Texas governor vetos bill banning guns in parts of an airport tarmac

Texas governor vetos bill banning guns in parts of an airport tarmac
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Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) over the weekend vetoed a bill that would allow local authorities to bring charges against anyone bringing a gun into a secure area of an airport in the state, according to the Texas Tribune.

Abbott wrote Saturday that the measure would “impose an unacceptable restraint on the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding travelers.”

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Carrying a weapon in secure areas on an airport tarmac is already illegal under federal law, but state Rep. Rafael Anchia (D) said the measure was intended to extend the same jurisdiction to state officials as federal agents for such cases.

Anchia argued the measure was necessary for cases where smaller commercial airports are currently forced to wait for federal agents to arrive.

“When you’re talking about a security threat on a tarmac, with a passenger aircraft and fuel and everything like that, every second counts,” he told the newspaper.

In Abbott’s veto statement, he implied he could sign a similar bill in the future.

“By vetoing this bill, I am ensuring that Texans can travel without leaving their firearms at home,” he wrote, according to the Tribune. “I look forward to working with the next Legislature on the good idea behind this bill.”

Anchia said the bill Abbott vetoed already incorporates what the governor said are his concerns, excluding private parts of the tarmac that a gun owner could use to take a private flight.

“The fact that the governor is suggesting somehow the language picked up the nonsecure area of the terminal is really not credible,” Anchía told the Tribune.

Anchía said police at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport had directly asked for the measure, with the Houston Police Department and the Combined Law Enforcement Associations of Texas also endorsing the measure.

The bill passed the state House 140-8 and the Senate 25-6. Data from the Transportation Security Administration indicated four of the top 10 airports where the TSA found the most guns were in Texas, according to the Tribune.