Last month, a Maryland woman was arrested on state weapons charges, after officers with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) discovered a loaded semi-automatic handgun in her carry-on luggage.
According to the Maryland Transportation Authority, officers identified the weapon when the woman attempted to pass through the airport security checkpoint. The weapon in question was a .380-caliber handgun, which was loaded with 13 bullets.
Although TSA guidelines allow guns and firearm parts, as well as ammunition, in checked baggage, such baggage must meet certain criteria – the weapon must be unloaded, packed properly and officially declared to the airline.
Those who bring firearms to security checkpoints in airports are subject to potential criminal charges from area law enforcement, and may also face additional penalties from the TSA, sometimes up to $11,000.
Gun Crime Defense
When it comes to firearms in Washington, D.C., the laws are some of the strictest in the nation. Unlike some states that allow “open carry” or “concealed carry”, people in Washington, D.C. are not permitted to carry any firearm in their car, on their person, or possess guns in connection with any other illicit activities.
For example, according to law, those found in possession of a firearm while committing another crime can have mandatory prison time added to their underlying offense’s penalties.
If you are caught in violation of any gun law in D.C., your case may involve a number of factors. For example, a court will look to determine:
- Any additional charges, including those stemming from narcotics
- Any prior felonies, such as previous handgun possession charges
Typically, the penalties for gun offenses vary depending on the nature of the crime. In Washington, D.C., if someone is convicted of misdemeanor possession of an unregistered gun, the maximum sentence is one year in prison. However, that can change in cases where charges are accompanied by an unlawful possession of ammunition charge, which also carries a one-year prison sentence.
Many gun crime situations may also involve a plea or claim of self-defense, which is a viable defense in any gun crime. However, such situations require that the gun was only possessed long enough to defend oneself.
Because gun laws vary (sometimes drastically) on a state-by-state basis, it is important to have legal representation that understands, not only the laws in your state, but how these types of cases are handled in a court setting.
Criminal Defense Attorneys in Washington, D.C.
Have you or someone you know been charged with a gun crime, including unlawful possession of a weapon or ammunition? If so, it is vital that you enlist the qualified expertise of a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.
For those residing in and around Washington, D.C. and Maryland, the legal team at Lotze Mosley, LLP can provide the sound legal advice necessary in any criminal defense situation. Our attorneys specialize exclusively in criminal defense matters, including those related to gun crimes, and we possess the skills, experience and legal acumen necessary to help your case. We have tried hundreds of cases related to gun offenses, many of which have resulted in acquittals or successful plea negotiations.
Regardless of your situation, our team of attorneys is here to help you today. To schedule an initial consultation with one of our criminal defense specialists, contact Lotze Mosley, LLP today at (202) 393-0535.