Proposed Bill To Not Punish Gun Carriers In Airports - Local news, weather, sports Savannah | WSAV On Your Side

Proposed Bill To Not Punish Gun Carriers In Airports

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SAVANNAH, GA -

Some Georgia lawmakers want to change a law that punishes people who are caught with guns in airports. 

If the bill passes, it will make it so anyone with a concealed carry permit who is caught with a gun in the security check point line would be escorted out of the airport, but not arrested.    

This provision is part of a larger gun bill put forward by Republicans in Georgia's General Assembly. 

It has triggering debate in the Peach State, including among passengers we talked to at the Savannah-Hilton Head International Airport. 

"I personally don't think an airport is a place where you need to be carrying a gun.  It's not like you're going to be hunting in the airport," said passenger C.C. Miranda.

"They should not be allowed through security obviously. But whether they should be arrested and go through all the troubles associated with that is probably a little over the top in most cases," said passenger Mike Spahn.  

Law makers pushing the change say law-abiding citizens shouldn't be punished for an honest mistake.  Last year, a former speaker of Georgia's House of Representatives was arrested when he forgot about a pistol in his briefcase.  But the union for airport security screeners opposes the change and says people need to follow the law. 

There's only one way to legally carry a gun onto an airplane and that's in your checked luggage.  First you have to declare it with authorities, and then put it in your checked bag which goes under the plane.

TSA officials turn over anyone they catch to local police.  The crime is generally a misdemeanor, punishable by a $1,000 fine or up to a year in jail.  However, charges are dismissed against most first-time offenders if they attend gun safety classes.

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