At the airport, kiss-kiss, bang-bang? Atlanta acts on guns

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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

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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.

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12 Responses to At the airport, kiss-kiss, bang-bang? Atlanta acts on guns

  1. Christopher Fotos July 2, 2008 at 9:03 pm #

    Hi David. While I can’t vouch for the exact numbers in the story I attempt to link below, it sounds about right: 37 states allow citizens to carry guns into restaurants, and 43 allow guns to be carried on public transportation.

    As a proud Yankee, Boston-born and raised in Pennsylvania, I will note the numbers 37 and 43 probably exceed the number of states in the Presumably Scary and Backward Deep South. The Wikipedia entry on the issue counts 48 states with some kind of concealed-carry rights; 39 of which are “shall-issue” states–where authorities must issue a permit absent some major disqualification such as mental illness or criminal conviction.

    In Virginia, where I live, and where I hold a concealed handgun permit, it’s legal to openly carry in most public areas; anywhere that it’s not explicitly forbidden–such as schools. And I could openly, legally carry into a restaurant that serves alcohol, provided I don’t drink myself–and if the owner doesn’t ask me to leave. There’s a bill in the works to allow concealed carry in such establishments, but I honestly don’t know its status.

    How many of those 37 states mentioned by the story allow guns to be carried in restaurants *that serve alcohol*? I don’t know, though I did see a reference saying OpenCarry.org says only 13 states *don’t* allow that, so maybe the answer is all 37. But a quick google shows that non-scary 21st-century Michigan allows guns to be carried into restaurants serving alcohol.

    As for carry into airports, good question! I have no idea if the number of states that allow it is none, or 49, but I’m going to look into it. Probably less than 49. I believe in Virginia, you can carry onto the outer airport property at places like National and Dulles, but not into the terminal, even the unsecured area.

    (My sig link takes you back to AviationWeek.com, where I’m web managing editor, but obviously my comments are my own).

    http://chronicle.augusta.com/stories/051908/met_229181.shtml

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    We must know where to bring and not to bring our guns.Nice article.There are several plae where guns are not allowed!Nice piece of info.

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