Airport Weapons Charges

By Jeff Kennedy

Dallas Love & DFW Airport Weapons Charges Lawyer

What Happens If I Take My Gun Through Airport Security?

You may have forgotten you had your gun with you. Someone else may have packed your bag and thought you wanted your gun, and placed it in your carry-on baggage without telling you. You may have thought that since you have an LTC (no longer needed in Texas as of 2022), it was fine for you to carry it through the checkpoint on your person. None of these things are accurate, and mistakes are not a defense.

When the TSA inspector finds you are carrying a firearm through the security checkpoint, you will likely be detained and possibly arrested. Even if no charges are ultimately filed, at the very least you will be detained and miss your flight.

Do not try to get your gun back at this time. That will not sit well with the authorities and there is no chance it’s given back to you. Instead call an experienced DFW Airport firearms attorney at the law offices of Jeff C. Kennedy for help. You will need to bond out and begin preparing a defense. Do not answer questions from the TSA inspectors because anything you say can and will be used against you in a criminal proceeding.

What should I do If I Brought A Weapon To An Airport Security Checkpoint?

Texas law provides defenses for those who have an LTC and accidentally forgot they had their firearm with them. If this happened to you, and you possessed the firearm at the screening check, you may avoid detention and prosecution if:

  • You have a LTC (LTC is no longer needed to carry in Texas as of September 1st, 2021)
  • Leave the secured screening checkpoint area immediately upon being informed about the presence of the firearm, and do not argue with the TSA agent.
  • There is no provision for someone who does not have an LTC to leave the area upon the discovery of a firearm either on their person or in their carry-on bag.

Did The TSA Send You A Civil Demand Letter?

The TSA are allowed to recover damages legally. The amount is based on what they feel is owed due to the time they spent investigating the arrest. You can normally negotiate a lower price.

Can Texans Legally Carry Firearm at the Airport?

If you travel to or from the Dallas/Fort Worth Airport or Love Field , and accidentally leave your firearm or ammunition on your person or in your carry-on bag, you may find yourself in trouble with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). This is true even if you have a license to carry (LTC).

TSA regulates the transport of firearms and ammunition at Texas airports, and you may be subject to harsh penalties, including criminal charges, imprisonment, and hefty fines if you fail to properly secure your weapon for travel.

If you were arrested or detained at a Texas airport, and your firearm was confiscated by the TSA, you need to find a criminal defense attorney who has experience dealing with weapons charges at the airport. The Law Offices of Jeff C. Kennedy have years of experience dealing with weapons charges at DFW & Dallas Love airports. Call now and schedule a consultation today and let us fight your weapons charges and civil penalties.

How Do I travel With A Firearm at Airports in Dallas/DFW Airports?

TSA Guidelines require passengers who want to transport guns to do so by putting them in their secure, checked baggage. If you have packed a firearm or ammunition in your luggage, you must declare that to the representative at the time you check in.

There are no exceptions. Even if you have a license to carry (LTC), you may not carry your gun onto an airplane on your person or in your carry-on bag whether flying internationally or domestically.

TSA Regulations on Transportation of Firearms

TSA Regulations allow for the transportation of firearms with you on your flight if the following conditions are met:

  • The firearm must be unloaded.
  • It must be in a locked, hard-sided container. The container must be completely secure and must not be able to be easily opened.
  • It must be in your checked baggage. It cannot be in your carry-on luggage.
  • You must declare that the firearm is in your checked bag when you check in at the ticket counter.
  • The container the firearm was in when purchased may not meet the secured container requirement of the TSA.
  • The same requirements that apply to the firearm apply to ammunition and any magazine bolts, firing pins, or other accessories.
  • Replica guns and toy guns must also comply with the firearms regulations established by the TSA.

Airlines may have their own additional rules and regulations. Some have specific limits on the amount of ammunition you may have in your secured baggage.

The TSA specifically states that “Bringing an unloaded firearm with accessible ammunition to the security checkpoint carries the same civil penalty/fine as bringing a loaded firearm to the checkpoint.”

In addition, the state may file criminal charges against you. Do not wait for that to happen! If you were detained and your firearm confiscated, you need an attorney. Do not handle this yourself.

Texas Law Regarding Firearms in Secured Areas at the Airport

In addition to the TSA regulations, Texas law establishes criminal penalties for those convicted of carrying a firearm in a secured area of an airport. Texas Penal Code, Chapter 46.03, specifically states:
“A person commits an offense if the person intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly possesses or goes with a firearm into a secured area of an airport.”

You can be charged with the criminal offense of Unlawful Carrying a Weapon–Places Where Weapons Prohibited. This is considered a third-degree felony with a mandatory minimum prison sentence of two years and a maximum of 10 years. A fine of up to $10,000 can be imposed. If you have a felony conviction, a conviction under this section may result in an enhanced penalty.

If charges are filed against you, and you were at the Dallas/Fort Worth airport, the Tarrant County District Attorney will file the charges. If you were at Love Field, the Dallas County District Attorney will file charges.

Why Do You Need An Attorney With Airport Weapons Charges Experience?

There are many reasons you need an attorney, and all of them are important. Weapons charges are serious cases and they can effect your life for years to come. An experienced attorney has answers, can explain what’s next, what to expect, how to defend against the charges and so much more.

Some reasons for needing an attorney include, but are not limited to:

  • You may need to pay a bond in order to be released from airport detention.
  • You may be arrested under Texas law and need a bond to be released from jail.
  • After you leave the airport, you may think you will not get a penalty, but you may later receive a notice from the TSA that you owe a civil penalty.
  • Texas may file criminal charges against you.
  • You may want to try and get back possession of your firearm.

Call the Law Offices of Jeff C. Kennedy where you will find an attorney who is experienced in both Texas state criminal law and federal criminal defense against charges of airport weapons violations.


Jeff C. Kennedy was the light of hope at the end of very dark storm. He was not only able to defend my case swiftly, but had the alleged charges dismissed completely. His calm and empathetic demeanor offered emotional succor to myself and those I care about most. My children and I are eternally grateful for his excellent service and I hereby recommend Jeff C. Kennedy without reservation.


Jeff Kennedy truly cares. He and his staff kept me informed all the way throughout my case and provided me with all my options and the potential outcomes for my case. When the day finally arrived to resolve my case, Jeff was able to negotiate a reduction to a lesser charge. He was well prepared and coordinated everything perfectly. Jeff is not only a good lawyer, but a good man.


I hired Mr. Jeff Kennedy to handle a DWI charge. From day one, I knew I had picked the right attorney. Jeff always took the time to answer any of my questions, treated me very professionally, and truly cared about my case. I have never been in any kind of trouble before and I was very nervous about the thought of going to trial. Jeff thoroughly explained the entire process to me and made me feel at ease. Jeff took my case to trial and the jury found me NOT GUILTY!


Jeff Kennedy is a professional, intelligent, easy-to-talk-to lawyer with an excellent understanding of how the system works. Jeff was able to get my twice the legal limit BAC thrown out and he kept me from having an interlock device put on my car. This has been my only big mistake in life so far (hopefully the last) and I am glad he was there to walk me through it. You will not regret hiring him.

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