National Academies Press: OpenBook

Impact of Firearms Laws on Airports (2016)

Chapter: VII. STATE LAWS THAT PROHIBIT THE POSSESSION OF FIREARMS BY CERTAIN PERSONS OR THAT PROHIBIT CERTAIN TYPES OF FIREARMS

« Previous: VI. FEDERAL AND STATE LAWS ON THE POSSESSION OF A FIREARM IN AIRPORT TERMINALS
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Suggested Citation:"VII. STATE LAWS THAT PROHIBIT THE POSSESSION OF FIREARMS BY CERTAIN PERSONS OR THAT PROHIBIT CERTAIN TYPES OF FIREARMS." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Impact of Firearms Laws on Airports. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23597.
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Page 37
Suggested Citation:"VII. STATE LAWS THAT PROHIBIT THE POSSESSION OF FIREARMS BY CERTAIN PERSONS OR THAT PROHIBIT CERTAIN TYPES OF FIREARMS." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Impact of Firearms Laws on Airports. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23597.
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36 serious crime usually disqualifies the person from owning or possessing a firearm.379 Moreover, state law often makes it illegal to sell or transfer a handgun to an individual convicted of “a crime of violence.”380 The states have other grounds for disqualifica- tion. Utah has several categories of persons who are prohibited from possessing a firearm. In addition to those convicted of a felony, a person is disqualified who is an illegal alien or an unlawful user of a con- trolled substance or who was discharged dishonor- ably from the armed forces.381 In the State of Washington, a person may not law- fully possess a firearm who has been restrained by a court order from “harassing, stalking, or threatening an intimate partner of the person or child of the inti- mate partner or person, or engaging in other con- duct that would place an intimate partner in reasonable fear of bodily injury to the partner or child.”382 In Washington, it is also unlawful for any adult or juvenile to possess a firearm who previously was convicted of a serious offense or found not guilty by reason of insanity as defined in the statute.383 It appears that records of violations that prohibit persons from possessing firearms are readily avail- able to law enforcement agencies and officers.384 B. Unlawful Possession of a Firearm by Persons Under 21 Years of Age In most states if an individual is under the age of 21 and carrying a firearm, either concealed or uncon- cealed, the individual is violating state law.385 A of state statutes disclosed that other states forbid the carrying of concealed firearms in airport terminals. Alaska law prohibits a permittee from possessing a concealed handgun anywhere a person is prohibited from possessing a handgun under state or federal law.376 In Illinois, licensees are directed not to carry a firearm knowingly into any building or on any real property or parking areas that are under the control of an airport.377 There are other states with similar statutes.378 To conclude, based on state statutes and survey responses, there are at least 12 states (Alaska, Illinois, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, South Carolina, South Dakota, and Tennessee) that prohibit concealed fire- arms in airports. VII. STATE LAWS THAT PROHIBIT THE POSSESSION OF FIREARMS BY CERTAIN PERSONS OR THAT PROHIBIT CERTAIN TYPES OF FIREARMS A. Individuals Convicted of a Felony or Other Serious Crime As discussed in this section, when a law enforce- ment officer observes someone who is carrying or who reasonably is believed to be carrying a firearm in an airport, the officer typically may approach the individual and make inquiries. There are state and federal databases available that permit an officer to determine whether a person is disqualified from possessing a firearm for one or more of the reasons discussed in the following section. Regardless of whether a person possesses a firearm in an airport or elsewhere, there is a substantial body of state law that prohibits certain persons from having a firearm. A person’s conviction for a felony or other 376 AlAskA stAt. § 18.65.755(a)(2) (2015). See AlAskA Admin. Code tit. 17, § 42.065(a)(3) (2015) (stating that “[a] person may not carry a firearm or prohibited weapon in a department-operated terminal building or restricted area except in compliance with any other applicable law….”). 377 430 ill. Comp. stAt. Ann. 66/65(a)(19) (LexisNexis 2015). 378 miss. Code Ann. § 45-9101(13) (2015) (stating that “[n]o license issued pursuant to this section shall authorize any person to carry a stun gun, concealed pistol or revolver…inside the passenger terminal of any airport, except that no person shall be prohibited from carrying any legal firearm into the terminal if the firearm is encased for shipment, for purposes of checking such firearm as bag- gage….”); nev. rev. stAt. Ann. § 202.3673(2) (LexisNexis 2015) (stating that “[a] permittee shall not carry a con- cealed firearm while the permittee is on the premises of a public building that is located on the property of a public airport”); ohio rev. Code Ann. § 2923.126(B)(1) (LexisNexis 2015) (holder of a valid license to carry a concealed hand- gun not authorized to carry a concealed handgun into…an airport passenger terminal….”). See also Thomson, supra note 265 (stating that an airport must post a sign banning the possession of a deadly weapon at an airport) (citing ohio rev. Code Ann. § 2923.1212(A)(5)). 379 AlAskA stAt. § 161.200 (2015) (unlawful to possess a firearm after having been convicted of a felony); tenn. Code Ann. § 39-17-1307(c)(1) (2015) (stating that a person who has been convicted of a felony commits an offense when the person possesses a handgun). 380 S.C. Code Ann. §§ 16-23-30(A)(1), (B) (2015); tenn. Code Ann. § 39-17-1307(a)(1) (2015) (unlawful for anyone to possess a firearm anywhere in the state if the person has been convicted of certain offenses involving the use or attempted use of force, violence, or a deadly weapon, or of felony drug use). 381 utAh Code Ann. §§ 76-10-53(1)(a), (1)(b), (d)(8) (LexisNexis 2015). See also WAsh. rev. Code Ann. § 9.41.171 (LexisNexis 2015) (stating that unless a person is a lawful permanent resident or has a valid alien firearm license under § 9.41.173, it is unlawful for a person who is not a United States citizen to carry or possess a firearm). 382 WAsh. rev. Code Ann. § 9.41.040(2)(a)(ii) (LexisNexis 2015). 383 WAsh. rev. Code Ann. § 9.41.040(a) (LexisNexis 2015). 384 Survey of State Criminal History Information Sys- tems, U.S. DOJ, at viii (Nov. 2011), http:www.ncjrs.gov/pdf- files1/bjs/grants/237253.pdf (stating in part that the state central repository is a database that maintains criminal history records on all state offenders). 385 CAl. penAl Code § 27505(a) (Deering 2015) (unlawful to transfer a firearm to a minor or sell one to an individual under the age of 21 except for one of the stated reasons not relevant to the digest); Conn. gen. stAt. § 29-28(b)(10) (2015) (21 years of age for a permit to carry a pistol or revolver).

37 influence of alcohol or illegal drugs is a violation of state law, as well as a violation of a person’s license to carry a firearm or to carry a concealed firearm.390 In Louisiana, a person’s concealed handgun per- mit is automatically suspended when the person is under the influence of alcohol or a controlled danger- ous substance.391 In Minnesota, if a person is carry- ing a pistol in a public place while under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance, “[a] peace officer may arrest [the] person…without a warrant upon probable cause, without regard to whether the viola- tion was committed in the officer’s presence.”392 Unlike state statutes that set a blood alcohol per- centage for driving while under the influence, unless defined elsewhere in a state’s code, some state stat- utes applicable to the possession of a firearm appear to apply whenever there is any alcohol or unlawful controlled substance in a person’s blood.393 A Tennessee statute states that “it is an offense for a juvenile to knowingly possess a handgun.”386 Usually an applicant for a license to carry a firearm387 or to carry a concealed firearm must be at least 21 years of age.388 In a few states, a person 18 years of age may be issued a license to carry a firearm or to carry a concealed firearm.389 C. Illegal Possession of a Firearm While Under the Influence of Alcohol or Drugs It appears that in every state, regardless of whether a person is in an airport or elsewhere, a person’s possession of a firearm while under the 386 tenn. Code Ann. § 39-17-1319 (2015). 387 Conn. gen. stAt. § 29-35(a) (2015) (unlawful to carry a pistol or revolver without a permit to carry except on one of the stated grounds not relevant to the digest); minn. stAt. § 624.714(2)(b) (2015) (21 years of age for issuance of a permit to carry a pistol); N.Y. penAl lAW § 400.00(1) (Consol. 2015) (21 years or older for license to carry a firearm); gA. Code Ann. § 16-11-129(b)(2)(A) (2015) (18 years or 21 years of age for issuance of a weap- ons-carry license as further provided in the statute); tenn. Code Ann. § 39-17-1351(b) (2015) (21 years of age for a handgun carry permit). 388 Ariz. rev. stAt. § 13-3102(A)(2) (LexisNexis 2015) (applicable to permit to carry a concealed weapon); CAl. penAl Code § 27505(a) (Deering 2015) (unlawful to sell, loan, or transfer a firearm to a minor or to sell a handgun to an individual under the age of 21); flA. stAt. Ann. § 790.015(1)(a) (LexisNexis 2015) (stating that the mini- mum age for a license to carry a concealed weapon is 21); idAho Code Ann. § 18-3302(11)(a) (2015) (21-year age limit for license to carry a concealed weapon); idAho Code Ann. § 18-3302k(4)(a) (2015) (21-year age limit for an enhanced license to carry concealed weapons); ky. rev. stAt. Ann. § 237.110(4)(c) (LexisNexis 2015) (21 years of age); N.C. gen. stAt. § 14-415.12(a) (2015) (21 years of age for a per- mit to carry a concealed handgun); or. rev. stAt. § 166.291(b) (2015) (21 years of age for a concealed hand- gun license); 18 pA. Cons. stAt. § 6109(b) (2015) (person 21 years of age or older may apply for a license to carry a firearm concealed on his person or in a vehicle); S.C. Code Ann. § 23-31-215(A) (2015) (21 years of age for permit to carry a concealable weapon); tex. gov’t Code Ann. § 411.172(a)(2) (2015) (21 years of age for a license to carry a concealed handgun); utAh Code Ann. § 53-5-704(1)(a) (LexisNexis 2015) (21 years of age or older to apply for a concealed weapons permit); WAsh. rev. Code Ann. § 9.41.070(1)(c) (LexisNexis 2015) (21 years of age); W. vA. Code Ann. § 61-7-4(a)(3) (LexisNexis 2015) (21 years of age for concealed weapons permit); Wis. stAt. § 175.60(3) (2015); Wyo. stAt. Ann. § 6-8-104(b)(ii) (2015) (21 years of age for a concealed weapon permit). 389 hAW. rev. stAt. Ann. § 134-4(a) (LexisNexis 2015) (no transfer of rifle or shotgun as defined in the section to a person under the age of 18); mont. Code Ann. § 45-8- 321(1) (2015) (18 years of age or older for a permit to carry a concealed weapon); or. rev. stAt. § 166.250(1)(c)(A) (2015) (unlawful possession of a firearm under the age of 18); S.D. Codified lAWs § 23-7-7.1(1) (2015) (18 years of age or older for permit to carry a concealed pistol). 390 del. Code Ann. tit. 11, § 1460(a) (2015) (affirmative defense if firearm inoperable or the person had no ammuni- tion); minn. stAt. § 624.7142(1) (2015) (unlawful to carry a pistol in a public place when under the influence of a con- trolled substance or alcohol); mo. rev. stAt. §§ 571.030.1(5), (11) (2015) (possession of firearm unlawful while in possession of a controlled substance); neB. rev. stAt. Ann. § 69-2441(5) (LexisNexis 2015) (unlawful for a permit holder to carry a con- cealed handgun while consuming alcohol or when the permit holder has alcohol or any controlled substance in the permit holder’s body); N.C. gen. stAt. § 14-415.11(c)(c2) (2015) (unlaw- ful for a person with or without a permit to carry a concealed handgun while consuming alcohol or having any alcohol or controlled substance present in the person’s blood); R.I. gen. lAWs § 11-47-52 (2015) (unlawful to carry or transport any firearm when under the influence of alcohol or narcotic drugs); tenn. Code Ann. § 39-17-1321(a) (2015) (regardless of whether a person has a permit to carry a handgun, unlawful to possess a handgun while under the influence of alcohol or any con- trolled substance or “controlled substance analogue”); tex. penAl Code Ann. § 46.035(d) (2016) (unlawful for a holder of license to carry a handgun while intoxicated “regardless of whether the handgun is concealed or carried in a shoulder or belt holster”); utAh Code Ann. § 76-10-528(1) (LexisNexis 2015) (unlawful to carry a dangerous weapon while under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance); vA. Code Ann. § 18.2-308.012 (2015) (prohibiting the carrying of concealed handgun while under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs); Wis. stAt. § 941.20(1)(b) (2015). 391 lA. rev. stAt. Ann. § 40.1379.3(I) (2015). 392 minn. stAt. § 624.7142(2) (2015). 393 See, e.g., N.C. gen. stAt. § 14-415.11 (c2) (2015), stat- ing that it is unlawful for a person, with or without a permit, to carry a concealed handgun while consuming alcohol or at any time while the person has remaining in the person’s body any alcohol or in the person’s blood a controlled substance previously consumed, but a person does not violate this condition if a controlled substance in the person’s blood was lawfully obtained and taken in therapeutically appropriate amounts or if the person is on the person’s own property. Wis. stAt. § 941.20 (1)(b), (bm) (2015) (operates or goes armed with a firearm while he or she is under the influence of an intoxicant or operates or goes armed with a firearm while he or she has a detectable amount of a restricted con- trolled substance in his or her blood).

Next: VIII. STATE LAWS THAT ALLOW PRIVATE ESTABLISHMENTS TO PROHIBIT FIREARMS »
Impact of Firearms Laws on Airports Get This Book
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TRB's Airport Cooperative Research Program (ACRP) Legal Research Digest 29: Impact of Firearms Laws on Airports analyzes recent court cases on federal and state laws that have been challenged for restricting or prohibiting the carrying of firearms in public and other places.

The right to carry guns at airports is subject to the U.S. Constitution, federal and state legislation, and judicial decisions. Some state laws allow guns to be carried openly in public places. Most state laws regulate how guns are to be carried in a vehicle or left in a public or an employer’s parking lot. These and other state laws also have ramifications for commercial airports in the United States.

Accompanying the report are appendices available online:

  • Appendix A: Survey Questions
  • Appendix B: List of Airports and Airport Authorities Responding to the Survey
  • Appendix C: Summary of Responses by Airports and Airport Authorities to the Survey
  • Appendix D: ACRP Web Only Document 29: Compendium of State and Federal Laws Affecting the Possession of Firearms at Airports
  • Appendix E: Airport Ordinances, Policies, and Rules and Regulations Provided by Airports Responding to the Survey
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