Thursday, July 03, 2008

Showdown at the ATL corral

Georgia has a great new law that explicitly states that handgun carry permit holders may exercise their right to self-protection in and on public transportation. That includes the non-sterile sections of airports the last time I checked, and Georgia Rep. Tim Bearden, a former police officer who wrote the law, concurs.

Well, the good folks at Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson Airport beg to disagree, so they've decided to ignore the law and arrest anyone who shows up there carrying a legally permitted weapon.

"City officials in charge of the airport declared it a "gun free zone" when the new law took effect Tuesday."

Too bad that state law trumps city ordinances, as the hapless bureaucrats are about to find out, since gun-rights activists have just filed suit over the ban, with Rep. Bearden as the lead plaintiff. Of course, once again it's taxpayer dollars funding the defense of the city fathers' silly stance, so start the merry-go-round, here goes the waste.

I don't see what the big deal is. I've carried in the public sections of airports for years (in states where it is legal, of course, mostly in Minneapolis/St.Paul and Sky Harbor International Airports in Minnesota and Arizona, respectively). There has never been an issue over a law-abiding permit holder committing a violent crime in an airport, so I'm not sure what has Mayor Shirley Franklin in such a snit, other than the fact that she's had some power taken away from her:

"Franklin said she will lobby Congress to withhold federal funds from facilities that allow firearms on their premises."

Is it me, or did she just admit that her facility allows firearms?

In any event, she's about to get a rude awakening in just where she sits on the legislative food chain.

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