Arlington County Carrying a Weapon in the Airport

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by | April 22, 2024

What is a Carrying a Weapon in Airport Charge in Arlington County?

Virginia Code § 18.2-287.01 prohibits carrying a weapon in an airport in Arlington County and across Virginia:

It shall be unlawful for any person to possess or transport into any air carrier airport terminal in the Commonwealth any (i) gun or other weapon designed or intended to propel a missile or projectile of any kind, (ii) frame, receiver, muffler, silencer, missile, projectile or ammunition designed for use with a dangerous weapon, and (iii) any other dangerous weapon, including explosives, stun weapons as defined in § 18.2-308.1, and those weapons specified in subsection A of § 18.2-308. Any such weapon shall be subject to seizure by a law-enforcement officer.

The Arlington County, Virginia, Courthouse handles most Carrying a Weapon in an Airport charges from Reagan National Airport (DCA). Carrying a weapon in an airport charge out of Dulles International Airport (IAD) will usually go to Loudoun County or Fairfax County Courthouses. Some offenses will end up in the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia.

The most common example of a carrying a weapon in an airport is when someone forgets that a firearm is in a bag or carry-on item. Once they take that bag through security, TSA will spot the weapon and identify its owner. Even though it may be an innocent mistake, TSA is likely to call Arlington County Police to take over the investigation. Arlington County police will usually then issue a Carrying a Weapon in an Airport charge. This can result in an arrest or summons for a court date in Arlington County General District Court.

This charge is not limited to firearms. It includes other weapons such as stun guns, certain knives, and others. You may be charged even if you have not approached or passed security, and even if you were not at the airport to board a flight for yourself. If you are traveling, and want to know how to safely and legally transport your firearms, the TSA provides a brief explainer: here.

How is Carrying a Weapon in an Airport Punished in Arlington County, Virginia?

A violation of this section is punishable as a Class 1 misdemeanor. Any weapon possessed or transported in violation of this section shall be forfeited to the Commonwealth and disposed of as provided in § 19.2-386.28.

A Class 1 Misdemeanor is the most ‘serious’ misdemeanor charge, and can carry a jail sentence up to one year, as well as a fine of up to $2,500.

Consult with Experienced Arlington County Criminal Defense Attorneys

Yes, Carrying a Weapon in the Airport in Arlington County is a serious charge. A qualified attorney can help you through the process, and explore your options. Contact our experienced criminal defense team talk through this charge and your options further.