Rep calls for airport anti-gun enforcement

July 22, 2008 at 1:09 PM
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ATLANTA, July 22 (UPI) -- A U.S. congressman is calling for beefed-up security at Atlanta's international airport after Georgia state legislators relaxed gun restrictions.

A recently passed state law allows Georgia residents to legally carry concealed handguns, and that has prompted U.S. Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives Homeland Security Committee, to call on the Transportation Security Administration to strictly enforce federal laws restricting guns at the airport, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported Tuesday.

"It is my belief that federal law prohibits individuals from carrying firearms in all areas of an airport and that TSA has the authority to enforce these restrictions," Thompson wrote.

Gun rights advocates say the new law allows residents to take guns into outer, non-secure areas of airport terminals.

The newspaper said Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin has promised to lobby Congress to require that any public facility receiving federal funding be declared a "gun-free zone."

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