In a gun-friendly culture such as in The South, it is unfortunately common for otherwise responsible gun owners to leave a weapon in their luggage that they then take to the airport. When the weapon is found by TSA, these folks find themselves getting charged and even arrested & put in jail. These charges are serious and can result in a criminal record, loss of CCW or gun purchase permits, etc..
Effective today December 1, 2015, it is now only an Infraction (a non criminal offense) for someone to carry a concealed firearm in or into an establishment or property that had posted sign prohibiting such activity. It had previously been a misdemeanor.
The following changes are effective for offenses committed on or after July 1, 2015.
A recent Charlotte Observer article was published about the prevalence of weapons, particularly firearms, being found in carry on luggage at Charlotte Douglas Airport. This is actually quite common where an otherwise law abiding citizen forgets that their weapon or firearm is in their luggage, perhaps because they did not clean out their bags after coming back from hunting or the gun range. This offense has criminal and civil implications. The hapless traveler can be charged with the crimes of Carrying a Concealed Weapon (Gun) or Possession of Firearm on City Property or both. That can result in a criminal record and the likely revocation of a CCW permit. In certain circumstances, it can result in felony prosecution, jail and/or probation. On the civil side, it may also cause fines to be levied by the TSA, getting placed on the no-fly list or a ban from a certain airline or airport.