On Saturday, a passenger unintentionally discharged a firearm at a T.S.A. checkpoint at the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, causing a widespread panic within the airport which injured three. The passenger had been previously convicted of a felony; there has been no reporting to date as to how the passenger accessed a firearm. In 2014, Georgia Governor Nathan Deal signed a ‘guns everywhere’ bill into law which broadly expanded where guns were allowed, including into bars and at airports in areas “outside the screening checkpoint and that are normally open to unscreened passengers or visitors to the airport.”
“This shooting – and the flood of firearms being recovered at airports across the country – is the natural result of the NRA’s ‘guns everywhere’ agenda,” said Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action. “This is the America the gun lobby wants, where anyone can have guns anywhere with no questions asked, including at airports, government buildings and even in bars. But if guns everywhere made us safer, we’d be the safest country in the world – instead, thanks to NRA-backed lawmakers, we have to fear gun violence wherever we go.”
According to the New York Times, “T.S.A. officers in Georgia have so far this year recovered more than 450 firearms at security checkpoints at the airport in Atlanta.” Of the 10 airports with the most gun confiscations by T.S.A., a majority are in states with lax gun laws. In an average year, more than 1,600 people die by guns in Georgia, and nearly 4,500 are wounded by guns – giving Georgia the 6th-highest rate of gun injuries in the US. Despite this, Georgia lawmakers have failed to enact common-sense gun safety laws, or repeal dangerous policies like ‘guns everywhere’ and ‘Stand Your Ground.’
The question everyone should be asking the NRA and its lawmaker allies: do you support allowing guns on airplanes?