ATLANTA—Georgia State University College of Law Professor Lynn Hogue spoke with WABE's Denis O’Hayer recently about the constitutional showdown over a newly passed bill in Georgia to allow licensed gun owners to carry their weapons into parts of airports, including Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson.
While Gov. Sony Perdue considers the bill, Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) has introduced federal legislation that would ban anyone from carrying a gun into an airport. Exceptions would include unloaded guns in checked bags.
If there's a constitutional showdown over the two bills, who will win?
"The Second Amendment itself doesn't have anything textually to say about it," Hogue told O'Hayer, "but what we know about the scope of the Second Amendment right as it relates to the exercise of federal power is pretty clearly spelled out in the Heller decision that came out in 2008 (in which the U.S. Supreme Court threw out the gun ban in Washington, D.C.)"
The Heller case tells us a couple of important things, Hogue said.
"One, it says the right secured by the Second Amendment is not unlimited. It's not an unlimited right to bear arms," Hogue said. "And it says that longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms of various sorts survive the decision in the Heller case. Laws forbiding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, that's where Congress would have a recognized power to control what goes on in airports."
Jim Hellegaard, 404.413.9050
Director of Communications