This is good to know. The Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, aka Atlanta, is a gun-free zone. Yes, it is a fact: you may not bring a gun or concealed weapon into the airport. Well, you couldn't anyway, at least not past the security gates, but airport manager Ben DeCosta came out and held a press conference "to make it 'crystal clear' to the public that concealed weapons are not allowed at the world's busiest airport. Unless you are traveling with your weapon properly secured in your checked baggage in accordance with FAA and TSA regulations, (unless) you're a sworn federal, state, or local law enforcement officer or armored security personnel, you are not allowed to carry weapons on airport property." This would seem routine and straightforward, but Atlanta is in Georgia, and Georgia is in the Deep South.
While the airport and indeed Atlanta itself may well be proud participants in the twenty-first century, the same cannot be said of the rest of the state or indeed of the rest of the Deep South. And in Georgia, the
state passed a law that went into effect on July 1, allowing citizens with firearms licenses to bring concealed weapons aboard public transportation, into restaurants that serve alcohol, and into state parks, historical sites and recreation areas. Hartsfield believes it is exempt from the law and DeCosta (left), who just celebrated his tenth anniversary as manager of the airport, wanted to be crystalline about this. The state legislator who sponsored the bill attended DeCosta's conference - sans pistol - and presented him with a copy of a lawsuit challenging the airport restrictions. Bang-bang.