TSA weighs gun ban at airports


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searcher451
August 8, 2008, 09:26 AM
Here we go again, from this morning's USA TODAY:

TSA weighs airport gun ban in unsecured areas

By Thomas Frank, USA TODAY

WASHINGTON The Transportation Security Administration may allow airports to ban firearms from terminals, parking lots, roads and other airport areas where many states currently allow passengers to carry lethal weapons.
Airport officials and lawmakers are watching closely as the TSA weighs a request by Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport to modify its security program to impose an airportwide ban on guns. It is the first such request to TSA from an airport.

"Any decisions we make that affect (Atlanta) could affect every other airport in the country," TSA spokesman Christopher White said Thursday.

Federal law bars passengers from bringing weapons to or past airport checkpoints. But in many airports, state law allows passengers to carry guns and knives in unsecured areas such as a main terminal often to airport officials' dismay.

"I don't really like the idea of people coming here with weapons and carrying them into terminals, but that's their right as citizens of the state of Texas," said Alan Black, public safety chief at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport.

In Atlanta, the issue arose last month after the state passed a law to allow Georgia residents with gun licenses to carry firearms onto public transportation, including subways, buses and airports. When the city-owned airport vowed to maintain its longstanding firearms ban, GeorgiaCarry.org, a gun rights group, sued.

On July 17, after the lawsuit was filed, the request from Hartsfield officials asked the TSA to amend its airport security program to include a gun ban. Each of the nation's 450 commercial airports has a detailed written security program that can be changed only with TSA approval.

Hartsfield's effort is backed by airport groups and House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., who plans hearings next month on airport efforts to ban guns. "If airports think (guns) should not be allowed, they should have the right to modify their security plan to reflect that," he said.

The Airports Council International said in a recent letter to Hartsfield, "There is no justification for permitting firearms at any airport." Policies vary from state to state and from airport to airport. Some bar guns fully, others allow them, sometimes in areas such as a parking lot, said Charles Chambers, the council's security chief.

Hartsfield spokesman Herschel Grangent said that someone firing a gun in the airport would force a massive evacuation that could disrupt flights nationwide. Hartsfield, with 89 million passengers in 2007, is the world's busiest airport.

GeorgiaCarry.org lawyer John Monroe said the airport gun ban jeopardizes personal safety: "You might like to have a gun in your car because you come home on an 11:30 p.m. flight."

The TSA is "trying to work through some complex legal issues," said spokesman White. He gave no timetable for a decision. Courts may ultimately decide whether an airport can override state law and prohibit guns by adding a ban to its security program, Chambers said.

Find this article at: http://www.usatoday.com/travel/flights/2008-08-07-tsa-gun-ban_N.htm

Copyright 2008 USA TODAY, a division of Gannett Co. Inc.

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HeavyDuty
August 8, 2008, 09:52 AM
"I don't really like the idea of people coming here with weapons and carrying them into terminals, but that's their right as citizens of the state of Texas," said Alan Black, public safety chief at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport.


Boo hoo. He doesn't like what he admits is a right. Poor baby.

I'm not entirely sure TSA has authority over non-secured areas. Anyone know?

jrfoxx
August 8, 2008, 09:54 AM
The Transportation Security Administration may allow airports to ban firearms from terminals, parking lots, roads and other airport areas where many states currently allow passengers to carry lethal weapons.

Gee, I wasnt aware the TSA was a law making body, and had jusrisdiction over non-federal property.I have no real beef with them having control over the SECURE areas, as their job clearly IS to handle who and what goes onto a plane, but the NON-SECURE areas have nothing to do with people and things actually going on, or even near a plane, and is controlled by the city/state where the airport is, not the feds, and rightfully so.

Lots of people go to airports to pick up/drop off passengers,or to work, and have no intention of going anywhere near a plane, and thus, are none of the TSA's business. They control only who and what goes on or near planes, and people just picking up and dropping off, or working in non-secure areas are simply not in thier jurisdiction any more that someone at the McDonalds down the street.

Looks to me like yet another federal agency expanding itself and grabbing more power and control than is needed or legitimate.Starting to wonder why we even have cities, states, and non-federal governments anymore, as the feds seem to just keep taking more and more control over everything.

Think of all the money we'll save when state and local government is dissolved, and how uniform all the laws will be once everything is under federal control only!:rolleyes:

Magus8764
August 8, 2008, 09:56 AM
At least he recognizes it AS a right, and understands that his like or dislike of it doesn't matter.

FourTeeFive
August 8, 2008, 10:07 AM
And the TSA gives no reason why guns should not be allowed in these areas. It is always personal opinion. An official says "I see no reason..."

Drgong
August 8, 2008, 10:30 AM
Why would the TSA have oversight on non-secure areas?

rduckwor
August 8, 2008, 10:34 AM
Last week, I passed thru the drop-off area at ATL, parked at the curb, dumped passengers, and left. My pistol was in the car, concealed. Did I violate the ATL police chief's non-codified dictum? Probably. If so, Shirley Franklin can come and arrest me.

Will TSA try to tell us we can't have a gun in the car on ATL property anywhere?

The airport cops were too busy bleating over their PA's about not parking, keep moving, unloading only, stay with your car, etc. to notice what was going on with one car.

RMD

pappy
August 8, 2008, 10:36 AM
Not sure, but wouldn't the states that have preemption statutes not allow this?

Soybomb
August 8, 2008, 10:38 AM
I wonder what happens to people flying with guns...

Zip7
August 8, 2008, 10:42 AM
If you'd like to get around with those pesky TSA regulations, your best bet is to become a U.S. Marshal. I have a friend who is one, and I gave him a ride to the airport one day to catch a plane. He was through security in about 3 seconds (actually more like around it..) and was carrying. Gets to carry on the plane too.

And, around here, being an LEO means no more speeding tickets, ever.

Henry Bowman
August 8, 2008, 10:45 AM
In Atlanta, the issue arose last month after the state passed a law to allow Georgia residents with gun licenses to carry firearms onto public transportation, including subways, buses and airports.:banghead: I understand this is nit picking..., but laws are not passed to allow Americans to do anything. A law was passed lifting the prohibition on ...

If we think about it from the correct starting point, it's much easier to grasp the concept of people safely carrying in a public place.

SSN Vet
August 8, 2008, 10:52 AM
they still haven't figured out that the 911 hijackers used box cutters and not firearms.

when was the last time you heard of somebody hijacking a plane with a gun in this country??

ny32182
August 8, 2008, 11:35 AM
I'd like to know how I've flown through ATL with a pistol *several* times in the last year if they have a "long standing gun ban in unsecured areas".

Standing Wolf
August 8, 2008, 11:41 AM
they still haven't figured out that the 911 hijackers used box cutters and not firearms.

when was the last time you heard of somebody hijacking a plane with a gun in this country??

Well, yeah, but these so-called "laws" and "regulations" are all about controlling Americans, not criminals and terrorist savages.

Animal Mother
August 8, 2008, 11:43 AM
Since the TSA is a Federal authority, wouldn't the recent Heller decision apply to them?

chipperi
August 8, 2008, 12:35 PM
Airports are not federal property they usually are State or private property, So what authority if any does TSA have outside of the secured areas of the airport?

DoubleTapDrew
August 8, 2008, 01:12 PM
Airports are not federal property they usually are State or private property, So what authority if any does TSA have outside of the secured areas of the airport?
They are almost as bad as the port authority in Portland Oregon who thinks they override state law and say carrying in unsecured areas at PDX is verboten. They've even gotten the local police to enforce it a few times.
The TSA needs to be told they are not LORD OF THE SKIES although too many people treat them as such.

230RN
August 8, 2008, 01:16 PM
Four Tee Five observes:

And the TSA gives no reason why guns should not be allowed in these areas. It is always personal opinion. An official says "I see no reason..."

Here are the reasons:

state law allows passengers to carry guns and knives in unsecured areas such as a main terminal — often to airport officials' dismay.

...and...

"I don't really like the idea of people coming here with weapons and carrying them into terminals..."

There. See? All clear on that now?

divemedic
August 8, 2008, 01:34 PM
One way to prevent this is simple: If the TSA allows an airport to prohibit firearms over the objections of state and local law, then the state and local government simply refuses to fund ANY airport activity, including providing LEOs as security. If the TSA wants the authority, they can have the responsibility as well.

Think of how much budget money that will free up for the local cops, the local government, and the state. If the airport and TSA want to make the rules, they can pay the bills as well.

Fish Miner
August 8, 2008, 01:45 PM
So wll this potentially kill the travel hunter industry? how many folks are willing to drive from GA to Alaska for that Bear, or Big game in Africa, will I have to ship to an FFL ahead of time ? This country is going down the crapper.

Mousegun
August 8, 2008, 01:53 PM
Hartsfield spokesman Herschel Grangent said that someone firing a gun in the airport would force a massive evacuation that could disrupt flights nationwide.
and if it saved someone's tail, so what !!!!!

larry_minn
August 8, 2008, 01:53 PM
I remember after 9/11 picking up people at airport. They had guard personal checking cars. So I pop trunk he sees LARGE gun case "whats in there?" So I answer "AR 15" He says "Ok go ahead" They didn't ask about Glock on my hip either.

DoubleTapDrew
August 8, 2008, 01:57 PM
Maybe they should just come out and say it: "We don't like the law abiding peons being better equipped to stop crimes than our walkie-talkie packin' whiteshirts. It's a buzzkill to our God-complex."

SSN Vet
August 8, 2008, 01:59 PM
someone firing a gun in the airport would force a massive evacuation

because TSA insists on overreacting to everything

eflatminor
August 8, 2008, 02:07 PM
If the TSA said no guns at any airport, does that not mean that no one could fly with a gun? Or, are they just talking about carrying concealed (or open)? If it's the former, there are going to be a lot of hunting companies going out of business.

So, while I don't think the TSA has ANY ground to ban guns outside of areas they are responsible for, I want to know what this gun grabbing fascists in Altanta are hoping for.

SCKimberFan
August 8, 2008, 02:09 PM
"Maybe they should just come out and say it: "We don't like the law abiding peons being better equipped to stop crimes than our walkie-talkie packin' whiteshirts. It's a buzzkill to our God-complex."

+1 That about says it all.

Old Grump
August 8, 2008, 02:10 PM
Let us make another location safe for crazed asylum escapee's to come to for a massive shooting spree with a minimum amount of danger to themselves. Not to mention the airlines are already shutting down slowly because of over regulation and high prices.

Sebastian the Ibis
August 8, 2008, 02:12 PM
I arrived in Ft. Lauderdale yesterday from Columbia. Not only did they not search my bag they forgot to stamp my passport! I don't think the guy even looked at it.

What the heck ever happened to just having people do their jobs and enforce the laws they were supposed to enforce. Everything is bloody policy now and trying to make people feel good by passing laws that will never be enforced. I for one would feel much better if gov't employees just did their job and enforced the laws they were supposed to enforce.

One of Many
August 8, 2008, 02:31 PM
The solution to the whole airport problem is for people to just quit taking airplanes to get from point A to point B. With the improvements in communication technology today, a lot of business that used to require face to face meetings can be handled by video conference, and documents can be faxed or converted to PDF form and sent by Internet. That will save a lot of fuel as well. It used to be that only the rich could afford air travel, until the government stepped in to try making it available for the common masses. The situation is now that the government is trying to prevent the common masses from flying, and doing a good job of dissuading people. Who wants to give up their natural and civil rights just to get someplace a few hours quicker. Take a train, or drive a car. Forget the airport and the thugs with their personal security destroying body probes.

brickeyee
August 8, 2008, 04:44 PM
I arrived in Ft. Lauderdale yesterday from Columbia. Not only did they not search my bag they forgot to stamp my passport! I don't think the guy even looked at it.

They have not been stamping US citizen passports on return for a couple years now.
All it does is take up space.

LegalAlien
August 8, 2008, 04:58 PM
The REAL problem here is caused by Atlanta Hartsfield airport.

They passed the monkey to the TSA, requesting them to extend the TSA policy and control to non-secure areas of the airport. TSA is now having this monkey jump around on it's shoulder and Hartsfield is sitting back.

The real bad guys here is the Atlanta Police and Hartsfield security who does not like the idea of the change in the GA carry laws and are now trying to find other ways to block it.

I can see both the TSA, Hartsfield and Atlanta police facing some legal challenges based on Heller.

siglite
August 8, 2008, 05:49 PM
I bet every one of us has voted for someone that supports the TSA on capitol hill. And the BATFE.

We keep electing the clowns that do this to us.

shdwfx
August 8, 2008, 05:58 PM
Remember, the TSA is executive branch and ultimately answers to the President.

Keep that in mind when people say it doesn't matter which candidate gets elected, and expect a lot more human excrement like this if a buddy of Dick Daley's gets the title "Mr. President."

jrfoxx
August 8, 2008, 05:59 PM
Hartsfield spokesman Herschel Grangent said that someone firing a gun in the airport would force a massive evacuation that could disrupt flights nationwide.

"...and all we have to do is enact a policy, and put up some 'no guns' signs on the doors, and then it could never happen, because no one who wanted to kill people would DARE ignore our policy and signs, so we will all finally be safe."
:rolleyes:



:D

Cosmoline
August 9, 2008, 05:34 PM
Airports are a dark vision for future America--a vision many in power on both sides of the spectrum would like to see put in place nationwide. There's a guard on every corner, a camera watching every movement, and no messy freedom to get in the way. It's no surprise that banning firearms at airports would be easy.

As it stands now, airports are a freedom pinch point--a place where our freedoms are diminished so we can be more easily controlled. Like livestock moving through a narrow passage for counting. We can expect to see more of these pinch points created in the decades to come.

I wish I could say voting for X over Y would end this. But it was an allegedly conservative Repub who created TSA to begin with, and who is doing nothing to quash these moves or limit the power of the entity.

TallPine
August 9, 2008, 06:24 PM
Another issue is that in order to rent a car, you generally need to go to the airport to get it whether you are flying or not.

A few months ago I rented a car to drive 1-way to Texas so that I could bring another car back. It was a little cheaper even than flying, didn't take much longer, and of course I could take along a firearm without jumping through any hoops.

publiuss
August 9, 2008, 06:45 PM
TSA:barf: Atlanta:barf:

LoadedDrum
August 9, 2008, 08:00 PM
OT but this thread made me think of the no carry signs I saw at the bars in terminals of Sea-Tac. I could not help but think ***, who do they thinking is carrying past the security check points?

Valkman
August 9, 2008, 08:19 PM
I just crack up seeing the term "secured area" at an airport. If they were truly secure it'd be one thing but we find out all the time they are not. I dislike "Unarmed Victim Zones" so I don't even think about flying anymore. If this goes through at Atlanta then I'll really have no reason to go near an airport.

acdodd
August 9, 2008, 08:27 PM
OT but this thread made me think of the no carry signs I saw at the bars in terminals of Sea-Tac. I could not help but think ***, who do they thinking is carrying past the security check points?

A few years ago when I worked at SeaTac they caught a waiter in an A concourse bar with a loaded gun.
He simply went through his normal door into the bag well.
he had a badge and nobody checked us.
He was visiting a waitress he was hot for.
He went to jail.
They probably put up the signs after that.
Or it is another stupid Washington state law.
AC

dsoine
August 9, 2008, 08:47 PM
I'd sure like to see state legislatures get more proactive (pro-self defense) in that area. Since so many airports are city run many are at the mercy of the antis. I noticed our local "big city" airport was recently posted no CW - very disappointing.

best,

Dave

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