Democrat Hank Johnson Wants to Make Atlanta Airport Gun-Free Zone

I alluded to a situation recently where a man came in to the Hartsfield Atlanta airport – er…excuse me, the Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport – with an AR-15 slung around his shoulder and a 100-round drum. I made the comment that while what the guy did was perfectly legal – and I’m glad that it’s legal – it wasn’t the wisest thing to do. Now what are legislators going to do to make it against the law to do what this guy did? Someone responded in the comments section saying that I was a wimp for not fully supporting the guy.

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There are some parts of the country where people don’t think anything about it when they see someone walking around with a rifle. But most of the country isn’t like that. They get alarmed and call the police. That draws unnecessary attention to the gun owner, and if it happens enough, local politicians will take advantage of people’s paranoia and try to ban the open carrying of firearms (except for government agents, of course, because they aren’t scary).

That’s mainly my fear. Once politicians make it against the law, it is nearly impossible to reverse it.

Now, all because of this open carrying man in the Atlanta airport, Democrat Hank Johnson wants to make the Atlanta airport a totally gun-free zone – except for cops, of course. Currently, you’re allowed to bring in a loaded firearm in the airport, but not past security. The Hill reported:

A House Democrat is introducing legislation to ban guns in airport areas that are located before security checkpoints.  

Rep. Hank Johnson (D-Ga.) said the measure, which has been dubbed the Airport Security Act of 2015, would prevent anyone other than police officers from carrying guns in areas of airports that are located before security checkpoints, even if they have a license to carry concealed weapons.  

“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 United States each year,” Johnson said in a statement. “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.”

The introduction of the measure follows a recent incident involving a man who carried an AR-15 rifle into the Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport — legally because he did not go past a security checkpoint.

Transportation Security Administration rules currently prohibit passengers from carrying guns beyond security checkpoints in carry-on luggage, but some weapons can be packed into checked baggage if they are unloaded and locked in cases. 

Johnson’s office said the measure “would expand Homeland Security’s jurisdiction to include non-secure areas of airports and would take precedence over any city or state laws that allow weapons in any airports nationwide. 

“The gun ban would include public transportation stops within airports if the gun owner departs the transit station at an airport,” Johnson’s office said. 

“Law-abiding gun owners would still be able to carry guns if they are unloaded and contained in clearly marked, locked cases,” the Georgia Democrat’s office continued. “Airports would also be required to post signs that clearly indicate they are gun-free zones.” 

Johnson’s office said the measure is being backed by the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, The Violence Policy Center, States United to Prevent Gun Violence, Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, Friends Committee on National Legislation, Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence and the GunSense Georgia Coalition.

It’s not that I think people shouldn’t be allowed to open carry. People should be allowed to open carry wherever they want. But I just don’t think large portions of our culture are ready for it. This is something that needs to be eased into the culture. Putting it in people’s faces all of a sudden will only yield rash decisions from politicians. We can’t be like liberals who shove perverse things down our throats and force government to force us to love it. We have to play by the rules and be careful. It’s an uphill battle.