Executives, Passengers Share Feelings on
State Gun Law
Jeremy Jones stood near the security checkpoint at Hartsfield-Jackson and seemed to have no worries as he held his toddler son.
Jones was preparing to see his wife, Heather, leave for Charleston, S.C. The last thing a husband and father would want to worry about is guns in an airport.
On July 1, new Georgia House Bill 89 went into effect allowing Georgia residents with firearm licenses to carry concealed weapons aboard public transportation and to state parks and restaurants that serve alcohol.
“It’s a security risk to allow guns,” said Jones, a 34-year-old Atlanta resident. “Yes, it’s a one in a million chance that something could happen. But the fact is that we’re living in post-9/11, and people can freak out. This Airport should be gun-free.”
Hartsfield-Jackson Airport General Manager Ben DeCosta and Atlanta
Mayor Shirley Franklin held a news conference on July 1 at the Airport,
where they stood firm in their opposition to the law and their commitment
to keep Hartsfield-Jackson a gun-free zone. Georgia Representative
Tim Bearden (R-Villa Rica) and firearm rights organization Georgia
Carry filed a lawsuit against Hartsfield-Jackson to diminish the
Airport’s policy on enforcing a gun-free zone, but U.S. District
Court Judge Marvin Shoob upheld the policy during an August 11 hearing.
Shoob, who said “permitting concealed weapons into non-secure
areas of the world's busiest airport would make the Airport less
safe,” did not grant a preliminary injunction that could have
prevented the city from enforcing the Airport’s gun ban.
The Airport’s Office of Public Affairs spoke recently with various Airport customers and airport executives to survey their positions on the gun law.
Yvette Aehle, airport director of Albany Southwest Georgia Regional
Patti Clark, airport manager of Valdosta (Ga.) Regional
Darron Barnhill, 25-year-old U.S. serviceman from Louisville,
Maurice Bradford, 47-year-old from Atlanta:
Patrick Graham, executive director of the Savannah/Hilton
Head International Airport: