2008, 05:52 PM

File as lesson learned

Good Luck & Be Safe

October 20, 2008, 10:37 PM
Definitely a lesson learned.

Erik, I have flown 6 times since without incident. I was kinda paranoid that I would get pulled from the line and be that guy getting the additional wand down. I was escorting my daughter through over the summer (she was flying as an unaccompanied minor) and left my ID at home. They let me through the checkpoint but put all my personal items through the sniff machine. It was actually more extensive than the firearm incident.

October 20, 2008, 10:51 PM
Nice to read it went o.k. :)

Blah-blah-blah-check all your guns locations before you leave the house-blah-blah-blah.;)


October 22, 2008, 03:01 AM
and left my ID at home


October 22, 2008, 04:46 PM
Contrary to popular belief, TSA will let you through the checkpoint without an ID. You just have to go through additional screening. Isn't it funny the preconceived notions and fears that the media has instilled in us. I was ready to -CENSORED--CENSORED--CENSORED--CENSORED--CENSORED- a brick when I realized what I had done but started thinking what if I had lost my ID the night before?? That couldn't possibly prevent me from flying for a flight I paid for, unless I was on some suspected terrorist list or something.

I do alot of spur of the moment traveling coupled with a few pretty quick cars and what I feel to be "superior driving ability" that always have me pushing the limit (or clock) shall we say. So although it only happened once it didn't surprise me that I left my ID on that occassion. Funny thing is it was actually one of the few times that I wasn't rushing LOL.

October 22, 2008, 07:21 PM
Sounds to me like you better slow down and get your -CENSORED--CENSORED--CENSORED--CENSORED--CENSORED- together. You forgot you had a gun in your backpack when going through airport security, forgot your ID when going through airport security, admit to speeding on a regular basis but it's okay because of your "superior driving ability". You need to grow up and start behaving more responsibly. Your luck isn't going to hold out forever and considering the "mistakes" you're making I'm willing to bet that when it does run out it'll be alot more costly than a Glock and a few grand.

October 22, 2008, 09:47 PM
Glad to hear your flying the friendly skies. Best of luck... and check that luggage. ;)

On a serious note: folks DO go to prison when the powers at be deem they where trying to make a run through security, which is as it should be.

October 22, 2008, 09:54 PM
jtdominate,I have one last question for you.

Including lost time from work,lawyers fees,gas burned,food bought,firearms permanently confiscated,cost of an airline ticket not used and all the extra expenses you incurred-

starting at the time you were arrested to the time court was closed and you finally paid the fines,court costs and the lawyer.

How much money did this cost you?

October 23, 2008, 07:38 AM
Hey, we all make mistakes !!! Most of them are not very interesting to read about. Your's, however, are incredible. I'm glad everything worked out for you. I'm also glad to see that the system is working.......;)