As you will note , this article is from the Dailypress, I haven't seen
anything about it in the VA Pilot.
Does this mean we will have mass shootings at the airports and city
parks? No. The "crooks" already were carrying their handguns anyway, this
means that people like me and perhaps you, whom are licensed to carry a
concealed handgun, can be on equal footing.I consider this to be a significant step toward getting CCW "out of the closet".
Our Governor is a democrat, but he isn't stupid, he apparently has decided to leave guns alone, even though he can't be reelected.
Concealed weapon ban lifted in airport
By Terry Scanlon
August 15 2003
Despite the signs on the doors that say otherwise, concealed weapons are
allowed inside parts of Norfolk International Airport, thanks to a law that
took effect this summer.
The change happened quietly as the General Assembly and Gov. Mark R. Warner
passed a measure that overrides a wide array of local gun ordinances
In addition to pre-empting the ban on weapons at Hampton Roads' largest
airport, the new state law also overrides local prohibitions against weapons
in city-owned parks in Newport News and Hampton.
Since July 1, people with the proper permit may carry concealed weapons in
the Norfolk airport's ticket lines, parking lots, baggage claim areas and
lounges - all the areas outside of the metal detectors.
"We don't like it," said Ken Scott, the executive director of the Norfolk
Airport Authority. "But for now they're permissible as long as they don't
The airport is subject to both state and federal laws. Transportation
Security Administration officials enforce the federal law banning weapons on
airports in the area inside of the metal detectors, Scott said.
Concealed weapons have been allowed all along at Newport News/Williamsburg
International Airport, said Lisa White, the airport's spokeswoman.
Scott said concealed weapons could cause added anxiety for passengers who
might not be aware that some people are allowed to bring weapons into the
airport terminal, especially when people remain concerned about safety.
A spokesman for the governor said Warner asked state Del. Richard "Dick"
Black, R-Loudoun County, to amend the measure so that airports would not be
included, but Black refused. Warner signed the bill instead of amending it
and sending it back to the Legislature.
"The governor is publicly and proudly a supporter of the Second Amendment,"
said Kevin Hall, a spokesman for Warner.
The Northern Virginia Republican who spearheaded the new law said it wipes
out a patchwork of local gun regulations around the state. He said he
rejected an effort to keep the local airport regulations in place because
airports are more dangerous when guns are banned.
"There is no evidence anywhere in the country that having concealed carry
does anything but improve public safety," said Black. "Because in effect
these people are adjunct law enforcement."
Previously, people with concealed weapon permits ran the risk of violating
obscure gun laws as they traveled around the state, Black said.
The uniform set of rules is the fairest way to treat gun owners who have
gone through background checks, and in some cases safety training, before
gaining a permit to carry a concealed weapon, advocates said.
For example, in King George County and Chesapeake, it was illegal to
transport or possess loaded weapons in vehicles, according to Hall. And
concealed weapons were banned in parks in Newport News, Williamsburg,
Portsmouth and Norfolk, even though they were allowed in state parks, Hall
Now a group of gun owners, the Virginia Citizens Defense League, is trying
to get airport officials in Norfolk to amend their no-guns signs on the
"We'd like the sign to reflect the law to say no weapons except concealed
weapon permit holders and law enforcement, or something like that," said
Philip Van Cleave, the president of the VCDL.
So far, the airport has resisted. Scott said the airport's attorneys have
advised against changing the signs.
Terry Scanlon can be reached at 247-7821 or by e-mail at
Copyright © 2003, Daily Press <http://www.dailypress.com>