National Academies Press: OpenBook

Impact of Firearms Laws on Airports (2016)


Page 48
Suggested Citation:"XII. RELATIONSHIP OF STATE STATUTES AND LOCAL LAWS REGULATING FIREARMS AT AIRPORTS." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Impact of Firearms Laws on Airports. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23597.
Page 48
Page 49
Suggested Citation:"XII. RELATIONSHIP OF STATE STATUTES AND LOCAL LAWS REGULATING FIREARMS AT AIRPORTS." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Impact of Firearms Laws on Airports. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23597.
Page 49

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48 firearms or components of firearms or ammuni- tion.487 In Utah, except as otherwise allowed by state law, a local authority or state entity may not: (a) prohibit an individual from owning, possessing, purchas- ing, selling, transferring, transporting, or keeping a firearm at the individual’s place of residence, property, business, or XII. RELATIONSHIP OF STATE STATUTES AND LOCAL LAWS REGULATING FIREARMS AT AIRPORTS A. State Preemption of Local Regulation of Firearms Although a few states allow some local regulation of firearms,485 most states have constitutional and/or statutory provisions that preempt any local regula- tion of firearms that is contrary to or in conflict with state law.486 Municipal governments in Connecticut may not restrict, prohibit, or provide for the licensing of the ownership, transfer, possession, or transportation of 485 AlA. Code § 13A-11-61.3 (LexisNexis 2015) (stating that the preemption provision does not affect an employ- er’s right to regulate or prohibit an employee’s possession of a firearm in the course of the employee’s official duties); N.J. rev. stAt. § 40:48-1(18) (2015) (providing that the “ governing body of every municipality may make, amend, repeal and enforce ordinances to…[r]egulate and prohibit the sale and use of guns, pistols, firearms, and fireworks of all descriptions”); S.C. Code Ann. § 23-31-510 (2015); S.C. Code Ann. § 23-31-520 (2015) (allowing county, municipal- ity, or political subdivision to regulate “public brandish- ment” of firearms); utAh Code Ann. §§ 76-10-500(1)(a), (b) (LexisNexis 2015) (stating that the prohibition by a gov- ernmental unit of the possession of firearms by non-U.S. citizens or unlawful aliens is not preempted). 486 AlAskA stAt. § 18.65.800 (2015); Ariz. rev. stAt. § 13-3118 (LexisNexis 2015); del. Code Ann. tit. 22, § 111(a) (2015) (stating that “[t]he municipal governments shall enact no law, ordinance or regulation prohibiting, restrict- ing or licensing the ownership, transfer, possession or transportation of firearms or components of firearms or ammunition except that the discharge of a firearm may be regulated….”); flA. stAt. Ann. § 790.06(15) (LexisNexis 2015) (preemption provision protecting the state’s uniform standards for issuing licenses to carry concealed weapons); gA. Code Ann. § 16-11-130.2(d) (2015) (stating that “[a]ny ordinance, resolution, regulation, or policy of any county, municipality, or other political subdivision of this state which is in conflict with this Code section shall be null, void, and of no force and effect….”); idAho Const. art. 1, § 11; idAho Code Ann. § 18-3302(17) (2015); idAho Code Ann. § 18-3302k(10) (2015); idAho Code Ann. § 18-3302J(2) (2015) (providing that “no county, city, agency, board or any other political subdivision of this state may adopt or enforce any law, rule, regulation, or ordinance which regulates in any manner the sale, acquisition, transfer, ownership, posses- sion, transportation, carrying or storage of firearms or any element relating to firearms and components thereof, including ammunition”); 430 ill. Comp. stAt. Ann. 65/13.1(b) (LexisNexis 2015) (preempting any ordinances that impose greater restrictions or limitations on the acquisition, pos- session, or transfer of firearms); ind. Code Ann. § 35-47- 11.1-1 (LexisNexis 2015); ioWA Code § 724.28 (2015); kAn. stAt. Ann. § 75-7c17 (2015) (no regulation permitted of per- sons licensed to carry a concealed handgun); kAn. stAt. Ann. § 12-16,124 (2015); ky. rev. stAt. Ann. § 65.870(1) (LexisNexis 2015) (preemption provision applicable to local governments); ky. rev. stAt. Ann. § 237.110(19) (LexisNexis 2015) (preemption provision in Kentucky applicable to licenses to carry concealed weapons); lA. rev. stAt. Ann. § 40.1796(A) (2015); me. rev. stAt. tit. 25, §§ 2011(1)-(3) (2015) (general preemption provision); md. Code Ann., Crim. lAW § 4-209(a) (LexisNexis 2015) (regulation of weapons and ammunition by counties, municipalities, and other units of government preempted); md. Code Ann., puB. sAfety § 5-104 (LexisNexis 2015); md. Code Ann., puB. sAfety § 5-133(a) (LexisNexis 2015) (preempting right of any local jurisdiction to regulate possession of regulated firearms); mAss. Const. art. II, §§ 1-9; mAss. Ann. lAWs ch. 43B, § 13 (LexisNexis 2015); miCh. Comp. lAWs serv. §§ 123.1102—123.1104 (LexisNexis 2015); minn. stAt. § 471.633 (2015); minn. stAt. § 624.714(22) (2015) (law to be construed according to the compelling state interest test); miss. Code Ann. § 45-9-51(1) (2015); miss. Code Ann. §§ 45-9-53(c), (e), (f) (2015); mo. Const. art. I, § 23 (2014 amendment) (general preemption provision); mo. rev. stAt. §§ 21.750(1), (2) (2015) (preempts firearms regulation by political subdivisions but allows political subdivisions to regulate the open carrying of firearms within the jurisdic- tion, but the open carrying of firearms shall not be prohib- ited when a person has a valid concealed carry endorse- ment); mo. rev. stAt. § 21.750(3)(2)(a) (2015); neB. rev. stAt. Ann. § 15-255 (LexisNexis 2015) (permitting city of primary class to prohibit carrying of concealed weapons except the carrying of a concealed handgun in compliance with Concealed Handgun Permit Act); neB. rev. stAt. Ann. § 18-1703 (LexisNexis 2015) (stating that cities and villages are not allowed to regulate the ownership, possession, or transportation of a concealed handgun); nev. rev. stAt. Ann. §§ 244.364, 268.418, 269.222 (LexisNexis 2015); N.H. rev. stAt. Ann. § 159:26(1) (LexisNexis 2015) (preempting other state, municipal, county, or local authority’s laws that regulate the “sale, purchase, ownership, use, possession, transportation, licensing, permitting, taxation or other matters pertaining to firearms….”); N.C. gen. stAt. §§ 14-409.40(a), (b) (2015) (providing that state law pre- empts the entire field of the regulation of firearms); N.C. gen. stAt. § 14.415.23(a) (2015) (preemption of any laws other than those made by the General Assembly concerning “the regulation of legally carrying of a concealed handgun”); N.D. Cent. Code § 62.1-02-05(3) (2013) (authorizing a polit- ical subdivision to enact “an ordinance that is less restric- tive [that state law] relating to the possession of firearms or dangerous weapons at a public gathering”) (emphasis added); N.D. Cent. Code § 6.1-01-03 (2015); or. rev. stAt. §§ 166.170(1), (2) (2015) (preemption of any regulation of firearms by a city, county, or “district”); or. rev. stAt. §§ 166.170—166.172 (2015) (authority to regulate dis- charge of firearms); 18 pA. Cons. stAt. §§ 2962(g), 6120 (2015); S.D. Codified lAWs §§ 7-18A-36, 8-5-13, 9-19-20 (2015); R.I. gen. lAWs § 11-47-58 (2015); tenn. Code Ann. §§ 39-17-1314(a), (f) (2015); utAh Code Ann. § 78B-4-511(1) (LexisNexis 2015); vA. Code Ann. §§ 15.2-915(A), (B) (2015) (stating that “[n]o locality shall adopt or enforce….”); vt. stAt. Ann. tit. 24, §§ 2291(8), 2295 (2015); W. vA. Code Ann. § 8-12-5a(a) (LexisNexis 2015); W. vA. Code Ann. § 7-1-3 (LexisNexis 2015); Wyo. stAt. Ann. § 6-8-401(c) (2015). 487 del. Code Ann. tit. 22, § 111(a) (2015).

49 restricted or prohibited firearms. In Colorado, the state constitution provides that cities and towns “shall always have power to make, amend, add to or replace the charter of said city or town, which shall be its organic law and extend to all its local and municipal matters.”494 Furthermore, applicable Colorado law “shall continue to apply to such cities and towns, except insofar as superseded by the char- ters of such cities and towns or by ordinance passed pursuant to such charters.”495 Nonetheless, in 2003 the Colorado legislature established statewide standards for the issuance of permits to carry a concealed weapon and preempted all municipal ordinances that are more restrictive than state or federal laws. The state law restricted the authority of local governments to regulate where a permit holder could carry a concealed handgun and preempted any local firearms laws on “the sale, purchase or possession of a firearm that a person may lawfully sell, purchase or possess under state or federal law.”496 A district court held that almost all of Denver’s ordinances were matters exclusively of local concern under Section 6 of Article XX of the Colorado Consti- tution, including Denver’s prohibitions against openly carrying a firearm in public and on airport property. The district court held, however, that the state law preempted Denver’s ordinance that restricted the ability of Denver residents to carry firearms in private vehicles while driving within city limits.497 In a split-decision, the Supreme Court of Colorado affirmed the district court’s rulings.498 In City of Cleveland v. State,499 the City of Cleveland had ordinances that regulated firearms more restric- tively than Ohio state law.500 In 2006, the legislature enacted Section 9.68 of the Ohio Revised Code to pro- vide uniform laws throughout the state on the regu- lation of the ownership and possession of firearms.501 As in City of Denver, Cleveland brought an action against the State on the basis that the statute in any vehicle lawfully in the individual’s possession or law- fully under the individual’s control; or (b) require an individual to have a permit or license to pur- chase, own, possess, transport, or keep a firearm….488 Other states have similar preemption provisions.489 As for airports, a few state statutes specifically preempt any local regulation of firearms in airports or publicly owned or operated buildings.490 West Virginia preempts the authority of a municipality or its governing body to limit a person’s right to pos- sess firearms, but there are exceptions for munici- pally owned or operated buildings.491 Not all states preclude all local regulation of fire- arms. In Delaware, if a municipal government adopts an ordinance regulating “the possession of firearms, ammunition, components of firearms, or explosives in police stations or municipal buildings,” the munic- ipal government must clearly identify any restricted areas “by a conspicuous sign posted at each entrance to the restricted areas[; however,] any person who immediately foregoes entry or immediately exits such building due to the possession of a firearm, ammunition, components of firearms, or explosives shall not be guilty of violating the ordinance.”492 A city or county in Oregon may adopt ordinances to regulate, restrict, or prohibit the possession of loaded firearms in public places.493 B. Cases on Home Rule and Firearms Regulation There has been litigation, however, in Colorado, Ohio, and Utah on whether state law preempted a municipal ordinance or a state university policy that 488 utAh Code Ann. §§ 53-5a-102(1), (2)(a)-(b), (5) (LexisNexis 2015). Subsection 5 states: “Unless specifically authorized by the Legislature by statute, a local authority or state entity may not enact, establish, or enforce any ordi- nance, regulation, rule, or policy pertaining to firearms that in any way inhibits or restricts the possession or use of fire- arms on either public or private property.” 489 See supra note 485. 490 gA. Code Ann. § 16-11-130.2(d) (2015) (prohibiting anything contrary to state law on the carrying of a weapon or long gun at a commercial service airport); mont. Code Ann. §§ 45-8-351(1), (2)(b) (2015) (stating that governments may not “prohibit the legitimate transportation of firearms through any jurisdiction, whether in airports or otherwise”). 491 W. vA. Code Ann. §§ 8-12-5a(b), 8-12-5a(b)(2), 8-12- 5a(b)(4) (LexisNexis 2015) (stating that “[a] municipality may enact and enforce an ordinance or ordinances that prohibit a person from carrying or possessing a firearm openly or that is not lawfully concealed in a municipally owned recreation facility,” and that “a municipality may prohibit persons who do not have a valid concealed hand- gun license from carrying or possessing a firearm on municipally owned or operated property”). 492 del. Code Ann. tit. 22, § 111(b) (2015). 493 or. rev. stAt. § 166.173(1) (2015). 494 Colo. Const. art. XX, § 6. 495 Colo. Const. art. XX, § 6. 496 S.B. 03-025, 64th Gen. Assemb., 1st Sess. (Colo. 2003). 497 Patricia K. Kelly, Memo on Gun Legislation and Related Lawsuits, offiCe of the denver City Attorney (Apr. 19, 2005), 050426/050425_d6.pdf. 498 City of Denver v. State, 139 P.3d 635 (Colo. 2006). 499 128 Ohio St. 3d 135, 135-36 (Ohio 2010). 500 ClevelAnd, ohio, Code of ordinAnCes §§ 627.08, 627.09, 627.10, 627A.02, 628.03, and 674.05 (2015). See City of Cleveland, 128 Ohio St. 3d at 135. 501 City of Cleveland, 128 Ohio St. 3d at 135 (quoting ohio rev. Code Ann. 9.68(A), 151 Ohio Laws, pt. IV, 8138, 8139).

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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