Tampa International Airport Number 6 For Intercepted Firearms

According to a recent article in the Tampa Bay Business Journal, Tampa International Airport was ranked number 6 in firearms intercepted at checkpoints. Tampa is ranked just 29 in passenger volume but nonetheless placed ahead of busier airports such as JFK, Orlando, Dulles, Fort Lauderdale, Miami, Minneapolis, O’Hare, and others.  Analysis of the statistics, which include 97 firearms discovered in Tampa, 90 of which were loaded, indicates that Florida’s self-defense laws, fair permitting system, and Tampa’s conservative culture sometimes cause us to forget that other jurisdictions (including federal jurisdictions) have imposed stricter regulations. Firearms obviously do not belong in the passenger cabin, so passengers should remember to unload, secure, encase, and declare any firearms that they normally keep in their purse, briefcase, carry-on item, or person. The vast majority of such intercepted firearms were undoubtedly brought into the airport inadvertently. Once a passenger is arrested and cuffed, however, law enforcement has obviously already made its decision as to whether to pursue the matters. Passengers should continue to cooperate but should cease any further attempt at explanation or answering questions until they contact an attorney experienced in handling firearms litigation.