Apparently Frank Lautenberg doesn’t appreciate the recent happenings in Georgia in terms of airport carry.
Lautenberg’s Firearm-Free Airports Act calls for banning individuals from carrying firearms into U.S. commercial airports. “In the post-9/11 world, it simply defies common sense that it would be legal to carry a gun into an airport,” Lautenberg says.
Lautenberg’s measure would make an exception for law enforcement, security personnel and military personnel on active duty. Passengers would still be allowed to check unloaded firearms in a locked case in their luggage.
The bill is S.3366 and needless to say is entirely unacceptable. It would essentially create a ten year federal felony for carrying in a building in any airport or on any airfield. It’s hard to see how this wouldn’t affect private pilots, who currently have no restrictions on transportation or carry in their own planes because they typically don’t move through a sterile area before boarding their aircraft, and aren’t subject to security screening under FAA regulations.
But for General Aviation, this isn’t just about carry. This would ban private pilots from transporting firearms in their own planes at all, unless they fly out of an unregulated airport, because they do not fall under a proper exemption. So basically, if you had a buddy up in Alaska who has his own plane (not uncommon for Alaskans), it would be unlawful for him to fly you out to his place for a hunting trip, because there’s no way you or he can legally possess a firearm once you’re no longer part of a commercial flight. Anyone who did this and got caught would be facing a ten year federal felony.
Lautenberg is a snake when it comes to this stuff. It’s amazing how just about every piece of gun control legislation he introduces makes it easy to commit and accidental felony. That’s probably the idea, really.
UPDATE: Looking at federal definitions for airfield, this bans having a firearm at any airfield. Since and airfield that does not run commercial flights can’t check your firearm according to federal regulations, all firearms in these facilities would be made unlawful, so no transporting firearms in General Aviation at all.
UPDATE: I’d also note that it doesn’t make clear you’d be covered if you were leaving the airport with a firearm in checked luggage. Presumably it would, but how fast do you have to get out of the airport? What if you stop in the bathroom?