By Ramsey Cox
Rep. Hank Johnson (D-Ga.) introduced a bill Friday that would prohibit most people from carrying a gun into any U.S. airport.
H.R. 3484, the Airport Security Act would prohibit people other than local law enforcement and Homeland Security employees from carrying guns in airports and outside in pickup and dropoff areas.
A recent shooting at Los Angeles International Airport prompted Johnson to introduce the bill. Paul Ciancia allegedly wounded several people and killed one TSA officer earlier this month.
“We live in a post-911 world where terrorists continue to look at planes and airports as prime targets,” Johnson said Friday. “And with the recent shooting death of a TSA official at LAX, it defies logic that we would allow anyone other than law enforcement officials to carry a loaded gun within an airport? This bill is simply common sense.”
Pro-gun rights groups instead suggested that Transportation Security Administration agents should be allowed to carry guns.
Some states and localities allow guns to be carried in public places. But if passed and signed into law, Johnson’s bill would expand the Department of Homeland Security’s jurisdiction to include non-secure areas of airports and would supersede local laws allowing weapons in airports.
Reps. André Carson (Ind.), John Conyers Jr. (Mich.), Keith Ellison (Minn.), Alan Grayson (Fla.), Sheila Jackson Lee (Texas), John Lewis (Ga.) and David Scott (Ga.) are co-sponsoring the bill.