Legislators on both sides of the aisle look to change how guns are treated at airports
Guns – and how they are handled at airports across the country – could be a topic of discussion for the incoming Congress in the wake of the Fort Lauderdale shooting. CBS News reports lawmakers want to review the current laws and determine how to prevent a similar event from happening in the future.
Under current laws, six states, including Florida, ban weapons from being handled at any point in the airport terminal. According to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), over 3,300 guns were confiscated at checkpoints across the United States. Those on Capitol Hill plan to review the current response protocols with TSA officials and weigh it against anything else that may need to be done.
Earlier in 2016, the Florida State Senate heard the case for Senate Bill 1500, which would allow individuals to carry weapons in the non-secure zone of the airport. The bill was never passed, but proponents of the law say another person with a gun could have saved lives during the shooting event.
“The law is only protecting criminals,” Florida state senator Greg Stube told CBS News. “It’s not protecting law-abiding citizens who want the right and ability to defend themselves.”
The idea of allowing flyers to carry weapons into non-secure parts of the airports has been met with concerns from those lobbying for more gun control regulations. Those against the idea claim that more guns would only escalate the situation and potentially create more casualties.
“If someone with a gun in the baggage claim area opened fire in the midst of hundreds of people, the life loss probably would have been worse,” Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, a Democrat from Florida, told CBS News.
In 2016, there were at least two reports of shootings at airports in the United States, including the incident that killed a Southwest Airlines employee at Oklahoma City Will Rodgers World Airport (OKC).