The Miami Herald reports that a West Palm Beach man attempted to bypass Miami International Airport security screening with a loaded .25 caliber handgun concealed in his fanny pack.
The man was arrested and charged with carrying a concealed firearm. In Florida, carrying a concealed firearm is a 3rd degree felony punishable by a maximum of 5 years in state prison.
The man was released on bond and is currently awaiting the State Attorney's decision whether to file formal charges against him.
The man allegedly told police that he had forgotten that he had left the weapon inside of the fanny pack.
This defense is actually quite reasonable. a .25 caliber handgun is a very small, lightweight weapon that is easily concealable. Also, if he had placed the weapon inside of the fanny pack long ago, it is quite possible that he had forgotten that he had left it there. He may have gathered his fanny pack for his plane trip, loaded it with his belongings, without realizing that there was a small handgun inside.
Since a .25 caliber is smaller than the palm of your hand, it is very reasonable to conclude that his carrying the weapon through airport security was an oversight.
Since the State must prove that the Defendant knew of the presence of the concealed weapon, it makes sense for the State to refuse to file formal charges in this matter since all of the evidence suggests that it was an honest mistake.
As a South Florida criminal defense attorney, I represent clients charged with carrying a concealed firearm. I understand that gun crimes are taken seriously by the State, but at the same time, mistakes do happen and people should not be criminally liable for simply being forgetful.
In this day and age, it is ridiculous to think that you can just walk through security with a loaded gun and expect no problems. Please. I don't even believe that crazy terrorists are dumb enough to try to get past security with a gun on their person.
There is no evidence - nor reason to believe based on common sense - that this 48-year old West Palm Beach man traveling on Christmas with his family intended to bring the gun onboard. I am willing to bet that no formal charges will be filed. If there are formal charges, this gentleman's criminal lawyer should move to have the charges dismissed.
If you have been charged with carrying a concealed firearm in Broward or Miami-Dade, call me to discuss your case.