Kemp’s “Criminal Carry” Making Atlanta Airport “Less Safe”

June 6, 2022

Brian Kemp’s new “criminal carry” law, which makes it easier for criminals to carry loaded, concealed guns without a permit and its background check, is frustrating law enforcement officers who work to keep Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson Airport safe. FOX 5 Atlanta reports that the dangerous new law is preventing law enforcement officers from detaining individuals found to have a firearm in carry-on luggage, confiscating weapons, or issuing fines.

Kemp’s extreme “criminal carry” law has caused concerns from law enforcement officers and mayors across the state, and is opposed by 70% of Georgians. States that have passed similar laws have seen increases in violent crime.

Watch on FOX 5 Atlanta

FOX 5 Atlanta: Georgia constitutional carry law weakens gun enforcement at Atlanta airport, interim chief says

  • FOX 5 Atlanta Anchor: “Frustration continues for police officers who have been instructed not to detain passengers found to have a gun in carry-on luggage, and they cannot make the violator give up that gun or even provide background information for a possible fine.”
  • FOX 5 Atlanta Anchor: “A City Councilman tells our Morse Diggs that those changes make Hartsfield Jackson less safe.”
  • FOX 5 Atlanta’s Morse Diggs: “For years it has been the Atlanta Police Department, not the FBI nor the US Marshals, that has been enforcing a federal airport gun policy. Well, there used to be a structure with that, including how to collect the information and confiscation, but no more. As one source tells me it’s all being handled now day-to-day, a bit haphazard.”
  • FOX 5 Atlanta’s Morse Diggs: “Inside the Atlanta airport police precinct a large safe used to hold a number of weapons confiscated daily — no longer. The signs instruct you not to bring guns in your carry-on up to the checkpoint. That standard has not changed, but something important has changed.”
  • Atlanta City Councilmember Michael Julian Bond: “Atlanta Police had the authority, I guess, to escort people out or turn them around at TSA. I don’t think they can do that anymore. Right?”
  • Interim Atlanta Police Chief Darin Schierbaum: “We’re looking at that.”
  • FOX 5 Atlanta’s Morse Diggs: “Action downtown at the Capitol regarding the gun carry law has put airport law enforcement in almost a state of limbo. Atlanta officers can ask but not order a traveler to turn over their weapon when a TSA guard spots it.”
  • Interim Atlanta Police Chief Darin Schierbaum: “And we are currently communicating with our federal partners with the assistance of the law department of the city, to look at the new statute.”
  • FOX 5 Atlanta’s Morse Diggs: “The airport officers can ask the gun owner to take the weapon to a car in the parking lot or hand it over to a non-traveling family member. The violator used to be required to provide their information under a threat of arrest. There have been some travelers who have just flat declined. And Councilman Michael Bond could not believe enforcement at a public facility like City Hall is stronger, actually stronger, than at the airport.”
  • Atlanta City Councilmember Michael Julian Bond: “Taking away the ability from our police to keep us safe — any law that hinders our police from dealing with that is a bad law.”


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