Guns in Airports: Laying the Groundwork

CBS News is surprised to find that in most states, it’s legal to carry a firearm in the non-sterile areas of most of our nation’s 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.

It’s not a security loophole.  The magnetometers and X-ray machines at the security checkpoint are the only way to actually make sure someone isn’t armed.  You can make a rule that says you can’t, but guess what?  The only people who are going to obey it are people like me who have a license to carry.  The terrorists are going to do what terrorists do.  The only way to make the entire airport truly sterile is to screen anyone coming in or out.

It’s pretty clear what the media is doing here: raising awareness of the issue, so that under an Obama administration, which they are doing everything in their power to elect, this can be one of the many subtle ways to stick it to gun owners.  Remember that Obama has supported a nationwide ban on concealed carry, whether you have a license to do so or not.  This would be a no brainer for him.

5 thoughts on “Guns in Airports: Laying the Groundwork”

  1. Well, this all assumes that you already have a concealed carry permit in places like Los Angeles and San Francisco… which is basically impossible, barring the “rich-and-famous” types.

    That said, trying to make the entire airport a security area is just bleeding retarded, end of story.

  2. They already CAN make the entire airport a “secure area” if the Terror Threat Level is suddenly raised to “RED” while you’re there, invalidating your state permit for the duration of the RED status alert.

    It’s thus very dicey to concealed carry to an airport just to pick someone up or drop somebody off. You have to pay attention to the airport signage, because you may end up having to quietly put your carry gun in the trunk to avoid breaking the law.

    Probably no one would notice, if you’re concealing properly anyway, and in the event of an actual terrorist attack, as someone carrying concealed you could potentially make a concrete difference in stopping the bad guys, so maybe a little civil disobedience would be in order, but that’s up to the individual to decide for himself/herself. Real Terrorists don’t only attack on cue when the “Threat Level” alerts get issued, after all.

    I wonder what Israeli policy is regarding concealed carry and airports….probably a lot less ambiguous.

  3. JJR:

    Where’s the statutory authority found in federal law to do that? I’m not doubting you, I just wasn’t able to find it.

  4. This is my favorite part of the article:

    “Some suggest that allowing guns in terminals is practically asking for them to be smuggled aboard a plane.”

    That’s true, of course. Because they allow me to legally carry a gun into the terminal (also legal in Denver, BTW, though I am sure the Denver PD will make your life miserable for as long as they can if they notice) I can’t tell you how much that makes me … well, there’s really no effect.

    Odd logic, that: If you let people carry outside the airport, they won’t be tempted to carry into the airport anyway … but man, let them in sight of the security lines and WATCH OUT! That’s where people go nuts!

  5. I have gone to the airport a lot of times to pick my wife or friends up. The law reads it is legal in an unsecured area outside the metal detectors. As long as it reads this way I will “carry” in an airport to wait on someone.

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