More on the Atlanta Airport Confrontation
From Georgia Carry:
Dear GCO Member,
We cannot possibly update you on all of the news stories out there today. The City of Atlanta is taking the position that the public gathering law, which was amended to state that a licensed carrier "shall be permitted to carry such firearm" in mass transit, and referring to definitions sections that include government owned airports, in fact prohibits carrying in the airport as a violation of the public gathering law, which was amended to state that a licensed carrier "shall be permitted to carry such firearm" in mass transit, and referring to definitions sections that include government owned airports, in fact prohibits carrying in the airport as a violation of the public gathering law, which was amended to state that a licensed carrier "shall be permitted to carry such firearm" in mass transit . . .
It starts to sound a little circular, doesn't it?
Rep. Bearden, after consulting with his family, chose not to go to jail today.
GCO filed a federal lawsuit in the morning naming Mayor Shirley Franklin and Ben DeCosta and personally served them both at the press conference!
Rep. Bearden was on the Neal Boortz show on AM 750 this morning, and on CNN later.
GCO Press Release (Tuesday Morning)
GeorgiaCarry.org Files Lawsuit Against Atlanta Mayor and Airport Manager
Lawsuit names entities and individuals for threat of wrongful arrest on day that new firearms law takes effect.
Atlanta, July 1, 2008: GeorgiaCarry.org (GCO) again filed suit against the City of Atlanta and Mayor Shirley Franklin, but this time have added Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (Hartsfield-Jackson) and airport manager Ben DeCosta as well. This lawsuit comes as a result of statements made from both Mayor Franklin and Mr. DeCosta the night before Georgia’s new firearms law HB 89 took effect. The Mayor and Mr. DeCosta have unlawfully declared Hartsfield-Jackson a “gun free” zone although public transportation, including airport terminal areas not governed by Federal law (secure areas) are no longer off limits to persons in possession of a valid Georgia Firearms License (GFL).
The author of the bill, Georgia House of Representatives member Tim Bearden (R-68) was contacted for comment yesterday after the media was made aware of the declaration by Mayor Franklin and Mr. DeCosta. Rep. Bearden stated that he would be at the airport picking up some family members who were arriving on July 1st and further stated that he would be armed lawfully while doing so. Mr. DeCosta addressed Rep. Bearden’s remarks by stating, “I can identify [Rep. Bearden], and I’ll have him arrested.”
Under Georgia State law, cities and municipalities are preempted from passing ordinances which address the possession and carry of firearms. This lawsuit comes shortly after GCO won a similar lawsuit against the City of Atlanta for its ban on carrying firearms in city parks. GCO Counsel and Vice President John Monroe added, “It is amazing to me that the City of Atlanta continues to defy state law and declares itself to be contemptuous of the rule of law we have established in this country and in this state. I will see Mayor Franklin at the eggs and injunctions breakfast.”
GeorgiaCarry.org (GCO) is a non-partisan, non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation and improvement of Georgia’s right to keep and bear arms. GCO’s mission is carried out through selected litigation, grassroots legislative efforts, and active participation with elected officials at all levels throughout Georgia.
WSB TV - Gun Showdown Fizzles
You can almost hear the reporters' disappointment. WSB TV was not alone. A reporter asked GCO Treasurer Mike Menkus whether he was carrying a firearm to the press conference, and, when he insisted that he was not, the reporter accused him of cowardice and failing to live up to his principles. They really wanted a shot of somebody being handcuffed. I really think the news has been shocked at the self control exercised by GCO members.
Anyway, here is WSB TV's article, and there is a video available at the link:
ATLANTA -- An expected showdown over guns at Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport fizzled out Tuesday when a state lawmaker backed off his vow to carry a gun into the airport terminal.
Representative Tim Bearden, a Republican from Villa Rica and a former police officer, had said that he would carry a concealed weapon to the airport Tuesday when he picked up his family.
But he told The Associated Press by telephone Tuesday morning, "There will be no reason for any confrontation at the airport."
A new state law sponsored by Bearden went into effect Tuesday and allows licensed gun owners to carry their firearms into a variety of public places, such as parks, restaurants and public transit.
Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin and airport manager Ben DeCosta have said the law doesn't apply to the airport. DeCosta promised to have Bearden arrested if he showed up at the airport with a gun.
"I am personally troubled that anybody thinks it could be safe to have a gun in our airport," said Franklin.
A gun rights group called Georgia Carry filed a federal lawsuit Tuesday against Atlanta, Mayor Franklin and DeCosta, challenging the city's move to declare the airport a gun-free zone.
Fox 5 News - GA. Lawmaker wants Guns at Hartsfield
No, he already authored a law that expressly permits guns at Hartsfield, he just wants Atlanta to follow the law. There is a really good shot at one of our Guns Saves Lives buttons. Again, a video is available at the link.
Ga. Lawmaker Wants Guns Allowed at Hartsfield-Jackson Airport
Last Edited: Tuesday, 01 Jul 2008, 1:56 PM EDT
Created: Tuesday, 01 Jul 2008, 10:46 AM EDT
The nation's busiest airport dueled with gun rights advocates Tuesday, July 1, over whether a new Georgia state law allows visitors to carry firearms at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. SideBar
ATLANTA (MyFOX Atlanta) -- The nation's busiest airport dueled with gun rights advocates Tuesday over whether a new Georgia state law allows visitors to carry firearms at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.
City officials in charge of the airport declared it a "gun-free zone" when a law allowing people to carry guns on public transit and other places took effect Tuesday. Gun rights supporters, including a state legislator who helped pass the law, quickly filed a lawsuit in federal court challenging the designation.
"My message is simple: Leave your firearms at home," airport general manager Ben DeCosta told reporters at a news conference.
Atlanta officials said anyone carrying a gun at the airport could be arrested and charged with a misdemeanor.
The new state law allows people with a concealed weapons permit to carry guns into restaurants, state parks and on public transportation.
John Monroe, an attorney for the gun rights backers who filed the lawsuit, argued the Atlanta airport qualifies as public transportation. There are also restaurants in the terminal, which Monroe said should be accessible to gun-toting visitors under the new law.
Rep. Tim Bearden, a Republican from Villa Rica and a former police officer, is a plaintiff in the lawsuit. Bearden sponsored the state law.
The gun group argues that weapons should be allowed in the terminal up to the point where passengers pass through security to board their flights. The parking lot is off limits under the state law, but it allows travelers to carry a gun on MARTA trains and buses, which run directly to the airport.
Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin said citizens can't bring guns into the terminal and argued that airports remain attractive targets for terrorism.
Allowing citizens to carry firearms "would create an environment that would endanger millions of people," she said.
Franklin said she will lobby Congress to withhold federal funds from facilities that allow firearms on their premises.
She is going to lobby Congress?
Updated article from the abominable Atlanta Journal-Constitution:
UPDATED: 5:51 p.m. July 01, 2008
Airport gun showdown moves to courts
Lawmaker won't bring weapon today; will rely on court case to challenge ban
By JIM THARPE
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Published on: 07/01/08
Guns were the issue. But words and federal lawsuits became the weapons of choice Tuesday as Atlanta officials declared Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport a "gun-free zone," and gun advocates immediately retaliated by suing them.
The fight about a new state law — one that permits licensed gun owners to carry concealed weapons in more public places — began at Atlanta's city-run airport, the world's busiest with 89 million passengers a year.
But city officials say they think it could eventually have a nationwide impact.
"This is a matter of national significance," Mayor Shirley Franklin told reporters at a news conference. Permitting guns inside an airport, even weapons carried by permit holders, would create an unsafe environment that "would endanger millions of people," the mayor said.
Franklin vowed Tuesday to lobby Congress and federal officials to mandate that any public facility receiving federal money be declared a "gun-free zone." That would affect airports nationwide.
Franklin's comments followed a vow by city officials to arrest anyone carrying a gun at Hartsfield-Jackson. The city drew a line in the sand on the very same day a new state law easing gun restrictions in public places took effect.
The new law allows licensed gun owners who pass background checks to carry concealed weapons on public transportation, in parks and recreation areas and in restaurants that serve alcohol — all areas that were previously off-limits.
Gun advocates say the new law means people with the proper permits could carry concealed weapons in the non-secure areas in front of the security gates. Federal law prohibits guns beyond the security gates, and both sides agree that guns should be banned there.
"This is about the city of Atlanta once again trying to hold itself above state law," said John Monroe, an attorney for the gun rights group GeorgiaCarry.org. Monroe and about half a dozen members of his group attended the morning news conference, some wearing large orange buttons that read: "Guns Save Lives"...
More as the story develops.
And by the way, am I the only one wondering why Mayor Franklin:
is so adamant about trying to enforce gun laws originally enacted to disarm and render black Georgians defenseless against racist attacks?
Sic semper tyrannis.