Carrying Drugs or Weapons on an Airplane


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It is plane regulations state that it is illegal to carry any form of a weapon or drug onto a United States commercial airplane. Weapons can legally be packed in a person’s checked luggage and the passenger should notify the TSA security officials that their checked luggage does contain some form of a weapon. A weapon does not just consist of a knife or gun these days. Weapons can also include bats, golf clubs, screwdrivers, hammers, and other blunt objects that can inflict significant harm on a person’s wellbeing.  Since late 2001, a growing list of objects was banned from passenger carry-on as part of heightened airline security.  These objects, which could still be transported in the plane, must be placed in checked luggage pre-boarding.  Recently, some of these restrictions were loosened, which your airline should be offer updated and detailed information about prior to flying.

Security Prevention Measures

Every airport in the United States has security prevention measures in place to keep all passengers and crew members of commercial flights safe while in the airport and in the air during the flight.

  • All passengers must pass through security checkpoints
  • Security checkpoints include x-ray machines that will check the carryon luggage
  • Security checkpoints also have metal detectors that the passenger must walk through
  • The passenger’s shoes must be removed when passing through the metal detector
  • All coats and jackets must be removed when passing through the metal detector
  • The passenger must have some form of government issued photo ID to present to security officials along with their boarding pass (children do not need photo ID)

Exceptions for Medical Drugs

The aircraft administration does have some exceptions for drugs on airplanes when it comes to medical drugs. The exceptions include the following:

  • Life-support and life-sustaining liquids such as bone marrow, blood products, and transplant organs.
  • Items used to augment the body for medical or cosmetic reasons such as mastectomy products, prosthetic breasts, bras, or shells containing gels, saline solution, or other liquids.
  • Gels or frozen liquids needed to cool disability or medically related items used by persons with disabilities or medical conditions.

Penalties for Drugs or Weapons on Plane

There are various penalties and fines for passengers carrying drugs or weapons on plane at a United States airport. If, for some reason, a passenger is able to get past security without them noticing illegal drugs or weapons and are later caught, they face serious legal issues, including federal criminal charges. Passengers that violate even the less serious number of these aircraft faa regulations can face thousands of dollars in fines and potentially incarceration. Brining a weapon on a plane is considered a felony and in most states is punishable for up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine.   Other charges, such as drug possession or trafficking, also carry serious penalties, which depending on the substance, range from a few years to life in prison for the one offense. If you are detained and arrested on an airline, you will be processed in the jurisdiction where the plane lands, and your case will now become the responsibility of local or federal prosecutors in that area.

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