Calling the bill a “common sense” measure, a Democrat from Georgia is seeking to ban guns at U.S. airports.
If Rep. Hank Johnson of Georgia’s Fourth District has his way, guns will be barred from U.S. airports both before and after security.
The proposed Airport Security Act of 2015 (H.R. 2767), sponsored by Johnson and backed by Democrats, was introduced Monday. If enacted, the bill would ban civilians from carrying loaded firearms in “terminals, lobbies, baggage claim areas, ticket counters and outside in pick-up and drop-off areas” at all U.S. airports. H.R. 2767 would still allow a passengers to transport unloaded firearms in labeled, locked checked luggage.
“Airports are the gateway to commerce throughout the world and the front door to the communities they connect for millions of passengers who visit the U.S. each year,” said Johnson. “It defies logic that we would allow anyone other than law enforcement officials to carry a loaded gun within an airport. This bill is simple common sense.”
H.R. 2767 would require the new “gun-free zones” in and around airports to be clearly marked and would supersede existing state and local laws. Currently, areas of airports before security checkpoints are subject only to local laws and regulations. Under on current jurisdiction, carrying a concealed weapon or even brandishing a loaded rifle near a ticket counter is perfectly legal at some airports.
Last year, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) confiscated more than 2,200 guns at airport checkpoints across the U.S. The agency publishes a monthly list of the weapons it confiscates, in what it calls, “a friendly reminder to please leave these items at home.”
At the time of reporting, H.R. 2767 had garnered support from the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence and had 19 additional co-sponsors in the U.S. House of Representatives.