HB 2774/SB 1003 Airport Access Restrictions

Relevant bills filed and their status

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tomc
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HB 2774/SB 1003 Airport Access Restrictions

Postby tomc » Wed Apr 25, 2007 11:47 am

I just noticed these proposed bills today that greatly restrict firearms access in areas of airports other than secured. This reads to be a very bad bill to CHLers who travel by or use general aviation facilities at Texas airports.

What is the chance of this proceeding to law? Do we general aviation users need to fight this bill?

You CHL pilots in the know help me with this.

Tom
be safe,
be prepared,
tomc

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nitrogen
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Postby nitrogen » Wed Apr 25, 2007 12:00 pm

I'd fight any restrictions on carrying a lawfully concealed firearm just on principle, but that's me.

This seems like a solution looking for a problem, but I'm not in the know.
.השואה... לעולם לא עוד
Holocaust... Never Again.
Some people create their own storms and get upset when it rains.
--anonymous

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Charles L. Cotton
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Postby Charles L. Cotton » Wed Apr 25, 2007 1:23 pm

HB2774 was heard in Committee about 11:30 last night. The author submitted a committee substitute that is greatly narrowed. If it passes, it will make areas of an airport other than the current "secured" area (i.e. beyond the metal detectors) off-limits. These areas include places where aircraft movement and support activities occur, but only if ingress is permitted only by specific authorization of the airport operator. This would tend to apply only to major airports, as most small airports don't control ingress. Even when small airports are fenced, they typically leave the gate open during normal business hours.

There is also a defense to prosecution for people going to or from an aircraft used for general aviation and not a regularly scheduled carrier.

This bill is the brain-child of the DFW Airport Police Chief. He wanted to add "criminal negligence" to the bill which would have had the effect of making it virtually impossible for a defendant to ever be acquitted, even if they went through the metal detectors and simply didn't know there was a gun in their briefcase or purse. In spite of his testimony to the contrary, I believe this was his true goal and all of the other provisions were a smoke screen. Rep. Geren flatly rejected this attempt to greatly lower the threshold for a conviction.

I believe the final version of the committee substitute also reduces the penalty to a Class A Misdemeanor for CHL's, but I'm not sure as I don't have a copy at this time.

The AOPA testified in favor of the Bill, as substituted. (I'm an AOPA member.)

I do not know if this bill will pass.

Chas.


AV8R
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Postby AV8R » Wed Apr 25, 2007 2:51 pm

Please keep us up to date this bill. It appears that this may make it illegal for me to transport a weapon from the gate to my hangar. As an AOPA member, I am disappointed that the organization would support this bill.


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tomc
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Postby tomc » Wed Apr 25, 2007 3:58 pm

AV8R wrote in a previous thread:

GA aircraft owners who hanger their aircraft within the fenced boundaries of the airport are required to have security badges issued by airport operations as well, after a background clearance, and they are assumed not to be terrorists. The badges must be worn when on the ramp. Access to those areas is generally through gates which require a keyed code to open. The codes are changed often and given out only to badge holders. Airports are usually owned by the city, so firearms are not illegal on airport property outside that portion of the terminal area under federal control


This is not necessarily true. At my airport, Addison, KADS, we tenants are given an access code by the city airport management that gets us in through the gates to get to our hangars which we can give to our guests as needed. We are given no "badges" as we don't need no "badges" (sorry, I couldn't resist).

Still, I hope this gets fixed or defeated cause as I see it now, you could get arrested even for a hunting rifle in a locked case since there would be no way to legally check it.

This is bad.

Tom
be safe,

be prepared,

tomc


AV8R
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Postby AV8R » Wed Apr 25, 2007 4:16 pm

I really prefer the approach taken by Addison and the smaller airports, no badges, no bull. So-called "International Airports" are much more strict. I was at the Uvalde airport a while back during deer season, and nobody got on or off a plane without a rifle, or several.

Things are really tightening up here in Lubbock lately. According to the FAA here, TSA will be randomly screening some remote gates which access GA hangers. How CHLs will be handled remains to be seen. I hope it amounts to no more than an escort to the aircraft.


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tomc
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Postby tomc » Thu May 03, 2007 5:19 pm

I stopped in to TSRA today and had a chat with James Dark. He said he is actively tracking this bill and agrees it is a bad bill. When it came out of committee last week, it was supposed to be re-written to be more acceptable to us but no one had seen a copy of the re-write yet.

Jim also said that there were some political moves that he had to be careful with, but he was hoping for the best. He said that he was holding off putting on the full court press until he saw the new text.

I will keep checking with him and post if we need to get involved.

Tom
be safe,

be prepared,

tomc


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