Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) introduced a bill Thursday that would make it illegal for people to carry firearms into commercial airports throughout the country.
The measure would prohibit people from carrying guns into areas outside of the screening checkpoints at airports, including the airport lobby, baggage claim area and ticket counters. It would not alter laws that allow licensed gun carriers to check unloaded guns in a locked case in their baggage.
“In the post-9/11 world, it simply defies common sense that it would be legal to carry a gun into an airport,” Lautenberg said in a statement. “Our airports face threats every day and allowing someone to walk into a major airport with a loaded gun is a recipe for disaster.”
Law enforcement and security personnel, as well as active duty members of the military, would all be exempt from the law if passed.
Lautenberg’s bill closely follows the recently thwarted attempted terrorist attack in New York City, in which the suspect, Faisal Shahzad, is believed to have driven to the John F. Kennedy airport with a handgun in his vehicle, which he parked at the airport after the failed attack.
Lautenberg’s office pointed out that the New Jersey senator’s move comes as the state of Georgia is poised to enact a law that would allow people to carry loaded guns into the surrounding areas outside of the state’s airport screening facilities.