Airport Weapons Offenses

Respected Criminal Defense Attorney Representing Clients Arrested at Boston Logan International Airport

The state and federal governments have become increasingly concerned about airport safety in recent years. The result is that flying has become more unpredictable. Unless you look into the current laws before your trip, it’s easy to accidentally bring prohibited items to the airport. In most cases, travelers can sort out whatever new regulations are in place at the airport; however, that is not the case when it comes to weapons. At the Law Office of Patrick J. Murphy, our Boston criminal defense attorney aggressively defends clients charged with airport weapons offenses. With his help, you can clear up any misunderstandings and work towards putting your arrest in your past so you can move on with your life.

Is It Illegal to Bring Weapons into the Airport?

Under Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 269 Section 12F, it is against the law to carry cutting devices and “prohibited weapons” into the secure area of an airport or onto a plane. A cutting device is defined as “any knife, cutlery, straight razor, box cutter or other device containing a fixed, folding or retractable blade.” For example, a pocket knife is considered a cutting device. Prohibited weapons include handguns, rifles, shotguns, double-edged blades, switchblade knives, and stun guns.

Walking into the airport with a cutting device or a prohibited weapon, however, isn’t enough to violate the law. You need to either enter or attempt to enter the secure area of the airport or the passenger cabin of a plane. This would be the point where you pass through the TSA screening agents.

Section 12F does not apply in the following situations:

  • Law enforcement officers and government workers who carry weapons in their official capacity;
  • Someone transporting a licensed weapon in their luggage, provided they notified the airline; and
  • Employees who are on the clock and carry a cutting device that is used for their job.

However, to be convicted of this crime, you do not necessarily have to have any criminal intentions; the fact that you knowingly carried a knife or prohibited weapon into an airport or onto a plane is enough for the government to bring charges—and possibly convict you. Further, the fact that you are legally permitted to carry a weapon has no bearing on the government’s ability to bring a case against you.

Punishments for Carrying a Weapon on a Plane

If you are arrested or charged for bringing or attempting to bring a weapon into the airport or onto a plane, the punishment can be severe. Massachusetts law provides three scenarios, each with a different punishment.

Occupying or attempting to occupy the secure area of an airport while knowingly carrying a prohibited weapon is punishable by up to 2.5 years in a house of correction or five years in state prison, as well as a fine of up to $10,000.

Additionally, if you have the “intent to commit a felony” when bringing a weapon into the airport, the crime becomes more serious, and you’ll face an additional punishment of up to 2 years in a house of correction or five years in state prison, as well as a fine of up to $5,000.

Finally, anyone who “willfully and without regard for the safety of human life, or with reckless disregard for the safety of human life” while bringing a weapon into an airport or plane faces up to 20 years in state prison and a fine of as much as $20,000.

Are You Facing an Airport Weapon Crime?

If you have recently been arrested and charged with carrying a weapon into Boston Logan or onto a plane, your case will likely be heard at the East Boston Division of the Boston Municipal Court, and it is imperative that you have a skilled criminal defense at your side from the very beginning. Attorney Patrick J. Murphy regularly represents clients facing all types of gun crimes, including airport weapons offenses. He can quickly determine the best possible defenses and develop a compelling strategy designed to minimize your exposure. To learn more about how the Law Office of Patrick J. Murphy can help you with your case, and to schedule a free consultation, call 617-367-0450 today.

Client Reviews
"Highly Recommended. Attorney Patrick J. Murphy absolutely helped me out in my time of need. When I met him in his Boston office he put me right at ease and explained the criminal process to me in a way I could easily understand and in a manner that gave me complete confidence. I was facing a criminal wanton destruction of property charge in Barnstable District Court. On the day of the case, he was at the courthouse waiting for me and my wife. Mr. Murphy handled the hearing in a very thorough and professional manner putting us through our testimony and making a powerful argument to the decision maker. My case was thrown out and I could not be happier with the service from Attorney Murphy. I highly recommend him to you as a skilled legal advocate!" Rob, Avvo User
"Excellent Criminal Defense Lawyer. From the first consultation I knew Patrick Murphy was the right choice for my criminal defense. He was knowledgeable of the laws and knew how to build up a strong defense for my case. Every phone call and email I made was promptly answered. When it came time for my hearing, Patrick was prepared and able to get the criminal complaint against me dropped without ever becoming charge! Would highly recommend this attorney to anyone seeking a top quality defense attorney to handle their case!" John, Avvo User
"OUI Not Guilty Verdict. Patrick Murphy provided excellent service as council on my case. He worked diligently over a long legal process that spanned over 3 years. He was able to take my case to a Jury Trial and get me a Not Guilty verdict through he expert knowledge of the law and expertise in cross examination of the prosecutions witnesses. He was very professional and available at anytime night or day to answer questions." Chris, Avvo User
"Highly Skilled and Professional Lawyer. Attorney Pat Murphy did a great job guiding me through an A&B charge, and most importantly getting the case dismissed in a very timely manner. He is very professional, returns call promptly, and did a great explaining his strategy and the legal process to me. I was confident throughout the whole process that I was in good hands and would receive the best possible outcome in my case. Would highly recommended Attorney Murphy." Avvo User
"I Felt That I was in Good Hands... and I Was! Mr. Patrick J. Murphy was very quick to respond to my needs. He was always there to answer any questions I had in a timely fashion, and he made me feel very comfortable in an extremely uncomfortable situation. Having Mr. Murphy by my side in the courtroom felt like I was at an advantage. He speaks with confidence. He doesn't stutter or pause while put on the spot. He treated me with respect. He listens. He always greeted me with a warm welcome and never wasted any time." Avvo User