Loaded Magazine Found in Carry On Bag - Consequences?

Old Nov 23, 17, 8:21 am
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Loaded Magazine Found in Carry On Bag - Consequences?

I dont know if this the right section if not im sorry. Was going to visit my in-laws for Thanksgiving. I woke up late after working the late the night before. So my wife packed my bag. We got our boarding pass amd went thru TSA as usual. Then my bag was flagged. I thought nothing of it. Then the TSA lady pulled out a load magazine (for my glock 23). My heart sank, i got scared. I apologize and said i didnt know that was in there. The lady didnt say anything. A police officer came over. I heard her said something on the line of "im not writing this up" or something. The TSA lady took a picture of the ammo, mag, my id. But they didnt interview me, detain me or question me. Neither did they write any report. (The TSA only wrote my name and phone number and id info on a piece of white paper. They didnt tell me to expect anything in the mail or anything. They just asked if i want my mag and ammo back (late for flight) so i just surrender it and they sent me on my way. So whats next? A fine? Court date? Special treament when i go tru TSA? Will i lose my CCL?
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Old Nov 23, 17, 9:26 am
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Exclamation Moderator's Note:

I've edited the thread title to accurately describe the topic (FT Rule 4).

When replying to this thread, please bear in mind that the Practical Travel Safety and Security Issues forum is informational. Please answer the OP's question and limit your responses here to facts, past experiences and data points. Save your opinion and commentary for the Checkpoints and Borders Policy Debate forum.

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Old Nov 23, 17, 9:51 am
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Unknowns. Possible fine from TSA, although I don't see ammo listed as a stand alone item. Loss of Pre Check but if TSA made no written report perhaps not. Status of your CCL will depend somewhat on what the police report. You may see no negative actions.

https://www.tsa.gov/travel/civil-enforcement
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Old Nov 24, 17, 8:58 am
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Originally Posted by Boggie Dog View Post
Unknowns. Possible fine from TSA, although I don't see ammo listed as a stand alone item. Loss of Pre Check but if TSA made no written report perhaps not. Status of your CCL will depend somewhat on what the police report. You may see no negative actions.

https://www.tsa.gov/travel/civil-enforcement
TSA itself does not press criminal charges; it will refer the case to local (almost always) or federal (rarely) law enforcement for determination of pressing criminal charges. You are fortunate that the police officer did not want to process criminal charges.

However, ammunition and magazines are definitely prohibited in carry-on baggage and are treated the same as firearms or firearm parts in regards to civil penalties. The details of your incident will be sent to the Special Enforcement Program Office which will determine if a violation of regulations occurred and then issue a notice of violation and assessment of civil penalty, if appropriate; this may take several or many weeks. If you do receive a violation notice there will not be a court hearing but you will have to decide if you want to challenge it through administrative hearings. You probably should consult an attorney if you do get a violation notice as it might affect other aspects of your work/personal life (such as security clearances, restraining orders, etc.) A completely different office that oversees Pre-check will be notified of the incident; you can be assured you will lose expedited screening privileges for at least some period of time and you will most probably start receiving the dreaded SSSS on your boarding passes for a period of time.

As for your CCL, as Boggie said, that status will depend upon the actions of the state that issued it; which in turn depends upon how much, if any, information the state receives from TSA or others about the incident.

There is a small chance the leprechaun in your pocket at the time that convinced the police officer to do nothing might still work some magic and nothing at all happens. But I wouldn't count on it.
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Old Nov 24, 17, 11:33 am
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Originally Posted by Section 107 View Post
TSA itself does not press criminal charges; it will refer the case to local (almost always) or federal (rarely) law enforcement for determination of pressing criminal charges. You are fortunate that the police officer did not want to process criminal charges.

However, ammunition and magazines are definitely prohibited in carry-on baggage and are treated the same as firearms or firearm parts in regards to civil penalties. The details of your incident will be sent to the Special Enforcement Program Office which will determine if a violation of regulations occurred and then issue a notice of violation and assessment of civil penalty, if appropriate; this may take several or many weeks. If you do receive a violation notice there will not be a court hearing but you will have to decide if you want to challenge it through administrative hearings. You probably should consult an attorney if you do get a violation notice as it might affect other aspects of your work/personal life (such as security clearances, restraining orders, etc.) A completely different office that oversees Pre-check will be notified of the incident; you can be assured you will lose expedited screening privileges for at least some period of time and you will most probably start receiving the dreaded SSSS on your boarding passes for a period of time.

As for your CCL, as Boggie said, that status will depend upon the actions of the state that issued it; which in turn depends upon how much, if any, information the state receives from TSA or others about the incident.

There is a small chance the leprechaun in your pocket at the time that convinced the police officer to do nothing might still work some magic and nothing at all happens. But I wouldn't count on it.
The police officer at the scene didnt care. All she did was take a look, empty the magazine and then went on her way. She didnt even write anything down or asked my id and stuff. The TSA agent however did take a picture of the ammo and my information. The problem im worried about is that i am about to move to a new address, scared that i wont recieve the notice. Should i call TSA and ask about it?

EDIT: So because the police officer at the scene didnt press charges on me does that mean im in the clear of being charged of a felon?

Last edited by Knoxie; Nov 24, 17 at 11:42 am
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Old Nov 24, 17, 12:21 pm
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The fact that the police officer did not arrest you or summon a federal law enforcement officer to make an arrest or otherwise process you, makes it much less likely that any criminal enforcement will follow. But, nothing is certain. The TSA Officer took the required information and checkpoints are under surveillance and the matter could be referred for federal criminal prosecution to the US Attorney or to a local prosecutor if there is a state or local violation of some kind. It would then be up to the prosecutor whether to file a criminal charge (or possibly to seek an indictment). There is no way to answer your question as to whether this will or will not occur.

DHS may also propose civil enforcement in this situation. In that case, rather than suing you, it will first propose a fine which you may accept or not. The maximum fine is $11,000 and the typical DHS proposal would be for much less as a means to get people to simply accept and pay. If you pay, that is the end of the civil case. Or you can not accept the proposed fine and then contest everything if and when DHS brings an administrative action or a civil case in court.

Other consequences such as the loss of any carry / concealed permit are a matter of whether anybody notifies the correct authorities and whether those authorities then take action. TTP is the same thing. If the local TSA people do nothing with the information, there is nothing to be done by anybody else.

Anybody here or elsewhere who tells you that they can tell from your limited understanding of the facts what DHS will and will not do is fibbing.
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Old Nov 24, 17, 12:53 pm
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
The fact that the police officer did not arrest you or summon a federal law enforcement officer to make an arrest or otherwise process you, makes it much less likely that any criminal enforcement will follow. But, nothing is certain. The TSA Officer took the required information and checkpoints are under surveillance and the matter could be referred for federal criminal prosecution to the US Attorney or to a local prosecutor if there is a state or local violation of some kind. It would then be up to the prosecutor whether to file a criminal charge (or possibly to seek an indictment). There is no way to answer your question as to whether this will or will not occur.

DHS may also propose civil enforcement in this situation. In that case, rather than suing you, it will first propose a fine which you may accept or not. The maximum fine is $11,000 and the typical DHS proposal would be for much less as a means to get people to simply accept and pay. If you pay, that is the end of the civil case. Or you can not accept the proposed fine and then contest everything if and when DHS brings an administrative action or a civil case in court.

Other consequences such as the loss of any carry / concealed permit are a matter of whether anybody notifies the correct authorities and whether those authorities then take action. TTP is the same thing. If the local TSA people do nothing with the information, there is nothing to be done by anybody else.

Anybody here or elsewhere who tells you that they can tell from your limited understanding of the facts what DHS will and will not do is fibbing.
Right so as for my CCL i should just keep my mouth shut and see if i get anything from my local sheriff office.
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Old Nov 28, 17, 7:54 pm
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Don't volunteer any information.

Did you sign ANY form?

Keep your lips zipped, and make sure your wife does the same.

Might take a while for any admin action to be put into place.

Please keep thread updated.
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Old Nov 28, 17, 8:34 pm
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They didnt make me sign anything. Havent heard anything yet. Will keep update so people can use this as a reference in the future.
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Old Nov 29, 17, 1:50 am
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Originally Posted by Knoxie View Post
The police officer at the scene didnt care. All she did was take a look, empty the magazine and then went on her way. She didnt even write anything down or asked my id and stuff. The TSA agent however did take a picture of the ammo and my information. The problem im worried about is that i am about to move to a new address, scared that i wont recieve the notice. Should i call TSA and ask about it?

EDIT: So because the police officer at the scene didnt press charges on me does that mean im in the clear of being charged of a felon?
Have you considered getting the postal service set up with your mail forwarding address? It may help with getting any notice that may be coming your way.

i wouldn’t advise you to contact the TSA about this situation prior to being contacted by the TSA or other parts of the government first. And if that happens, then it’s time to re-evaluate what you want to do next.
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Old Nov 29, 17, 12:35 pm
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NO, you should not contact TSA until they contact you. One, contacting them will bring unnecessary focus to your case. Two, TSA has a number of factors they consider when evaluating cases and anything you say can negatively affect how they perceive the facts and other factors used in the evaluation. As GUW suggested - if you change addresses be sure to submit a COA with the postal service.

To your concern about a felony charge: no, it does not mean you are "in the clear." In most instances possession of prohibited items at the checkpoint are prosecuted under state/local laws. While you did not tell us where this occurred, in most states unlawful possession of a firearm or firearm parts on airport grounds is a misdemeanor and not a felony. However, under federal law unlawful possession can be charged as a felony. But since you had only a magazine and ammunition and not an actual firearm and you were not arrested at the time, I think it is unlikely that you will now be arrested and charged with a felony.

What is most likely to happen is that in the next 90 days or so you will receive a Notice of Violation from TSA. It will explain that TSA believes you have violated a civil regulation and that they are proposing to assess a penalty. You will have 15 days to respond and rebut the "charge" and provide any mitigating information. TSA then issues a final NoV with a Civil Penalty Assessment Order which can vary from nothing at all to a warning to a monetary penalty, typically $3,000. They usually offer a significant discount if you agree to pay the penalty within 30 days. But you will also have the opportunity to use an administrative process to appeal the notice and penalty. If you do receive the NoV it is strongly recommended you obtain legal counsel experienced in these NoVs.

If you move you should be sure to update your address with whomever issued your Concealed Carry Permit in case there is some impact to your permit.
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Old May 4, 18, 3:23 pm
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Update: It has been 5 months and I have yet to recieved anything. I just flew 2 days ago and everything went fine. No SSSS on my tickets. I guess nothing happen.
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Old May 4, 18, 4:21 pm
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It is possible and the passage of time makes it less and less likely that anything will happen.

But, DHS would defer any action on a civil administrative fine until after any criminal charges, federal or state, are declined.

The key here is not to discuss this with anybody other than your lawyer. Not friends, colleagues, relatives and the like.

Until and unless you hear that the matter is formally declined, it is not. At some point, the statute of limitations will run, but that is years off.
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Old May 10, 18, 11:39 am
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Thanks for the update. Please let us know of any updates to your situation.
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Old May 12, 18, 8:20 am
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Why would a loaded magazine be treated any differently than a knife or any other item that isn't allowed on board? It happens all the time. Either you surrender the offending item or ship it home. I had forgotten about a multi-tool in my bag when going through security at YYZ. I had enough time before my flight so took it back to my car and left it there. No big deal.
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