First Coast News: Airport gun bill launched in Florida Senate

A proposal that would allow people to bring guns into airport terminals, but not through federal security screening, has taken off in the Senate amid turbulence from aviation officials.

The measure (SB 1500), narrowly approved along party lines in the Senate Criminal Justice Committee, would allow people with concealed-weapons licenses to continue carrying sidearms in the areas of airports that are before passengers go through the security-screening process.

It is unknown how far the measure will fly this legislative session, as it has two additional committee appearances scheduled in the Senate, and the House version (HB 4051) has not been heard in committees.

Sen. Wilton Simpson, a Trilby Republican who is sponsoring the proposal, said it is intended to let people maintain their personal safety while dropping off or picking up travelers.

“When you see that there are lots of terroristic threats around airports and security around airports, and it seems to me that when you have 100 million visitors come through the state of Florida at some level, this is one of those areas we need to address,” Simpson said.

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