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Local congressmen push to ban guns at airports

8:03 PM, Nov 19, 2013   |    comments
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Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport

ATLANTA -- Three Georgia Congressman have reintroduced legislation to ban guns in public, non-secure areas in and around airports nationwide.

Right now, common areas like sidewalks and ticket counters are fair game for those with the proper permits at Hartsfield Jackson International Airport.

But Georgia Representatives Hank Johnson, John Lewis and David Scott say in a post 911 world, and after the fatal shooting at the LAX airport, that's no longer appropriate. 

They've introduced House bill 3484, the Airport Security Act of 2013 to keep guns out of airports regardless of whether you've gone through security.

Reaction at Hartsfield was mixed.

"The people that have a concealed carry are going to be law abiding citizens who are not going to do harm," said passenger Matt Gray.

"I don't like the idea of them having it so close to the airport, there's children around, I mean you shoot you're not necessarily going to hit your target," countered Charmaine Greenland.

Kerry Johnson lives in LA. He agrees the the airport there needs more security, but says that doesn't mean the nation needs a new law.

"If the law was in effect, it still wouldn't stop an individual who wanted to come do harm," said Johnson.

Johnson wonders what would happen to someone happened to forget they had a gun while picking up a friend. The TSA already confiscates hundreds of guns from passengers who try to carry them onboard, 1,556 in 2012 to be exact.  The TSA says 85% of them, were loaded.

"You go to jail, you get fined a bunch of money by the FAA, then you've got to hire your lawyer so it's a misdemeanor instead of a felony. Most people had their concealed weapons permit, they just forgot," said Jack Lesher, the manager of Chuck's Firearms in Buckhead.

Atlanta ranks number one on the list of most forgetful. 96 guns were confiscated last year. Dallas, Phoenix and Houston were next. You can't just blame traffic flow. JFK, didn't confiscate a single one.

As of November 15th, the TSA said it had already confiscated 97 guns in 2013, beating the previous year's statistic.  That's just passengers.  Some question how high that number would sky rocket if the law included family and friends waiting to pick up those passengers up.


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