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19 May 2010

Johnson Introduces Airport Guns Bill & His GOP Opponent Quickly Denounces It

Call it a case of jumping the gun.

4th district Congressman Hank Johnson introduced a bill Tuesday that would "prohibit certain individuals from possessing a firearm in an airport." Johnson's bill, the Airport Security Act of 2010, is designed to render irrelevant a recently passed piece of legislation by the Georgia General Assembly that allows "gun-permit holders carry weapons in non-secure areas of Georgia airports and also allow them to have guns in their vehicles at curbside pick-up and drop-off locations." [Keefe, Bob (2010-5-18). Ga. congressman seeks to head off guns at Hartsfield-Jackson. Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved on 2010-5-19.]

Funny thing is, Gov. Perdue hasn't signed the bill into law yet and he hasn't indicated whether he will either.

Nontheless, here's what Congressman Johnson said after introducing H.R.5321:

"We live in a post-911 world where terrorists continue to look at planes and airports as prime targets. It defies logic that we would we allow anyone other than law enforcement officials to carry a loaded gun within an airport? This bill is simply common sense."

That prompted Republican Liz Carter, a candidate who hopes to unseat Johnson this November, to issue this statement:

"The tragic events of Sept. 11 where not the acts of gunmen taking hostages and hijacking airplanes with the use of firearms," Carter said. "Using 9/11 as a justification shows a lack of memory and reason. Those terrorists used box cutters. It is an exercise of disrespectful disinformation to paint the citizens of Georgia as potential terrorists. National studies show that criminal behavior of virtually any measurable type diminishes where gun permits flourish.

"Hank Johnson has consistently shown himself weak in supporting our Constitutionally guaranteed Second and Tenth Amendment rights," she added. "Now he has genuinely gone on the offensive to attack our rights and make criminal our freedom to defend ourselves from crime. There is no justifiable reason for right-thinking people to support Johnson’s damning legislative agenda."

All this hippity-hoopla over a piece of legislation that isn't even law yet. The Governor may veto the bill. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that Gov. Perdue has until June 8th to take action on the gun bills passed by the state legislature. And Perdue spokesman Bert Brantley rightly notes, "It won't be a law until the governor makes a decision. Until he has a chance to do that, any talk of overturning Georgia laws certainly is very premature."

So Congressman Johnson, Liz Carter, just chill for a second.