The failure to properly understand federal and state laws can leave someone in a legal situation they never intended. So too can not knowing that a law exists. This very thing may have resulted in a Virginia Beach woman facing a state weapons charge.
The woman was stopped at the airport by Transportation Security Administration officers who discovered a loaded handgun in her carry-on bag. It was found in the course of the TSAs regular inspection as the bag went down the conveyor belt. The semi-automatic handgun was loaded with seven rounds and one round was in the chamber.
Though it is unclear why the woman had the loaded weapon on her as she travelled, it is possible that she may have misunderstood rules regarding the transport of weapons via airplane. Though not allowed in carry-on luggage they may be transported in bags that are checked. For this to be legal however a gun must be declared to the airline, packed properly and unloaded.
When the TSA officers discovered the gun they contacted airport police. When the authorities responded, in addition to confiscating the weapon they also issued a summons on state weapons charges. On some occasions weapons crimes will be charged at the federal level as well.
How this case will work out remains to be seen. It is important that those who are facing weapons charges understand that the consequences for a conviction can be harsh. Accordingly, they should so what they can to build a strong defense to the charges.