is it legal to carry in unsecured area of airports?


Double Maduro
July 17, 2004, 03:55 AM
I am supposed to pick up a friend at PDX, Portland, Oregon and want to know if I can legally carry in the unsecured area.

I have an Oregon CHL.


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July 17, 2004, 05:02 AM
The airport authority is a governmental entity. Government property, public airport, no firearms.

Gray Peterson
July 17, 2004, 05:05 AM
This is Oregon where's talking about, not Kentucky.

There is no law against carrying a firearm in a non-secured area in OR. Port of Portland has an ordinance against firearms possession on their property, but the Oregon Legislative Counsel, the people who actually drafted the preemption law, stated that Port of Portland has zippo authority over the issue due to the state's preemption.

Just keep it concealed and don't attempt to go into a secure area, and you'll be good to go.

July 17, 2004, 05:12 AM
"The airport authority is a governmental entity. Government property, public airport, no firearms."

Not necessarily; this question is STATE DEPENDANT. Until 1 July, it was legal to CCW at Reagan and Dulles airports (in Northern Virginia), to the point of accessing departure/arrival areas (i., e., one could not enter the security/magnetometer check-point). This changed with a new STATE law, effective this month.

Further, it is NOT necessarily illegal to carry on all “government property”. State and National forests, for example, generally permit CCW, although National parks, Federal military reservations, USG offices and courthouses, and so forth are CCW inaccessible.

July 17, 2004, 08:52 AM
They did the same thing here in FL. Worded it just right so as it could go either way. Me, I wouldn't risk it.


July 17, 2004, 09:35 AM
I'd take any legal advise from a forum with a pound or two of salt, especially when it could land you in prison. My only suggestion would be to call the airport PD, as they would have jurisdiction outside the secured area.

This is WAY too gray an area to gamble on, and their are too many potentially overlapping sets of rules to consider.

George S.
July 17, 2004, 09:55 AM
You should weigh the risk of getting caught somewhere on the property with your carry weapon and the possibility of losing it and maybe the license against the short amount of time you will be at the airport. A hard decision to make for some, but I would personally choose to not carry if there was a chance of getting into trouble. While the Port of Portland may have police jurisdiction, there's always a chance that the feds could get involved if you are caught and detained while carrying on airport property.

Calling the Port of Portland to ask about the legality of carrying in the area you will be in may result in your being told you cannot legally carry there simply because you will either 1) get somebody who doesn't know the laws or 2) they don't want to open up the possibility of word getting around that it may be legal to carry in the non-secured areas.

If you are parking somewhere and walking to meet your friend, you might leave your gun in the car Does OR provide for legally leaving a loaded firearm in the car when you are not there??

Chuck Dye
July 17, 2004, 10:09 AM
The relevant law is found in the Oregon Revised Statutes ( beginning with section 166.170. I have not found specific information on where in airports the lines are drawn. The letter sent with the CHL in Coos County specifies that your CHL does not authorize carry on airport property but does not cite the law.

I would not want to test the issue.

July 17, 2004, 01:41 PM
I have not found specific information on where in airports the lines are drawn.

Because, that would be Federal law.

Anyway, I've personally driven through the pickup area have been on the lower floor (baggage pickup area) with a carry piece.

Remember, concealed is concealed. Only your actions will get you noticed by the authorities. However, I wouldn't tempt fate by going upstairs. Might get picked off by a dog.

Gray Peterson
July 17, 2004, 03:35 PM
Getting information from a forum is bad advice, eh?

The laws themselves are SILENT on the issue in Oregon. The federal restrictions only apply to SECURE areas, and the Oregon Legislative Counsel has ruled that the Port of Portland has NO authority to restrict carry. Carrying on the airport grounds is LEGAL as long as you are not in a secure area or attempt to go into a secure area.

The Coos County Sheriff's are liars. Yes, you heard me right, liars, and it's not just Coos County that's a problem. Jackson County, Washington county, and quite a few others put stuff in their firearms brochure packets that are patently not true. You can carry in schools, colleges, universities, and yes, even the state Capitol building.

Read this ( for more information on the sheriffs here.

I would appreciate the people from other states who do not actually know the laws of Oregon to please stop giving bad advice on the basis of laws of THEIR states. I may live in Washington State, but I used to live in Oregon, and I keep up with legal changes DAILY.

Just keep it concealed Double Maduro, and you'll be ok. If they DO catch you, and tell you to leave, or arrest you, you'll be retired within 2 years with lots of money at public expense.

July 17, 2004, 09:39 PM
Texas law.................


(a) A person commits an offense if the person intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly possesses or goes with a firearm, illegal knife, club, or prohibited
weapon listed in Section 46.05(a):

(5) in or into a secured area of an airport.

I never worry about it, I just don't go into the secure zone.

July 18, 2004, 12:43 AM
What is legal to do may not be wise to do. Lot of flakes in the world and lot of them pretend to 'authority'. I used to wonder about this when I was in the Air Force and we stopped to get jet fuel and eat lunch at an airport, we came in and were escorted through the controlled area carrying our switchblade riser knives, etc. We didn't carry 45's but the A-10 national guard guys did. :rolleyes:

Double Maduro
July 21, 2004, 03:17 PM
Thanks to all for the responses.

I hate to say that I wimped out. I went naked, figurativly. If my financial situation at the moment was better I would have chanced it and fought it if I had been stopped, arrested or had my legal ccw siezed. At this time I just can't afford the attorny fees and the hassle to fight this.

Kind of a burn that you obey an illegal law because you can't afford to fight it.


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