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Thread: Firearm carry prohibited in airport secure area / What constitutes the "secure area"?

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    Regular Member HighFlyingA380's Avatar
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    Firearm carry prohibited in airport secure area / What constitutes the "secure area"?

    According to Missouri's statute RSMO 571.107.1(8): "[carry of firearms is not allowed in] Any area of an airport to which access is controlled by the inspection of persons and property..." I'm sure this holds true for every state, as the restriction is obviously regulated at a federal level, with the TSA. My question is what exactly constitutes the "secure area"? Is there a federal publication on this? I know from inside the airport, it is once you pass the TSA checkpoint. I also know from working at airports and being a pilot that at larger airports, the secure area is anywhere within the airports fencing. The reason I ask is, as a pilot flying private and corporate aircraft (where the FFDO program is not applicable), can I legally have a firearm on myself when I fly in? I know it's legal at many of the smaller, uncertified Class E and G airports, but what about larger certified Class B, C, and D airports? Hopefully there are some other pilots on here that can shed some light, or someone who can steer me in the right direction to find some more info. Thanks for your help!

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    Regular Member sudden valley gunner's Avatar
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    In any airport I have been to here in WAshington, well the two airports I have been in I have carried everywhere but past TSA checkpoints.

    Was asked what department I was from once, I laughed and said I am no cop.

    Was followed by border patrol around my local airport once, they eventually stopped when I decided to grab a coffee and sit down point my phone at them and prepared to record them.
    I am not anti Cop I am just pro Citizen.

    U.S. v. Minker, 350 US 179, at page 187
    "Because of what appears to be a lawful command on the surface, many citizens, because
    of their respect for what only appears to be a law, are cunningly coerced into waiving their
    rights, due to ignorance." (Paraphrased)

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    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    Any area of an airport to which access is controlled by the inspection of persons and property...
    This does not seem to encompass everything inside the airport fence, as there are no manned gates where you are stopped and inspected to determine if you may enter the airport property.

    Saying that everything inside the fence is the "secure area" is the same sort of BS thinking that is behind saying banks are federal buildings because they are insured by FDIC.

    I have no actual citations, but folks I know who are involved in general aviation have, ever since TSA was created, been carrying on the airport property including the taxiway and runway, as well as flying interstate, without any hassles. No TSA to "inspect person or property" does seem to equal "not a secure area."*

    stay safe.

    *
    A caveat: most folks cannot pass from the commercial aviation area to general aviation without breaching the secure area. Those doors are locked for a reason (although I do not know what it is). Entrance to the commercial aviation is usually via a different part of the airport complex anyhow.
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    It Depends

    USC 1542.103 Describes what is required of an airport to be in compliance with the Sterile Area rules.

    The pertinant area to this question requires that the approved security program include a map of the sterile area and a description of the signs used to denote the sterile area.

    So as usual with legal issues, it depends. The sterile area is the area defined in the airport security plan and filed with the DOT and TSA. That means that any area could be considered sterile area if the airport manager decided they wanted to do it that way.

    However, since the sterile area is also required to have access control on all entrances and exits, it is highly unlikely that any airport would want to have the fenceline be the boundary of the sterile area since that would require every building with ramp access to have security screening.

    At Class G, E, D and C airports this generally means that only the Part 121 terminal and movement area of their ramp is considered the sterile area and must be marked as such even on the air-side.

    Edit to add
    I do not know if there is a general rule that is applicable at a Class B airport. Of course the state laws applicable to carrying on airport property control whether you are still allowed to carry outside the sterile area.

    Matt
    Last edited by mpess; 04-10-2012 at 02:04 PM.

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    Additional info on carrying on a Part 121 or 135 operator's aircraft. This is aimed at passengers, but is still relevent for pilots.

    http://www.aerolegalservices.com/Art...Aircraft.shtml

    Matt

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    Regular Member HighFlyingA380's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skidmark View Post
    Saying that everything inside the fence is the "secure area" is the same sort of BS thinking that is behind saying banks are federal buildings because they are insured by FDIC.
    It is not B.S. thinking, and I do not think banks are federal buildings. I brought that up because the FAA and the wording of the law both use "secure area" to mean different things. That's why I was trying to find a distinction. BTW, if you don't think inside the fence is a secure area, go jump it at JFK, see how quick you'll get arrested.

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    Wouldn't want to be armed at an aiport anyway, those places are safe :P I know thats not the issue here though.

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    Regular Member HighFlyingA380's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tnedward View Post
    Wouldn't want to be armed at an aiport anyway, those places are safe :P I know thats not the issue here though.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Regular Member lysander6's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tnedward View Post
    Wouldn't want to be armed at an aiport anyway, those places are safe :P I know thats not the issue here though.
    OMG, where is the logic here? MAJ Hassan was able to kill and injure the numbers he did at Fort Hood because the hoplophobic policies of the base dictated that only "the thin black and blue line" were competent and trustworthy enough to carry firearms and not soldiers.

    It is like the UK where the arms policies of the ruling wankers there have made the criminal's workplace hazard free as they disarm the law abiding and incentivize the criminal.
    Gun Control is Mind Control.

    My Blog: http://zerogov.com/

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    Regular Member Eeyore's Avatar
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    Guys, I think you missed the sarcasm indicator (":P") in tnedward's post.

    Although I do like the graphic that HighFlyingFrenchAirWhale provided ;-)
    Guns don't kill people. Drivers on cell phones do.

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