Criminal Law

Explosives and Arson - Offenses Involving Public Safety

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November 1, 2005GUIDELINES MANUAL§2K1.5

2. Risk of Death or Serious Bodily Injury.— Creating a substantial risk of death or serious bodily injury includes creating that risk to fire fighters and other emergency and law enforcement personnel who respond to or investigate an offense.

3. Upward Departure Provision.—If bodily injury resulted, an upward departure may be warranted. See Chapter Five, Part K (Departures).

Background: Subsection (b)(2) implements the directive to the Commission in section 2 of Public Law 105–101.

Historical Note:: Effective November 1, 1987. Amended effective November 1, 1989 (see Appendix C, amendments 182, 184, and 185); November 1, 1990 (see Appendix C, amendment 330); November 1, 1991 (see Appendix C, amendment 404); November 1, 1998 (see Appendix C, amendment 576); November 1, 2001 (see Appendix C, amendment 617); November 1, 2002 (see Appendix C, amendment 637); November 1, 2003 (see Appendix C, amendment 655).

§2K1.5. Possessing Dangerous Weapons or Materials While Boarding or Aboard an Aircraft

(a) Base Offense Level: 9

(b) Specific Offense Characteristics

If more than one applies, use the greatest:

(1) If the offense was committed willfully and without regard for the safety of human life, or with reckless disregard for the safety of human life, increase by 15 levels.

(2) If the defendant was prohibited by another federal law from possessing the weapon or material, increase by 2 levels.

(3) If the defendant’s possession of the weapon or material would have been lawful but for 49 U.S.C. § 46505 and he acted with mere negligence, decrease by 3 levels.

(c) Cross Reference

(1) If the defendant used or possessed the weapon or material in committing or attempting another offense, apply the guideline for such other offense, or §2X1.1 (Attempt, Solicitation, or Conspiracy), as appropriate, if the resulting offense level is greater than that determined above.


Statutory Provision: 49 U.S.C. § 46505 (formerly 49 U.S.C. § 1472(l)).

Background: This guideline provides an enhancement where the defendant was a person prohibited by federal law from possession of the weapon or material. A decrease is provided in a case of mere

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