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1416. Specific Intent Not Required

With respect to the misdemeanor provision, it is not necessary that the defendant know that the weapon he/she is carrying is a "deadly or dangerous weapon," nor that he/she specifically intends to carry a weapon which is "deadly or dangerous." The language of the misdemeanor statute contains no knowledge or specific intent requirement, and courts have refused to read such a requirement into the statute. See United States v. Margraf, 483 F.2d 708 (3d Cir. 1973); United States v. Flum, 518 F.2d 39 (8th Cir. 1975); United States v. Dishman, 486 F.2d 727 (9th Cir. 1973). But at least one circuit court has ruled that the government has to meet an intent standard that the defendant "should have known" the weapon/explosive was in his/her possession while boarding the aircraft. See United States v. Garrett, 984 F.2d 1402 (5th Cir. 1993). Cf. United States v. Gutierrez, 624 F. Supp 759 (E.D. N.Y. 1985) (strict liability for civil penalty for boarding aircraft with a concealed weapon).

[cited in JM 9-63.100; JM 9-63.161]

Updated January 17, 2020