Bringing a Gun Through Airport Security in Atlanta Now Subject to Hefty Fine, Jail Time

The U.S. Department of Justice said there have already been 63 firearms recovered at security at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.

ATLANTA — The U.S. Department of Justice issued a new rule stating that anyone carrying a gun into a security area at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport could be fined up to $100,000 and sentenced to up to a year in prison.

According to the Atlanta Business Chronicle, more than 100 firearms have been found in security screening areas in recent years. So far this year, 63 have been recovered, the U.S. Department of Justice said.

The U.S. Department of Justice released the following statement:

Until July 1, 2014, anyone who brought a weapon into an airport security check point also violated Georgia state law, and all offenders were arrested by APD officers and prosecuted by the Clayton County Solicitor’s Office. In July 2014 Georgia created a safe harbor for passengers who bring a firearm into an airport security check point if the passenger possesses a concealed weapon permit (CCW).

However, notwithstanding the Georgia law, it remains a violation of federal criminal law for passengers to bring a firearm into an airport security check point, even if they possess a CCW. Accordingly, these offenses now are being investigated by the FBI and its deputized task force officers, and such offenses are being referred to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Atlanta. In most cases, the person will be issued a citation that will require an appearance before a federal magistrate judge. In egregious cases, the person may be arrested and charged. In all cases, the firearm will be seized as evidence. If a citation is issued, the fine is $100, plus court costs. If an arrest is made, the charge of violating airport security requirements carries a penalty of up to one year in prison and a fine of up to $100,000.

In those instances where a passenger does not possess a CCW, that passenger will still be arrested by APD officers, the firearm will be impounded, and the matter will be referred to the Clayton Solicitor’s office according to existing policies.

In all cases involving firearms or weapons brought into a security check point, offenders are also subject to TSA civil penalties of up to $11,000.


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