Our criminal defense lawyers in Charleston, South Carolina have helped people who’ve forgotten that they’ve left a handgun or firearm in their carry-on luggage while going through airport security at Charleston International Airport, Myrtle Beach International Airport, Columbia Metropolitan Airport, and others. If this happens to you, then besides facing criminal charges, you’ll receive notice of a “civil” penalty from the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). In this article, we explain the “civil” consequences of carrying a gun through airport security in South Carolina and how to respond to the TSA to reduce or eliminate any fines.
TSA Notice of Violation
49 C.F.R. Section 1540.111(a) of the Transportation Security Regulations (TSR) provides that you may not have a weapon, explosive or incendiary on or about your person or accessible property when performance has begun of the inspection of you or your accessible property before entering a sterile area, or before boarding an aircraft. For practical purposes, once you’ve entered the screening process, you can’t “back out,” and the “damage” is done.
If you violate 49 C.F.R. Section 1540.111(a), you’ll receive a notice from the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) of a “civil” penalty. The Notice will state that the TSA proposes a civil penalty in an amount that doesn’t exceed $5,000 for a violation of the Transportation Security Regulations (TSR). Also, the Notice will state that you can pay a lesser amount that is specified in the Notice. However, if you can’t reach an agreement with the TSA concerning the amount of your penalty or if you ignore the Notice, then the TSA will issue a Final Notice of Violation and a Civil Penalty Assessment Order, typically for the full penalty.