Gun Ban at Atlanta AP upheld (AP / Chicago Tribune)


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Neo-Luddite
August 11, 2008, 07:30 PM
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/chi-081108-gun-ban-atlanta,0,3648462.story


Federal judge upholds gun ban at Atlanta airport
The Associated Press
3:56 PM CDT, August 11, 2008
ATLANTA - A federal judge has upheld a gun ban at the world's busiest airport in Atlanta.

A gun rights group sued the city and Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport over the ban, claiming a new state law allowed people with concealed weapons permits to carry guns in certain areas of the airport.

But U.S. District Judge Marvin Shoob ruled Monday that allowing guns at the airport could cause "a serious threat to public safety and welfare."

The law that took effect last month allows residents who have passed criminal background checks to carry concealed weapons onto mass transit, as well as into state parks and restaurants that serve alcohol.



Gun rights group GeorgiaCarry.org argues the airport qualifies as mass transportation and has restaurants that should be accessible.

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Cougfan2
August 11, 2008, 07:32 PM
Let's hope GeorgiaCarry appeals this.

JesseL
August 11, 2008, 07:37 PM
Wow.

They either got a really bad lawyer or a Judge Marvin Shoob is a really terrible judge.

Is there any place we can read the ruling?

jrfoxx
August 11, 2008, 08:15 PM
But U.S. District Judge Marvin Shoob ruled Monday that allowing guns at the airport could cause "a serious threat to public safety and welfare."
So that gives the feds the right to strike down a state law that applies to state property?

Why is this even a federal matter, if the part of the airport in question is state property, and it's a state law? where did the feds come in (I'm no legal scholar, so I dont know all the details on how something goes from state courts to federal courts, or how you get a state law challenged directly in federal court instead of state court, etc). Anyone got info on how the feds got involved, and what they are claiming gives them jurisdiction over the state? I'm confused.....

ilbob
August 11, 2008, 08:41 PM
GCO filed a civil rights lawsuit in federal court.

I wonder why they chose that route rather than pursuing it in state court.

Mr Weebles
August 11, 2008, 08:46 PM
Judge Shoob was appointed to the federal bench by Jimmy Carter and is known for his liberal views.

He might be the worst judge GCO could have ended up in front of.

usmarine0352_2005
August 11, 2008, 08:49 PM
.


Damn, this isn't good.


Any chance of reversing this?



.

thunderstorm
August 11, 2008, 09:00 PM
So only the bad guys that are use to breaking the law will be carrying. how dose that make it less a threat to public safety and welfare? time to get a clue judge!!

eflatminor
August 11, 2008, 09:04 PM
This is just begging to go up to the Supreme Court. The people passed a law. The law is constitutional. The judge shouln't be able to overturn it with no good reason. "Public safety" may very well be a good reason, but the judge offered no evidence that the law as written would harm the public...that's because there isn't any.

This will be overturned, IMO.

uneasy_rider
August 11, 2008, 09:06 PM
I only go to airports when I fly, and when I fly, I have to check my gun. So I am not sure how many people are actually in situations where this law matters.

VARifleman
August 11, 2008, 09:09 PM
People picking up passengers that come in.

jgullock
August 11, 2008, 09:11 PM
Easy everyone - this was just a preliminary hearing on an injunction to prevent arrest for carrying at the airport until the REAL case gets going. Nothing has been settled. The real case starts in a month or two. DON'T BELIEVE EVERYTHING YOU READ IN THE MEDIA!:cool:

txgho1911
August 11, 2008, 09:26 PM
This may be telling of a future ruling against us. That may be a good thing. May end up at SCOTUS a lot sooner.

Standing Wolf
August 11, 2008, 10:38 PM
Judge Shoob was appointed to the federal bench by Jimmy Carter and is known for his liberal views.

The "legacy" of one of America's worst presidents continues to stink after all these years.

jmr40
August 12, 2008, 12:28 AM
It is my understanding that the lawsuit was to allow a temporary injunction to allow guns to be carried until the case could be heard in court. The judge today denied that. Unless I am mistaken the case has yet to be heard and guns are not allowed until a decision has been made.

TAB
August 12, 2008, 12:55 AM
GCO filed a civil rights lawsuit in federal court.

I wonder why they chose that route rather than pursuing it in state court.


Some one acted like a child( running to mommy.)... that what it comes down to.

Telperion
August 12, 2008, 12:58 AM
Why did Georgia Carry sue in Federal court on a civil rights complaint when a statutory interpretation case in state court (over a state law) would seem the most direct route? :confused:

And I see from their complaint, Georgia Carry is saying that they should have the right to carry under the militia clause of the US Constitution. :scrutiny: I hope this doesn't end up the next Silveira.

GatorDude
August 12, 2008, 01:08 AM
I don't think that Georgia Carry chose their battle very wisely here. Generally, the airport is crawling with police and security personnel and the general public does not see the need for a gun at the airport. People can see why you would want a gun on the MARTA transit system, but not at the airport. I'd hate to see a losing proposition set a bad precedent.

Personally, I'd like to see Georgia governed in such a manner that guns aren't needed. But, the mayor of Atlanta has been cutting police numbers ostensibly to balance the budget.:scrutiny:

Tom Servo
August 12, 2008, 02:08 AM
I'm not sure how much of an effect it had, but there was a great deal of publicity on this issue, from both sides.

Mayor Franklin and Hartsfield Manager DeCosta made a big stink about "keeping terrorists out" when House Bill 89 passed. They declared Hartsfield a "gun free zone," though on whose authority they did so, I can't say.

In response, Rep. Tim Bearden threatened to carry a sidearm into the airport in defiance of the edict.

The whole thing got tons of press. Our side got to expose a great deal of hypocrisy on the part of our local politicians, and the other side got to paint us with an unflattering brush in the ultra-liberal Atlanta Journal.

I'm sure the Atlanta City Elite made plenty of phone calls to Shoob before he even heard the case. Being a Carter appointee made his decision a foregone conclusion.

Hopefully, this matter could be retried on the State level, where I think it would stand a greater chance.

Neither Federal or State law prohibits the law-abiding from carrying in the "non sterile" areas of the airport. This is something the Mayor chose to invoke out of thin air.

Then again, that's Atlanta for ya.

TAB
August 12, 2008, 02:15 AM
if anything the publicity hurt more then it helped. It also showed how GA, can not handle thier own laws, and had to look to the federal goverment to fix a GA prob.

maestro pistolero
August 12, 2008, 06:09 AM
I haven't seen anything here that says the whole law was struck, just the part about carrying i an airport.

SomeKid
August 12, 2008, 06:22 AM
Still, going Federal was a massive mistake from the beginning.

State/local owned land, state/local operated, state/local rules applied to that particular area.

yet they sue federally, under the militia clause. The best outcome I see here is that a Federal court boots it to state courts citing the lack of proper jurisdiction for the FedGov. That is best outcome in my eyes. GCO dropped the ball, and its going to hurt a lot of us.

DJAteOhAte
August 12, 2008, 08:09 AM
For those that think GCO "dropped the ball", how should GCO handle the City of Atlanta ignoring state law?

Keep in mind that GCO has already sued the City over this specific issue earlier this year and won.

As for federal court jurisdiction, see Section II of the Amended Complaint, here: http://www.georgiacarry.com/hjaia/Doc%2018%20Amended%20Complaint.pdf

See this page for all of the documents filed thus far:
http://www.georgiacarry.com/hjaia/





Also, yesterday was ONLY a hearing about a temporary restraining order against the airport. NO ruling on the nature of HB89 has been made.

ronwill
August 12, 2008, 08:27 AM
The case is still ongoing. IT IS NOT OVER. For more info take a look at the following:

http://www.georgiacarry.org/

Seminole
August 12, 2008, 09:53 AM
allowing guns at the airport could cause "a serious threat to public safety and welfare."


And the evidence for that is what, exactly? :banghead:

cane
August 12, 2008, 10:44 AM
So if I fly out of that airport I can no longer carry a firearm in my checked baggage?

feedthehogs
August 12, 2008, 10:45 AM
The way to fight this is with your money. Let every airline, resturant and business that is tied to ATL know that they will not be patronized while this ban is in effect.

If every gun owner would then follow thru and business dropped and revenue fell, you would see the wheels of capitalism work to overturn this ban.

Its worked before with numerous corporations. Money talks, bottom lines and dividents count.

Courts for the most part are a waste of time. More stuff has been accomplished in the board rooms with cashier's checks and briefcases full of money.

HeavyDuty
August 12, 2008, 10:58 AM
It is my understanding that the lawsuit was to allow a temporary injunction to allow guns to be carried until the case could be heard in court. The judge today denied that. Unless I am mistaken the case has yet to be heard and guns are not allowed until a decision has been made.

If that's the case, the article is severely lacking... and totally misleading.

moga
August 12, 2008, 11:53 AM
Why did Georgia Carry sue in Federal court on a civil rights complaint when a statutory interpretation case in state court (over a state law) would seem the most direct route?

The lawsuit against the City of Atlanta, Atlanta's mayor, Hartsfield-Jackson Airport, and the GM at Hartsfield is first and foremost a section 1983 suit. Section 1983 is found in United States Code, the collection of federal laws for the US. 42 USC 1983 allows for civil action for deprivation of rights. Ben DeCosta conspired to deprive the plaintiff of his rights when he promised that State Representative Tim Bearden, the lead sponsor of the law under review and plaintiff in this case, would be arrested if he arrived at the airport lawfully armed. DeCosta and Franklin subsequently held a televised press conference announcing the creation of official policy that would violate a visitors 4th and 14th amendment rights if lawfully armed about the non-secure areas of the facility. This constitutes deprivation of rights. Therefore the lawsuit must be tried in US courts. GCO seeks not only declaratory judgement as to whether firearm carry on one's person is legal at the airport. I believe they want DeCosta and Franklin personally liable for flagrantly violating the rights of Georgians while performing the official duties of their posts. I think this would send a clear signal to other public officials who aspire to attain office and practice social engineering which runs counter to established law.

I don't think that Georgia Carry chose their battle very wisely here. Generally, the airport is crawling with police and security personnel and the general public does not see the need for a gun at the airport. People can see why you would want a gun on the MARTA transit system, but not at the airport. I'd hate to see a losing proposition set a bad precedent.

Are we concerned now with what the general public "needs" to see? Or are we concerned with civil rights of Georgians and the rule of law as written into Georgia Code Annotated?

Many thousands of people lobbied their legislators tirelessly to see that this law was written into the books. Those same people, this poster included, are not happy to see their will thwarted by the personally held beliefs of a few appointed officials at the airport and in Atlanta City Hall. Georgia Carry absolutely did the right thing by not standing idle while the rights of Georgians are trampled on by these tyrants. What are you thinking by drawing the public opinion into an equation of rights? We are far past the stage where the public is asked for their input while considering whether certain conduct is permissible. This is purely an issue of law and the disrespect of the legislative process.

Not only that but when did you last fly and was it in the evening? The areas outside the airport is deserted in the night time hours and there isn't anyone, anyone, on patrol outdoors in the lots, etc. Not a single person. A platoon of officers is the least that is needed to police a facility that has several square miles of public grounds, and HJAIA hasn't an armed presence outside the main building. Plus half of the lighting systems are dark in the lots and surrounding areas. I have to disagree in the strongest terms with your assertion that the airport is "crawling" with security and police personnel. Visitors are left most vulnerable while walking to the parking decks in the evening hours and while loading/unloading their vehicles when visitors are few and shadows are long. Besides, there is no legal justification to force me to disarm while there and by doing so place my well being into the hands of an institution that isn't legally obligated to provide for it. May I remind you that the mission of Law Enforcement is first and foremost about the collection of evidence to aid in the prosecution of a criminal, not to protect individual members of the public from befalling victim to violent crime.

Personally, I'd like to see Georgia governed in such a manner that guns aren't needed.

Wow. I'm not sure how to respond to such a remark. I will venture to say that in all likelihood, there isn't a place in all of America where this would aptly apply. So I guess Atlanta isn't in bad company.

As others have astutely pointed out, yesterday's ruling was only within the scope of a request for a temporary restraining order for Atlanta to ceast and desist the arrest of license holders until the trial has concluded. In spite of the creative journalistic license of AJC, Chicago Tribune, and others, the battle is far from over. In fact, it's yet to begin in earnest.

DJAteOhAte
August 12, 2008, 01:12 PM
This was posted by the President of GCO on another forum:


This was a preliminary ruling on extraordinary relief. The main case is still progressing. In other words, GCO asked the judge to order the City of Atlanta to stop arresting people while the case is pending. The judge said no. This is not a ruling on the merits [of the case].

The showdown has not yet occurred. It is not even high noon. It's about nine o'clock in the morning.

This was posted by a member of GCO who is a criminal defense attorney and was present at the hearing:


A federal judge today sided with the city of Atlanta in refusing to issue an injunction to keep the city from arresting GFL holders at the airport. Judge Shoob in his ruling stated that the plaintiffs in their motion did not prove that GFL holders are not criminals nor that there are not federal laws which have occupied the field of airport security.

GeorgiaCarry.org’s attorney John Monroe opened and closed his case on the multitude of briefs filed with the court. The city of Atlanta decided to call a single witness an assistant manager of the airport who testified to the facts that the airport is a very busy place and that an accidental discharge would shut the airport down for hours causing fiscal havoc.

In closing arguments Monroe pointed out the fatal flaws with the city’s position. There is not now a state law which restricts GFL holders at the airport. The city wishes to arrest people for lawful conduct, and the city has already litigated the issue and lost.

Judge Shoob questioned the holding in GCO v. Atlanta and stressed that the issue was limited to parks only.

I think John did an amazing job, against a good defense team and their cheering section on the bench.

damien
August 12, 2008, 02:12 PM
So the judge didn't issue an injunction. But I still don't how this affects anyone. Say someone brings a concealed weapon into the airport and it is discovered. How are they going to prosecute him anyway? The state has no law anymore, so the state will not prosecute. The federal government never had a law against this. So how would this theoretical CCW holder be prosecuted anyway?

Zoogster
August 12, 2008, 02:28 PM
So if I fly out of that airport I can no longer carry a firearm in my checked baggage?
Actualy I heard TSA is thinking about a nationwide ban on firearms in airports due to this issue.
Atlanta has asked them to change policy and restrict firearms not only in airports, but parking lots and other airport property.
If guns become banned on all airport property, the ability to legaly check a firearm may change as well.

DJAteOhAte
August 12, 2008, 02:34 PM
So how would this theoretical CCW holder be prosecuted anyway?

The City (who would do the arresting and prosecuting) claim that the new law legalizing carry on “public transportation” does not apply to airports and people carrying at the airport would be prosecuted for carrying at a “public gathering”, the definition of which includes publicly owned and operated buildings in GA.

They also claim that federal laws (which they have been unable to cite in their briefs) trump all state laws on the subject.

It’s very strange that they claim, on one hand, that state law still prohibits carry at the airport while, on the other hand, they claim that a non-existent federal preempts state law.

So far, they have gotten a Federal judge to buy into all this BS.

damien
August 12, 2008, 04:00 PM
The City (who would do the arresting and prosecuting) claim that the new law legalizing carry on “public transportation” does not apply to airports and people carrying at the airport would be prosecuted for carrying at a “public gathering”, the definition of which includes publicly owned and operated buildings in GA.

They also claim that federal laws (which they have been unable to cite in their briefs) trump all state laws on the subject.

It’s very strange that they claim, on one hand, that state law still prohibits carry at the airport while, on the other hand, they claim that a non-existent federal preempts state law.

So far, they have gotten a Federal judge to buy into all this BS.

Sure, but all the judge did was deny an injunction to preemptively prevent arrests. But, an arrest is not a successful prosecution.

If the city/airport authority actually wanted to prosecute someone, the burden would be on them to prove a crime was committed in court. If they tried to prosecute it in a state court, they would have to cite the law they are prosecuting under, and the state statute now exempts public transportation, which an airport certainly is. If they tried to get a federal prosecutor interested the federal prosecutor would have to rely on the federal law, which is totally silent on the issue (there is no law against it, unless it is in the secure area). Can they arrest someone? Sure. Could they successfully prosecute someone? I am not a lawyer, but I don't see how they could.

DJAteOhAte
August 12, 2008, 04:05 PM
^^^

Exactly.

Thus, GCO sued the City because threatening to arrest people for perfectly legal activity is a violation of their civil rights.

Flyboy
August 12, 2008, 05:51 PM
I only go to airports when I fly, and when I fly, I have to check my gun. So I am not sure how many people are actually in situations where this law matters.
Well, when I had to travel for work last month, I drove a rental car. I had to go to the (non-sterile) area of the airport to pick it up.

There are many ways to do business at an airport on the non-sterile side.

RangerHAAF
August 12, 2008, 06:52 PM
As it is my understanding; the TSA doesn't make law pertaining to what goes on in the airports, Congress does backed up by the executive authority of whatever cabinet department the airports fall under.

Since there is the general impression that airport regulation is a federal question, that's why they started in federal court. No sense wasting time in state court on a question that's going to end up in federal court.

Judge Shoob's probably going to be overruled in the end anyway because his quotes sound personal and isn't based on the letter of the law and seems to be based on his personal anti-gun feelings.

yokel
August 12, 2008, 07:30 PM
This is just begging to go up to the Supreme Court.

Justice Scalia informs us that "laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places" are kosher, so it may or may not pass constitutional muster.

everallm
August 12, 2008, 07:43 PM
@Yokel.

The relevant sections of the law that was passed under the auspicies of Homeland Security very specifically delineates what is and what is not a sensitive area. Basically unless it's a "badge access" area or air side its not regulated by the TSA.

If you go to the GCO web site mentioned earlier in the post you can see the depositions, motions etc laying this out in detail.

As such this most certainly does not pass Scalia's "laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places" sniff test.

yokel
August 12, 2008, 08:38 PM
Who's to say that a sufficient number of robed ones won't buy into all the "threat to public health and safety" jazz?

SomeKid
August 13, 2008, 02:54 AM
DJ,

The answer to your question is simple, take it up in state court. State agency, state employee, state law, state land, STATE issue. I still fully expect this to end at best neutrally for us.

This should have been hashed out at the local/state level first.

DJAteOhAte
August 13, 2008, 06:08 AM
State agency, state employee, state law, state land, STATE issue.

Section 1983 and 4th Amendment cases go to Federal court.

SomeKid
August 13, 2008, 07:08 AM
Their whole case rests on the threat issued by a state employee over state property in contradiction to state law. I expect, at best, the Fed courts to toss this and tell the state to deal with it internally. Why would they do anything else?

Would any of our more well known lawyer members step in and toss a more qualified opinion in? If I am wrong (and you better believe I want to be) could we get the opinion of some other legal minds?

DJAteOhAte
August 13, 2008, 09:17 AM
Their whole case rests on the threat issued by a state employee over state property in contradiction to state law. I expect, at best, the Fed courts to toss this and tell the state to deal with it internally. Why would they do anything else?

The court is already receiving motions, reviewing evidence and holding hearings. It seems pretty clear that there isn't a jurisdictional issue at this point.

If you read the documents that have been filed so far, the issue of jurisdiction is pretty clear.

ilbob
August 13, 2008, 10:15 AM
You cannot expect to win every case without actually trying. Sometimes the judge is going to side with the bad guys. I suspect the judge is trying to buy Atlanta some time to back off on its wierd stance, or settle it in some other way. Once he has to actually rule in the case, he is going to have to rule on the facts.

DJAteOhAte
August 13, 2008, 11:28 AM
Given the things that the judge is reported to have said during the trial, the outlook at this level is not good. However, Shoob is one of the most left-wing and oft-overturned judges in the circuit.

When this goes to appeal, and it looks like it very well could, things will improve.

Also, the GA Senate convened its first meeting of the firearms law study committee yesterday. The Senate is looking to comprehensively overhaul GA’s entire system of gun laws very soon. Hopefully any and all ambiguity in the language and/or intent of the General Assembly will be straightened out in the process.

misANTHrope
August 13, 2008, 12:05 PM
*sigh*

I wish some of that GA legislative sentiment would infect its way into Nashville. I'm tired of watching Naifeh put the smack-down on any bill that might expand the rights of HCP holders and gunnies in general.

ilbob
August 13, 2008, 12:09 PM
the one bad thing that i see in this case is that GCO is essentially asking a federal court to rule on a matter of state law. the court may decide that is not part of its purview, and dismiss the whole thing.

the crux of the matter is GCO is saying the state law means one thing, while Atlanta is claiming it means something else. that has to be decided in state court. since there has not been a ruling in state court on this issue, I suspect the federal court will not want to get involved.

moga
August 13, 2008, 12:20 PM
Ilbob, GCO v City of Atlanta is a matter of illegal detention and property seizure first. Any contention of what GA Code 16-11-127 states is purely incidental to the first issue. That's why the case is being tried in federal courts.

ilbob
August 13, 2008, 12:27 PM
Ilbob, GCO v City of Atlanta is a matter of illegal detention and property seizure first. Any contention of what GA Code 16-11-127 states is purely incidental to the first issue. That's why the case is being tried in federal courts.Its only illegal detention if GA law does not make the carrying firearms at the airport a crime. Thats a matter of GA law, and I doubt there is any case law on it yet.

DJAteOhAte
August 13, 2008, 12:33 PM
Damn, why didn't GCO's attorneys think of that?

ilbob
August 13, 2008, 12:38 PM
Damn, why didn't GCO's attorneys think of that?
Maybe they did. They may have felt the statute was so obvious that there was no wriggle room.

Just reading it myself, I came to the conclusion that there is a lack of clarity that is common to a lot of law making.

RDak
August 13, 2008, 04:25 PM
Judge Shoob was appointed to the federal bench by Jimmy Carter and is known for his liberal views.

He might be the worst judge GCO could have ended up in front of.

+1, he's an extremely liberal judge.

KBintheSLC
August 13, 2008, 04:51 PM
The people passed a law. The law is constitutional. The judge shouldn't be able to overturn it with no good reason.

They shouldn't, but they do. Just look at the voter-approved ban on gay marriage in CA... the State SC overturned it. Weather or not you agree with gay marriage aside... The fact of the matter is that socialist judges cannot be trusted to uphold democracy... they don't believe in democracy... thats why they are socialists.

The regime they are working towards only benefits societal bottom-feeders, and crooked government officials. I am not surprised that this particular judge did this.

One of Many
August 13, 2008, 04:54 PM
If I understand the decision of this Judge correctly, it was to deny an injunction against the Airport Authorities arresting people for legal carry of firearms in non-secured areas at the airport. The decision did not uphold the airports ability to illegally arrest gun carriers, and there is a case pending that will resolve that issue. What it means is that some people may be falsely arrested prior to the lawsuit being settled in Federal Court.

The current Federal law and the State law does not prohibit gun carry in the non-secured areas of airports in that state. There is an illegal local ordinance the Airport Authority is relying on to justify the illegal arrest of gun carriers. The Airport Authority has asked the TSA to abuse the authority granted to it by Federal legislation, and TSA is still looking into the matter.

The way this thread was started, and with the header that was used, would lead readers to think that the final decision had been made, and the Federal Judge had abused the law to rule against gun owners. Since that does not appear to be the case, why not use this example as a warning to people to be more accurate with facts when starting new threads. We constantly fuss about journalists that post inaccurate and biased information. We need to hold ourselves to a higher standard than the news people do, if we aim to continue complaints about biased news reporting.

DJAteOhAte
August 13, 2008, 05:32 PM
There is an illegal local ordinance the Airport Authority is relying on to justify the illegal arrest of gun carriers.

Actually, there isn’t. There is only airport “policy.” A policy that is not only illegal, it is ephemeral. It is not published anywhere but on signs at the airport and in the heads of those who made it up.


The way this thread was started, and with the header that was used, would lead readers to think that the final decision had been made, and the Federal Judge had abused the law to rule against gun owners.

To be fair, that is the way it has been reported in the media, both locally and nationally. Only later were subsequent stories published that paid lip service to the fact that Monday’s ruling was only on a motion for TRO.

Art Eatman
August 13, 2008, 07:31 PM
So let's wait until the actual courtroom action.

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