Results 1 to 22 of 22

Thread: Pittsburgh Airport Gun Ban

  1. #1
    Moderator / Administrator
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Fairfax County, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    8,711

    Post imported post

    What is the deal with the Pittsburgh Airport?

    See http://www.county.allegheny.pa.us/police/trav.asp- this gun ban is completely preempted at government run airports in PA.

    I can't believe that the County Police Superintendent is telling people that gun carry is banned at the airport and even LTCF holders can be arrested.

    Has anyone challenged this ban?

  2. #2
    Campaign Veteran
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    , Illinois, USA
    Posts
    778

    Post imported post

    Mike wrote:
    What is the deal with the Pittsburgh Airport?

    See http://www.county.allegheny.pa.us/police/trav.asp- this gun ban is completely preempted at government run airports in PA.

    I can't believe that the County Police Superintendent is telling people that gun carry is banned at the airport and even LTCF holders can be arrested.

    Has anyone challenged this ban?
    Maybe they mean in the sterile area.

  3. #3
    Campaign Veteran
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Fairfax County, VA, ,
    Posts
    689

    Post imported post

    MWAA - Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority - is the same. Heck, They have their own highway from Interstate 495 - the Capital Beltway around Washington, DC - called the Dulles Airport Road. You can not even be carrying on that road, CCW permit or not. MWAA is a public corporation that still has some Congressional oversight, unfortunately. There have been some challenges, but to my knowledge you can't be on MWAA property with a gun, unless you are flying and follow the FAA rules. OK, guys, correct me if I'm wrong.

    Bear with me, I'm on a mission...

    From PDO - Non-secure areas of airport terminals are off limits unless you are a passenger and you have your gun unloaded, in a locked container in your checked luggage, and declare the gun at the check-in counter. Violation is a high-level misdemeanor.
    MWAA Press Release - 09/04 - http://www.metwashairports.com/news_...authority_to_2
    Based on the regulation at that time, you couldn't even carry on Rt.28, the Dulles Greenwayor Rt.606. I do not know, yet, what ever came of this.

    OK, I'm about done. This link, albeit not exactly a quote from law, sums it up. http://www.ravnwood.com/archives/003682.php
    I'm going to bed...


  4. #4
    Moderator / Administrator
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Fairfax County, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    8,711

    Post imported post

    DoubleR wrote:
    MWAA - Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority - is the same. Heck, They have their own highway from Interstate 495 - the Capital Beltway around Washington, DC - called the Dulles Airport Road. You can not even be carrying on that road, CCW permit or not. MWAA is a public corporation that still has some Congressional oversight, unfortunately. There have been some challenges, but to my knowledge you can't be on MWAA property with a gun, unless you are flying and follow the FAA rules. OK, guys, correct me if I'm wrong.

    Bear with me, I'm on a mission...

    From PDO - Non-secure areas of airport terminals are off limits unless you are a passenger and you have your gun unloaded, in a locked container in your checked luggage, and declare the gun at the check-in counter. Violation is a high-level misdemeanor.
    MWAA Press Release - 09/04 - http://www.metwashairports.com/news_...authority_to_2
    Based on the regulation at that time, you couldn't even carry on Rt.28, the Dulles Greenwayor Rt.606. I do not know, yet, what ever came of this.

    OK, I'm about done. This link, albeit not exactly a quote from law, sums it up. http://www.ravnwood.com/archives/003682.php
    I'm going to bed...
    No, No, No- incorrect posting - MWAA has been put in its place - in 2004 the VA General Assembly fully preempted all airports - in the compromise to get full preemption of localities, gun carry was banned in the non-sterile areas of air passenger terminals - we are going to get this back eventually.

    Please check facts on postings before doing them - a lot of people depend on what we do.


  5. #5
    Campaign Veteran
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Fairfax County, VA, ,
    Posts
    689

    Post imported post

    Yup, you're right, Mike. The last link confirmed that. I have not, however been able to find that wording on the MWAA site. It's kind of like Open Carry in the Virginia statute - it is not prohibited. Basically, it comes down to a preemption under Virginia Law, I believe.

  6. #6
    Moderator / Administrator
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Fairfax County, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    8,711

    Post imported post

    MWAA has regs - look for reg 8.4 - almost in full complaince with VA Code - you just got to hunt and peck - basicly, their only violation is banning gun carry on the airfield & outside the terminal in a few buildings which open up onto the airfield - a Loudoun County Judge already refused to enforce MWAA regs which were preempted anyway - forget MWAA, we need to reverse the state gun ban in terminal buildings.

  7. #7
    Campaign Veteran
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Fairfax County, VA, ,
    Posts
    689

    Post imported post

    Thanks, Mike. I had read about the Loudon County judge, some time back. I agree with reference to theterminal ban, it serves no useful purpose. There's so much political & congressional residue, it needs to be cleaned up.

  8. #8
    Moderator / Administrator
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Fairfax County, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    8,711

    Post imported post

    TAKE ACTION: Here is a sample email to send to ask for the Pittsburgh Airport gun ban to be quashed:

    --------------------------------------------------------

    SUBJECT:Frivolous Allegheny County gun ban at Pittsburgh Airport

    TO: executive@county.allegheny.pa.us

    CC: council@county.allegheny.pa.us

    Dear County Executive Onorato:

    This correspondence asks you to order the AlleghenyCounty Police to cease enforcement of the invalid Pittsburgh Airport gun ban, and remove it's associated bogus Internet warning at http://www.county.allegheny.pa.us/police/trav.asp#headtop that "only authorized law enforcement personnel are permitted to carry firearms within the airport proper."

    As everyone knows, citizens can easily find themselves in situations just outside of sterile areas at airports and courthouses where they need todefend themselves or others. E.g., "Los Angeles airport shooting kills 3," CNN.com, 5 July 2002 @ http://archives.cnn.com/2002/US/07/0...rport.shooting (reporting that a private citizen was instrumental in subduing a terrorist at LAX Airport); "Tyler clash over child support ends in deaths," The Associates Press, by Bobby Ross and Liz Austin, 25 February 2005,@ http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/met....df4b4f88.html(reporting the Tyler County, Texas Sheriff ascrediting private citizen's gun fire at madman outside of a courthouse as saving a deputy's life).

    Congress and most state legislatures recognize that non-sterile areas of airports should not be allowed to become victim disarmament zones. Accordingly, neither federal nor Pennsylvania law prohibits peaceable citizen gun carry in the non-sterile areas of airports. The Pennsylvania General Assembly has furthermore, via the Uniform Firearms Act at 18 Pa.C.S. § 6120, forbidden Allegheny County from enacting any gun bans at airports or anywhere else for that matter. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court already held that the legal arguments supporting local gun control initiatives in Pennsylvania are "frivolous." Ortiz v. Commonwealth, 681 A.2d 152, 156 (Pa. 1996).

    You are aware that local gun bans enacted by Allegheny County are unenforceable, a fact also recognized by the County Council when it recently repealed the preempted County park gun ban ordinance. As you are aware that the County Airport gun ban is also therefore invalid, I urge you to do the right thing and take action to preclude any violations of civil rights and associated County liability. Please order the County Police to cease enforcement of the invalid Pittsburgh Airport gun ban, and remove its associated bogus Internet warning that "only authorized law enforcement personnel are permitted to carry firearms within the airport proper."

    I look forward to hearing from you in this matter.

    Sincerely,
    YOUR NAME
    YOUR ADDRESS

  9. #9
    Founder's Club Member - Moderator Gray Peterson's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Lynnwood, Washington, USA
    Posts
    2,238

    Post imported post

    Surprisingly enough, I was going to be going to Pittsburgh for a convention there last weekend (if you're a Pittsburgh native, you can pretty easily figure out which one it is due to the large amount of news it had there in the PGH Post Gazette and KDKA), and I took a picture of the warning on the front door.

    Believe me, I was very tempted to open carry there, however as an out of towner I would most likely be detained and that would have ruined my convention experience. You folks in PA have a much better bead on this situation more so than I do.

    I will be sending an email to the Airport Authority's Legal Counsel pointing out that they have absolutely zero authority to ban guns in the non-sterile areas of the airport.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  10. #10
    Moderator / Administrator
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Fairfax County, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    8,711

    Post imported post

    Looks like the Allegheny County Executive Dan Onorato has decided to thumb his nose at the the PA Constitution, the PA Supreme Court, and the PA General Assembly. See the response I just got today below (PA groups need to get fired up over this - it's just like the San Francisco handgun ban but on a smaller scale):

    ---------------------------------------

    July 26, 2006

    Dear Mr. Stollenwerk:



    Thank you for your email concerning the County ordinance and airport regulation regarding firearms at the Pittsburgh International Airport (PIT). As you may not know, the Pittsburgh International Airport is no longer controlled by Allegheny County. Instead, the Allegheny County Airport Authority, an entity separate and independent from the County, owns and controls the Pittsburgh International Airport.

    The County Law Department has reviewed your email and has advised us on our response. Firearms can be transported in and through PIT in checked luggage, consistent with federal law and regulations and individual airline policy. The prohibition of the carrying of a firearm other than in checked luggage within the airport terminals remains in effect and will be enforced by the Allegheny County Police and, if applicable, federal law enforcement officials.



    Sincerely,



    Megan Dardanell

    Office of the Chief Executive



  11. #11
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    , ,
    Posts
    25

    Post imported post

    According to Packing.org, the preemption statute is Section 6120(a) -- does anyone have the exact text of that statute?

  12. #12
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Cherry Tree (Indiana County), Pennsylvania, USA
    Posts
    1,155

    Post imported post

    § 6120. Limitation on the regulation of firearms and ammunition.
    (a) General rule.--No county, municipality or township may in any manner regulate the lawful ownership, possession, transfer or transportation of firearms, ammunition or ammunition components when carried or transported for purposes not prohibited by the laws of this Commonwealth.

    (a.1) No right of action.--
    1. No political subdivision may bring or maintain an action at law or in equity against any firearms or ammunition manufacturer, trade association or dealer for damages, abatement, injunctive relief or any other relief or remedy resulting from or relating to either the lawful design or manufacture of firearms or ammunition or the lawful marketing or sale of firearms or ammunition to the public.
    2. Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to prohibit a political subdivision from bringing or maintaining an action against a firearms or ammunition manufacturer or dealer for breach of contract or warranty as to firearms or ammunition purchased by the political subdivision.



    (b) Definitions.--As used in this section, the following words and phrases shall have the meanings given to them in this subsection:

    "Dealer."
    The term shall include any person engaged in the business of selling at wholesale or retail a firearm or ammunition.
    "Firearms."
    This term shall have the meaning given to it in section 5515 (relating to prohibiting of paramilitary training) but shall not include air rifles as that term is defined in section 6304 (relating to sale and use of air rifles).
    "Political subdivision."
    The term shall include any home rule charter municipality, county, city, borough, incorporated town, township or school district.

  13. #13
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Cherry Tree (Indiana County), Pennsylvania, USA
    Posts
    1,155

    Post imported post

    As Mr. Stollenwerk did, I, too, wrote to the Allegheny County Board of Supervisors, and received an identical response.

    I also wrote to the Allegheny County Airport Authority (which Allegheny County claims to have no control over, even they wrote the ordinance creating it and select its board members) and the Allegheny County Bureau of Police (which functions under contract at the airport). This was two months ago and I've yet to receive a response yet.

  14. #14
    Moderator / Administrator
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Fairfax County, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    8,711

    Post imported post

    Is somebody up in that area in a good position to sue - i.e., have business at that airport in non-sterile areas and would like to carry, openly or concealed with LTCF?

  15. #15
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Cherry Tree (Indiana County), Pennsylvania, USA
    Posts
    1,155

    Post imported post

    My Letters to the Airport People (no responses received):


    Sunday, August 6, 2006


    Charles Moffatt, Superintendent

    Allegheny County Bureau of Police

    400 North Lexington Street

    Pittsburgh, PA 15208



    Dear Superintendent Moffatt:


    Your website advice to travelers at Pittsburgh International Airport includes the following warning:


    “Be aware that only authorized law enforcement personnel are permitted to carry firearms within the airport proper. No firearm permits are honored at the airport. Personnel carrying firearms on airport property even with a permit run the risk of arrest.”[/b] [/i][Emphasis added.]


    Surely, Sir, you are aware that the Pennsylvania General Assembly has, via the Uniform Firearms Act at 18 Pa.C.S. § 6120, prohibited any political subdivision (which includes Allegheny County and its Bureau of Police) from enacting or enforcing gun bans at airports, or anywhere else for that matter. Additionally, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court has likewise held that the legal arguments supporting local gun control initiatives in Pennsylvania are "frivolous." [Ortiz v. Commonwealth, 681 A.2d 152, 156 (Pa. 1996)].


    So, Superintendent Moffatt, what lawful authority constitutes the basis for your so-called advice to travelers? It certainly is not federal law, nor is it state law. An individual possessing a License to Carry Firearms is authorized, by statute, to carry throughout the Commonwealth, with relatively few exceptions, and Title 18, Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes, contains no restrictions for Pittsburgh International Airport.


    Absent any lawful authority to the contrary, please order the County Police to cease enforcement of the invalid Pittsburgh Airport gun ban, and remove its associated bogus Internet warning that "only authorized law enforcement personnel are permitted to carry firearms within the airport proper."


    Awaiting a prompt response, I remain,


    Yours Sincerely,


    And...


    Sunday, August 6, 2006


    Kent G. George, Executive Director

    Allegheny County Airport Authority

    P.O. Box 12370

    Pittsburgh, PA 15231



    Dear Mr. George:


    The Allegheny County Bureau of Police is under contract to the Allegheny County Airport Authority to provide police services to Pittsburgh International Airport. They even have a website giving advice to travelers transiting your facility. However, included in their “advice” is the following blurb:


    “Be aware that only authorized law enforcement personnel are permitted to carry firearms within the airport proper. No firearm permits are honored at the airport. Personnel carrying firearms on airport property even with a permit run the risk of arrest.”[/b] [/i][Emphasis added.]


    As a citizen of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, I would appreciate it very much if you ordered the Allegheny County Police to cease posting and enforcing the so-called Pittsburgh Airport gun ban, and remove its associated bogus Internet warning.


    Congress and most state legislatures recognize that non-sterile areas of airports should not be allowed to become victim disarmament zones. Accordingly, neither federal law nor Pennsylvania law prohibits peaceable citizen gun carry in the non-sterile areas of airports. The Pennsylvania General Assembly has furthermore, via the Uniform Firearms Act at 18 Pa.C.S. § 6120, forbidden Allegheny County (and the Allegheny County Airport Authority, and the Allegheny County Bureau of Police) from enacting or enforcing any gun bans at airports or anywhere else for that matter. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has already held that the legal arguments supporting local gun control initiatives in Pennsylvania are "frivolous." [Ortiz v. Commonwealth, 681 A.2d 152, 156 (Pa. 1996)].


    Local gun bans are unenforceable and have no statutory authority. Since the County Airport gun ban is also therefore invalid, I urge you to do the right thing and take action to preclude any violations of civil rights and associated liability (can we say “Wrongful Arrest,” “Illegal Seizure of Property” and “Official Oppression [18 Pa.C.S. § 5301]”?).


    Absent any lawful authority to the contrary, please order the County Police to cease enforcement of the invalid Pittsburgh Airport gun ban, and remove its associated bogus Internet warning.


    I look forward to hearing from you in this matter.


    Sincerely,




  16. #16
    Moderator / Administrator
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Fairfax County, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    8,711

    Post imported post

    Keep up the emails and letters to the County and airport officials who are acting like thugs by telling citizens that they will enforce a clearly preempted law. Keep the heat on - the more letters they receive, and the more times they take contrary positions to state law, the harder it will be to defend their actions in court!

  17. #17
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Upper St Clair, Pennsylvania, USA
    Posts
    33

    Post imported post

    Is anyone thinking of OC'ing to the PGH Airport? I'm just wondering if it's clear that the airport ban would be found to be illegal once it garnered a real arrest.

  18. #18
    Moderator / Administrator
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Fairfax County, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    8,711

    Post imported post

    Generally, many or most legal experts appear to believe that it's best to challenge invalid laws in court, rather than going out of your way to violate a criminal ordiance and hoping for the best. It'snot just the risk of successful prosecution - what if they drop or nolle pross the charges? Then adjudication is problematic.

    But the invalid Alleghenny ordiance is clearly preempted - a clean cut case as we have seen from the nebulous response from the County Executive - he cites no authority for the ban udner than the ordiance!If someone were to have a legitamate & reasonable reason to visit the Pittsburgh airport, and happenned to open carry that day, then all the more power to you.

    One option where you would be provided no notice by way of sign that you are breaking any rule -fly into the airport, pick up you gun at baggage return, go into the bathroom and holster up Israeli carry to avoid chambering a round and alarming anyone unnecessarily, and peacefullyopen carry thru the non-sterile areas of the airport grabbing a latte on the way at Star-Bucks while open carrying, and stopping by the rental car desk to get the key to your rental car.

    I think that the reality is that all the County police officers will do, if anyting,is ask or order you to leave. That's what one officer told me on the phone - he kept talling me (somthing very close to)"Sir, I know what you are saying about preemption, I am a member of the NRA myself, but I am telling you our policy is to (usually) tell you to secure your gun in your car."

    At which time, you can nicely say, "OK officer, I'm trying to get the keys to my rental car right now and I will leave your airport as soon as I can to go see an attorney to discussthis matter before I return to the airport."

    But if you wereharassed by being asked to ordered to leave, then that would then provide a good reason to file a lawsuit in County court asking that the ordiance be struck down to avoid future intimidation of your right to travel and assemble at the airport.

    Alternatively, you might be issued a county citation and have to fight it in court (be prepared). Presumably, the court at some will strike down the charge if pressed.

    Here are the applicable County Code sections:

    ------------------------

    § 705-39. Weapons and firearms. A. No person, except law enforcement officers, post office and custom officials, or members of the Armed Forces of the United States on active duty, shall carry any weapon, firearm, explosive or inflammable material on the airport premises except by specific direction of the Director, the Superintendent of Police or their designees.
    B. No person shall transport any weapon or firearm except when it is properly enclosed for shipment and is not in the person's manual possession.
    C. No person shall discharge any weapon or firearm at the airport except in the performance of official duties requiring the discharge thereof.

    § 705-86. Violations and penalties. A. Any person who violates any of the regulations of this article shall be subjected to one or both of the following penalties: upon conviction of the summary proceeding, violators shall: (1) Undergo imprisonment in the County jail for not more than 30 days; and/or
    (2) Be sentenced to pay a fine, to be paid to the use of the County with costs of prosecutions, not less than $25 nor to exceed $100 for each conviction thereof.

    B. The Board of County Commissioners may also prescribe fines and penalties, not to exceed $500 for the violation of County ordinances, which fines and penalties may be collected by suit brought in the name of the County in like manner as debts of like amount may be used for.
    C. Each of the sections contained in this article shall constitute a separate offense subject to the penalties outlined in Subsections A and B of this section.




  19. #19
    Moderator / Administrator
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Fairfax County, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    8,711

    Post imported post

    Any new reports about airport harassment of gun owners at the Pittsburgh Airport?

    Are there any new OCDO members in the Pittsburgh/Allegheny County area who want to band together to file an action to have the Allegheny County Airport gun ban declared preempted?

  20. #20
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA
    Posts
    18

    Post imported post

    I hear someone has been arrested there recently.

    Im sure we will all learn more in due time

  21. #21
    Moderator / Administrator
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Fairfax County, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    8,711

    Post imported post

    Shawn.L wrote:
    I hear someone has been arrested there recently.

    Im sure we will all learn more in due time
    Hopefully he/she pays the money to get a good lawyer and ensure this matter comes out correctly and we goet enough publicity on it to make sure enforcement does not happen again - BTW, we really need to get this declared invalid - anybody live near the airport and want to take this on? Will probabkly take at least $5K in atty fees.

  22. #22
    Banned
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    , ,
    Posts
    303

    Post imported post

    Odd. I open carried there last fall when I stopped in to go bug some former coworkers (I used to work for one of the car rental agencies there when I first started going to college in Pittsburgh) and was even in by the car rental counters without issue, had some TSA agents go by without a second glance, etc.

    Actually, it might have been spring, I can't remember. It wasn't too long ago, and the weather was decent.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •