What Are Your Rights: Gun Laws While Flying

Recorded on February 1, 2023

According to the TSA, officers saw an increase in the amount of handguns stopped at upstate New York security checkpoints from 2021 to 2022.

In this week’s “What Are Your Rights?” segment, managing partner Paul Harding of Harding Mazzotti, LLP is on CBS6 to help explain the rules for bringing a firearm through an airport checkpoint.

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Announcer: The following segment is sponsored by Harding Mazzotti.

Interviewer: According to the TSA, officers saw an increase in the amount of handguns stopped at upstate New York security checkpoints from 2021 to 2022. So for this week’s “What Are Your Rights?” we’re sitting down with Paul Harding, managing partner at Harding Mazzotti. So, Paul, just wanna start off by asking, what are some of the rules for bringing a gun to the airport and through a checkpoint?

Paul: Right, I mean, who knew? Right? So, you can bring your gun, your pistol, or your rifle with you while you’re flying, but it’s gotta be checked in underneath. It has to be unloaded, it has to be in a very secure, almost approved case, and, you know, the biggest thing is they have to know about it, right, they have to know what you have. And then if you are gonna bring ammunition, so at your final destination you want your ammunition also, separate case, separate form, TSA full knowledge.

Interviewer: Got it. And you have to hand over those forms to TSA as you do the check-in.

Paul: As you do the check-in, yeah. Yeah.

Interviewer: And so for people who try and breach this, obviously there have to be consequences. What are those consequences?

Paul: You know, mostly it’s just forgetfulness. People have guns, they wander around with them, they put ’em in their briefcase, they go through security. They’re really not trying to get the gun… That seems to be the super majority of the cases. The famous case a few months back where a member of the House of Representative, a guy by the name of Madison, he went ahead and got caught through security. You can see the look on his face, like, shocked that he had the gun on him. But your day is over, right? Your flight is done, you’re talking to law enforcement, your gun has been taken. Ultimately, it didn’t work out to be any criminal charges, but once they’re looking at you, they’re looking at you.

Interviewer: When the guns are confiscated, can people get those back?

Paul: You can, but it’s a whole process. They gotta go to court, you gotta explain. I mean, you know, so this sort of moment of inattention results in weeks or months of trying to clean up your actions.

Interviewer: Gotcha. And so, are there any exceptions?

Paul: Well, you know, the exceptions are for people that we don’t know and don’t know much about it, right? So, if you’re just law enforcement local, no. If you’re, me, no. If you’re you, not a chance. But ultimately, the folks who get to carry a gun on, they are at some high-ranking level and need approved by the federal government. And there was no information online, so the rest of us don’t even try it. If you don’t know it, you’re not getting it on.

Interviewer: You’re not getting that specialty.

Paul: That’s right.

Interviewer: All right, cool. Well, Paul, thank you so much for sitting down and talking with us.

Paul: You’re welcome.

Interviewer: For more information that’s covered in our weekly “What Are Your Rights? segments, or to send us a story idea, just go to cbs6albany.com. The info’s all there.

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