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Thread: New gun law sets stage for airport showdown, AJC.com

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    http://www.ajc.com/fayette/content/b..._showdown.html

    You could call it the Atlanta version of "High Noon."

    Top city officials will announce Tuesday that despite a new state gun law that went into effect at midnight, they will have anyone carrying a weapon at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport arrested. The state lawmaker who sponsored the new gun law says if they do, the city will immediately be sued. And state Rep. Tim Bearden (R-Villa Rica) said the plaintiff in the lawsuit could be himself.

    "I have a permit, and I have family I have to pick up at the airport tomorrow [Tuesday]," Bearden told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Monday. "I'll have one [a concealed weapon] with me at all times."

    Airport General Manager Ben DeCosta said if Bearden shows up at the world's busiest airport with a gun, he'll be busted.

    "I can identify him, and I'll have him arrested," DeCosta said Monday. "We're not fooling around. This is a post-terrorism environment."[My emphasis]

    The new law, which Bearden sponsored, permits licensed gun owners to carry concealed firearms in parks, on public transportation and in restaurants that serve liquor. The law takes effect Tuesday.

    Firearms proponents hailed the law as a victory for the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. They say law-abiding citizens with the appropriate permits should be allowed to carry firearms in formerly forbidden areas for self-protection.
    Before the new law was passed, Georgia law banned guns from venues like public transportation and restaurants serving alcohol. More than 40 other states permit guns on public transportation, Bearden said, and 37 allow permit holders to carry weapons into restaurants.

    "I was in law enforcement for 15 years," Bearden said as the bill awaited the governor's signature two months ago. "I never rode up on a shooting in progress. I don't like the idea of the police telling you, 'Get mugged, get raped, get murdered. We'll come by, take the report, or send flowers.' That's the wrong message."

    Opponents, however, blasted the proposal, saying it has the potential to spark more violence than it stops. DeCosta wrote to Gov. Sonny Perdue asking him to veto the bill, and Mayor Shirley Franklin and MARTA officials publicly lambasted the idea. MARTA bus drivers gathered more than 1,000 signatures on petitions demanding bulletproof shields.

    Federal law already bans guns past the security checkpoints at U.S. airports. The new state law, however, apparently would permit guns to be carried on the non-secure side of Hartsfield-Jackson by people who have gone through a background check and have been certified to carry a weapon. Licensed gun owners would be permitted to carry weapons on public transportation coming into the airport, its lobby and in restaurants outside the security checkpoints.

    DeCosta said he will use the first day the new law takes effect to declare Hartsfield-Jackson a "gun-free" zone.

    "We're going to make it clear that the law does not make any allowance for guns at the airport," DeCosta said. "Guns are not appropriate for any airport in Georgia."
    He and Franklin plan a 10 a.m. news conference to discuss the new gun law.
    Bearden said the new law clearly permits guns in some areas of the airport.

    "They are not appropriate once you go past security," he said. "But in parking lots or restaurants or public transportation, they are OK."

    The state lawmaker said the city does not have the authority to defy a state law, and if they make arrests they will end up in court.

    DeCosta said city officials will not back down from their position on the new law and again vowed to have Bearden or anyone else carrying a gun on airport property arrested.

    "He can then have all the NRA [National Rifle Association] lawyers say why it's OK for him to bring a gun to the airport," DeCosta said.

    MARTA, meanwhile, released a statement late Monday noting that state law prohibits firearms on public transit unless the carrier has a valid license to carry a gun.

    "This license must be carried at any time that an individual is carrying a firearm on MARTA," the statement said.



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    DeCosta is a perfect example of the power-mad, above-the-law government official that the 2A was designed to protect us from.

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    I can't wait to see this in the headlines today.

    DeCosta better get his checkbook ready !

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    This is actually really good for gun owners. State legislators will be upset that their clear language is violated by a political sub division. When the state rep is falsely arrested there will be an opportunity to put a penaltymechanism (teeth) into the law.
    He wore his gun outside his pants for all the honest world to see. Pancho & Lefty

    The millions of people, armed in the holy cause of liberty, and in such a country as that which we possess, are invincible by any force which our enemy can send against us....There is no retreat but in submission and slavery! ...The war is inevitable–and let it come! I repeat it, Sir, let it come …………. PATRICK HENRY speech 1776

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    This "polarization" caused by the SCOTUS ruling will finally weed out those mad with authority, the power hungry, the hypocrites and the the socialists; true enemies of America - the true terrorists who spit on liberty like Mayor Shirley Franklin and this DeCosta clown.

    Franklin and DeCosta and theirilk arethe kind of peoplethat would take up arms with the enemy and fire on Americans and need to be called what they areTories.

    They need to immediately fix this by the first, or we'll fix it by the second.....




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    BIO on DeCosta

    DeCosta

    Benjamin R. DeCosta assumed leadership of Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport as Department of Aviation general manager for the city of Atlanta in June 1998. Among his top priorities at the world’s busiest airport are customer service and security. DeCosta and his team are committed to ensuring that passenger experiences at the principal air carrier airport in the southern United States are among the best in the world. In fact, the Airport’s mission statement is “to be the world’s best airport by exceeding customer expectations.”

    DeCosta is in charge of Hartsfield-Jackson’s $6 billion-plus Capital Improvement Program. The major components of the program are: a fifth runway, the Maynard Holbrook Jackson International Terminal, a consolidated rental car complex, upgrades to the existing central passenger terminal complex, and a proposed south gate complex.

    In May 2007, DeCosta and his team celebrated the first anniversary of the new fifth runway, Runway 10-28, which is the centerpiece of the CIP. This runway, labeled the “Most Important Runway in America,” has contributed to a significant decrease in delays at Hartsfield-Jackson and saves the airlines operating at the facility millions of dollars each week.

    Under DeCosta’s leadership, the Airport remains Georgia’s economic crown jewel, employing more than 56,000 employees and producing a total financial impact of $44 billion for the state of Georgia. And, according to a 2005 Economic Impact Study, the facility increased flight operations by nearly 100,000 to more than 980,000 flights.

    Recognized nationally as a leader in aviation, DeCosta serves on the board of directors for the American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE), the largest professional organization for airport executives in the world, and Airports Council International, one of the world’s largest airport organizations.

    On Oct. 15, 2006, DeCosta received his Accredited Airport Executive designation from AAAE, an achievement that further demonstrates his leadership as an airport management professional.

    During his tenure, Hartsfield-Jackson has received numerous accolades from industry experts. In 2007, The Air Transport Research Society (ATRS) announced the selection of the facility as the most efficient airport among all major airports worldwide. DeCosta was also honored in 2007 as Best Airport Director of the Year by Airport Revenue News. Other awards include American Express’ Executive Traveler’s Best Large U.S. Airport honor (2007), ATRS’ Global Efficiency Award (2006), Air Cargo World’s ACE Award for Excellence (2006), ATRS’ Top North American Airport for performance (2001 and 2003), and International Air Transport Association’s Best “Very Large” Airport in Overall Passenger Satisfaction (2003).

    Prior to becoming general manager, DeCosta worked for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and served as the general manager of Newark International Airport.

    A native New Yorker, DeCosta received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Physics at Queens College in 1968 before earning his Juris Doctor from New York Law School in 1975. In 1984, he participated in a program for senior executives in state and local government at the Kennedy School of Public Administration at Harvard University.

    Last updated 2/2008

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    This kinda reminds me of the car carry controversy in Texas a couple of years ago when the legislature amended the definition of traveling and LEOs in Houston were still arresting people who were carrying while traveling. Just goes to show that in order for any law to have teeth, it has to be enforced; unfortunately, a law is only as good as the people who are entrusted with enforcing it. The same is true in this case. Let's hope that all turns out well.

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    Tim Bearden made a decision to not confront Franklin and DeCosta at the Hartsfield-Jackson airport today. Here's a link to the info from theGeorgia Packing site. I fully understand his reasoning, though. Boy that would/could have been something. Franklin and DeCosta are just arrogant... Makes my blood boil to hear of this type of buffoonary.

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    Mini-dictators trying to ruin law abiding citizens lives.

    He should be thrown in jail.

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    This say's it all folks it's the mentality

    Quote:


    Prior to becoming general manager, DeCosta worked for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and served as the general manager of Newark International Airport


    A native New Yorker


    you can take a New Yorker out of New York, but you can take New York out of the New Yorker. if you live in Eastern Pa or PRNJ you will know what I am taking about


    self rightous SOB


    sprat

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    Read the last paragraph. This is from Foxnews.com:

    ( http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,374563,00.html )

    ATLANTA— The nation's busiest airport dueled with gun rights advocates Tuesday over whether a new Georgia state law allows visitors to carry firearms at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.


    City officials in charge of the airport declared it a "gun-free zone" when a law allowing people to carry guns on public transit and other places took effect Tuesday. Gun rights supporters, including a state legislator who helped pass the law, quickly filed a lawsuit in federal court challenging the designation.


    "My message is simple: Leave your firearms at home," airport general manager Ben DeCosta told reporters at a news conference.


    Atlanta officials said anyone carrying a gun at the airport could be arrested and charged with a misdemeanor.


    The new state law allows people with a concealed weapons permit to carry guns into restaurants, state parks and on public transportation.


    John Monroe, an attorney for the gun rights backers who filed the lawsuit, argued the Atlanta airport qualifies as public transportation. There are also restaurants in the terminal, which Monroe said should be accessible to gun-toting visitors under the new law.
    /**/

    Rep. Tim Bearden, a Republican from Villa Rica and a former police officer, is a plaintiff in the lawsuit. Bearden sponsored the state law.


    He had told a newspaper he would carry a concealed weapon to the airport Tuesday when he picked up his family. But he told The Associated Press by telephone Tuesday morning, "There will be no reason for any confrontation at the airport."


    The gun group argues that weapons should be allowed in the terminal up to the point where passengers pass through security to board their flights. The parking lot is off limits under the state law, but it allows travelers to carry a gun on MARTA trains and buses, which run directly to the airport.


    Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin said citizens can't bring guns into the terminal and argued that airports remain attractive targets for terrorism.


    Allowing citizens to carry firearms "would create an environment that would endanger millions of people," she said.


    Franklin said she will lobby Congress to withhold federal funds from facilities that allow firearms on their premises.

    Do you hear the Heller case coming up?

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    BobCav wrote:
    Franklin and DeCosta and theirilk arethe kind of peoplethat would take up arms with the enemy and fire on Americans and need to be called what they areTories.
    +1
    The more I read your posts, the more I like the way you think.

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    Prometheus wrote:
    BobCav wrote:
    Franklin and DeCosta and theirilk arethe kind of peoplethat would take up arms with the enemy and fire on Americans and need to be called what they areTories.
    +1
    The more I read your posts, the more I like the way you think.
    Hehe....thanks brother! Read some of my old stuff and stick around, there's more to come!

    <Primer the Primate our OCDO Mascot. You can touch my monkey....but you can't touch my gun!

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    The best news I've heard in the past week!

    Sounds like Georgia is on the road to gaining me as a resident. If not a resident, at least a more-frequent visitor. One of my oft-cited reasons for avoiding the state is its rather restrictive gun laws. Congrats to those in Georgia who are behind changes like this.

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    UPDATED: 5:51 p.m. July 01, 2008
    Atlanta, Georgia: Airport gun showdown moves to courts

    Lawmaker won't bring weapon today; will rely on court case to challenge ban

    By JIM THARPE
    The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
    Published on: 07/01/08

    Guns were the issue. But words and federal lawsuits became the weapons of choice Tuesday as Atlanta officials declared Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport a "gun-free zone," and gun advocates immediately retaliated by suing them.

    The fight about a new state law — one that permits licensed gun owners to carry concealed weapons in more public places — began at Atlanta's city-run airport, the world's busiest with 89 million passengers a year.

    But city officials say they think it could eventually have a nationwide impact.

    "This is a matter of national significance," Mayor Shirley Franklin told reporters at a news conference. Permitting guns inside an airport, even weapons carried by permit holders, would create an unsafe environment that "would endanger millions of people," the mayor said.

    Franklin vowed Tuesday to lobby Congress and federal officials to mandate that any public facility receiving federal money be declared a "gun-free zone." That would affect airports nationwide.

    Franklin's comments followed a vow by city officials to arrest anyone carrying a gun at Hartsfield-Jackson. The city drew a line in the sand on the very same day a new state law easing gun restrictions in public places took effect.

    The new law allows licensed gun owners who pass background checks to carry concealed weapons on public transportation, in parks and recreation areas and in restaurants that serve alcohol — all areas that were previously off-limits.

    Gun advocates say the new law means people with the proper permits could carry concealed weapons in the non-secure areas in front of the security gates. Federal law prohibits guns beyond the security gates, and both sides agree that guns should be banned there.

    "This is about the city of Atlanta once again trying to hold itself above state law," said John Monroe, an attorney for the gun rights group GeorgiaCarry.org. Monroe and about half a dozen members of his group attended the morning news conference, some wearing large orange buttons that read: "Guns Save Lives."

    Gun rights advocates see the new law as a victory for the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Opponents say it has the potential to spawn more violence than it prevents.

    Airport General Manager Ben DeCosta said the city's legal team has studied the new law and determined the airport still falls under a "public gathering" exception in the Georgia Code.

    "Therefore, firearms are prohibited on airport property," he said.

    Monroe came to Tuesday's news conference in the Hartsfield-Jackson atrium and handed Franklin and DeCosta copies of the 10-page lawsuit he had just filed in U.S. District Court in Atlanta on behalf of his organization and state Rep. Tim Bearden (R-Villa Rica). DeCosta accepted his copy, but the mayor declined and walked away.

    Bearden, a former policeman who authored the new law, said Monday he would come to the airport on Tuesday to pick up relatives and would be carrying a permitted concealed weapon. DeCosta vowed to have him arrested if he did. By Tuesday, Bearden had decided to let the courts decide the issue.

    "That showdown will take place in the courts instead of an airport parking lot," said Bearden, who still planned to go to the airport, but without a gun.

    The lawsuit accuses city officials of violating Bearden's civil rights by threatening him with arrest.

    The suit seeks an injunction to stop the city from searching or arresting people for "legally carrying firearms," and it seeks "reasonable" attorney's fees.

    Tuesday's lawsuit is the latest in a series of legal actions GeorgiaCarry.org has filed in recent months. The organization has been successful in overturning or getting local governments to rescind several ordinances.

    GeorgiaCarry.org successfully sued probate courts in Carroll, Henry, Cherokee and Cobb counties for requiring gun permit applicants to give their Social Security numbers. Litigation by the group pushed Athens, Fulton County and Atlanta and several other cities in Fulton to abandon restrictions on bringing weapons into parks.

    — Staff writer Rhonda Cook contributed to this article.

    • DeCosta statement - PDF

    Should licensed gun owners be allowed to bear firearms in non-secure areas of the airport?
    Yes
    No

    click the URL to vote in the poll

    http://www.ajc.com/fayette/content/b..._showdown.html

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    BobCav wrote:
    Prometheus wrote:
    BobCav wrote:
    Franklin and DeCosta and theirilk arethe kind of peoplethat would take up arms with the enemy and fire on Americans and need to be called what they areTories.
    +1
    The more I read your posts, the more I like the way you think.
    SNIP <Primer the Primate our OCDO Mascot. You can touch my monkey....but you can't touch my gun!
    Oh, sure!! You're willing to call them Tories, but you can't bring yourself to find a use for the name of the freedom party of that time, "WHIGS!!"
    I'll make you an offer: I will argue and fight for all of your rights, if you will do the same for me. That is the only way freedom can work. We have to respect all rights, all the time--and strive to win the rights of the other guy as much as for ourselves.

    If I am equal to another, how can I legitimately govern him without his express individual consent?

    There is no human being on earth I hate so much I would actually vote to inflict government upon him.

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    Dupe

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    xd.40 wrote:
    Read the last paragraph. This is from Foxnews.com:

    ( http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,374563,00.html )

    Franklin said she will lobby Congress to withhold federal funds from facilities that allow firearms on their premises.

    Do you hear the Heller case coming up?
    Since we now know that the keeping and bearing of arms are constitutionally affirmed individual rights I hope that gun friendly legislators will introduce legislation to withhold federal funds from facilities that prohibit firearms on their premises.
    He wore his gun outside his pants for all the honest world to see. Pancho & Lefty

    The millions of people, armed in the holy cause of liberty, and in such a country as that which we possess, are invincible by any force which our enemy can send against us....There is no retreat but in submission and slavery! ...The war is inevitable–and let it come! I repeat it, Sir, let it come …………. PATRICK HENRY speech 1776

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