The Associated Press goes after permitted concealed handguns at airports

Here is the AP piece:

ATLANTA - Flying in the U.S. has been transformed since Sept. 11, with passengers forced to remove their shoes, take out their laptop computers and put liquids and gels in clear plastic bags. Yet it's perfectly legal to take a loaded gun right up to the security checkpoint at some of the nation's biggest airports.

An Associated Press survey of the 20 busiest U.S. airports found that seven of them — Philadelphia, Detroit, Phoenix, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Dallas/Fort Worth, Los Angeles and San Francisco — let people with gun permits carry firearms in the general public areas of the terminal.

Some anti-terrorism experts say that is a glaring security loophole that could endanger airport workers, passengers and people waiting to pick them up or see them off. Some suggest that allowing guns in terminals is practically asking for them to be smuggled aboard a plane.

"If your airport is not secure, then the security of your airplanes is jeopardized," said Rafi Ron, former security chief at Ben Gurion Airport in Israel who now works as an aviation consultant. "You cannot separate the two."

Other authorities say the nonsecure areas of the terminal are no different from other public venues and do not warrant special restrictions.

"It's really not more of a concern than at a mall or a train station," said Philadelphia police Lt. Louis Liberati.

Under federal law, it is illegal everywhere to try to carry a gun through a security checkpoint. The rest of the terminal, however, has long been the domain of state and local authorities.

Jon Allen, a spokesman for the federal Transportation Security Administration, said the TSA has not taken a position on guns in airports and has no authority under federal law to ban them.

The issue has led to clash in Georgia between a new state law that allows guns on public transportation and the Atlanta airport's ban on loaded weapons. Last month, a federal judge dismissed a lawsuit brought against the city by a gun rights group. At an earlier hearing, he warned that guns at the world's busiest airport could pose a "serious threat to public safety and welfare." The gun group has appealed.

Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., the chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, was surprised to learn that airports have been allowing weapons for years, and warned that Congress could move to ban the practice. In a July letter to TSA, Thompson called guns in terminals "a threat to the safety of airline travelers.". . .

1) If a terrorist was to attack an airport with a gun, what could be done their that couldn't have been done at say a crowded restaurant (or as the police Lt. says a mall or a train)? Just because someone has a gun outside the security area is a very long ways from taking off in an airplane.
2) Civilians with concealed handguns stop multiple victim public shootings. In Israel, citizens are regularly reminded to take their concealed handguns with them so that they can stop attacks.
3) How many problems have occurred at the airports that allow these guns? Zero?



Blogger juandos said...

What's painfully obvious is that some of these alledged security specialist refuse to learn the lessons, the blood drenched lessons of advertising how a place is a, "gun free zone"...

Regarding Bennie Thompson, well what can one expect of a clueless liberal?

I mean consider how inane Bennie Thompson's opposition lawsuit protection was...

10/16/2008 8:44 AM  
Blogger Derek said...

John, your arguments are weak, at best.

1) TSA and airport police are not always the best at their jobs. Things can slide through security. Why chance it? Why put all the burden on outdated x-ray machines and minimum-wage high school grads to protect the skies? If the gun gets through one of these sad excuses for security, then all bets are off. (oh, and it's "there", not "their")

2) Give a civilian a gun and suddenly they're an anti-terrorist expert or an action hero? Hardly. They still have to overcome their fear of the situation, recognize what's really going on so they don't make a mistake and shoot the wrong people, and they have to think rationally instead of emotionally. That takes training far beyond what is required for a conceal/carry permit.

3) Oh, well, I guess that settles it. Because it hasn't happened yet, I guess it never will, hm?

Tell that to the families that lost loved ones on 9/11, pal.

10/16/2008 11:50 AM  
Anonymous Plubius of Baltimore said...

Every 'gun-free zone' has been a total fiasco--the best evidence being school and college campuses--unless you can screen every single human being (and even in such cases the screening may fail or those allowed to carry guns may do the killing). Obviously you won't screen everyone outside the area where you screen everyone, so a law banning legal guns outside the screen area will only (perhaps) do that--ban legal guns. Terrorists and assassins, i.e. those willing to break the highest laws, will not care about a 'gun-free zone' law. Moreover, these people will have more time to kill until someone with a gun shows up. It's not just dumb--it's a lethal idea.

10/16/2008 11:57 AM  
Anonymous Brent said...

Is PDX (Portland, OR) in the top 20? The Port of Portland threatened to arrest anybody that carried in the non-secure areas of the airport even though they would have been breaking the law since it's legal according to the law. Oregon Firearms Federation issued a press release a while back announcing that the Port had finally decided to obey the law concerning concealed carry.


10/16/2008 6:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You really don't have a clue do you? Your argument is made up of fantasy (probably from TV) and paranoia based not on facts but again probably by TV.

First of all a terrorits is not going to obey a law or sign that no guns are allowed on airport property. Second people that have concealed weapon's permits are people that have great civil records and go to great lenghts to obey the law. Something you have no clue about. Do you think one of these great citizens is just going to walk into an airport and just snap and say, "I'm going to become a terrorist right now because I have a gun"? Fantasy.

Do you also know that many police and law enforcement officers that are off duty are not allowed to carry a gun on a premesis that does not permit a concealed carry holder to carry? Yes the police have to obey by the same laws the public does when they are off duty. Maybe an off-duty cop picking up his wife at the airport could intervene if something goes down or just like you, stand there and be a victim. Wait Derek remember the police will protect you. Can you say, "Baaaaaa"?

Second no one is advocation that you give a civilan a gun and they become an action hero? TV again eh Derek? No but a lot of civilians are extremely well trained in the use of firearms. Many times better than local law enforcement. I think there's more of a chance that a citizen would stop a thug than what you suggest; that a great citizen is going to walk into an airport one day and say, "Hmm. I want to be a terrorist today".

Third what does this have to do with 9/11? Terrorists don't obey laws yet you are suggesting more laws to prevent law enforcement and great citizens from protecting themselves and possibly others from evil. Box cutters are illegal on airplanes but the terrorists brought them on board. Mmmmmm. The broke the law. For shame for shame.

Man get a clue and stop watching so much TV. It ruins the mind and makes you a sheep. Baaaaaaaa

10/17/2008 6:41 PM  

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