This piece from my AJC colleague Bob Keefe, on a building confrontation between Congress and the state of Georgia, hasn’t gotten enough attention:
Taking direct aim at controversial gun legislation just passed by the Georgia General Assembly, a New Jersey senator has introduced a bill that would expand federal regulations on guns in airports.
Democratic Sen. Frank Lautenberg’s “Firearm-Free Airports Act” would make it illegal to carry a firearm into any non-federally regulated area of an airport, including the lobby, baggage claim and ticket counter areas.
The bill would counter legislation passed by the General Assembly that would allow gun permit holders to carry weapons in any non-secure areas of a Georgia airport — including Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, the world’s busiest. The Georgia legislation is awaiting Gov. Sonny Perdue’s signature.
“In the post-9/11 world, it simply defies common sense that it would be legal to carry a gun into an airport,” Lautenberg said in a statement. “Our airports face threats every day, and allowing someone to walk into a major airport with a loaded gun is a recipe for disaster.”
On Thursday, Keefe chased down U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.). “We … start to try to pass acts to contravene state laws, that’s something you have to be concerned with, ” Isakson said. “But I’ll have to look at it.”
But before you get your holsters in a wad, think about the gun lobby’s continued clout in Washington – two years into an Obama administration. This from CNN’s Carol Costello’s blog this morning:
The National Rifle Association is expecting a record crowd of 70,000 at its annual meeting in Charlotte, North Carolina, this weekend. There, it will outline its goals for the future: up its membership to five million, launch a get out and vote campaign, and continue promoting Second Amendment Rights.
As the NRA celebrates a very good year, there are some who say the gun rights lobby has never been stronger. According to rocker and NRA board member Ted Nugent, the NRA has anti-gunners on the run – with President Obama leading the pack.
“He’s scared,” Nugent says. “We know that President Obama is against the NRA, but he’s not going to speak about that, because it would be political suicide, like for those who have stood up in the past.”
Some gun control advocates feel betrayed that Mr. Obama isn’t fighting harder for gun control. He’s even signed bills that allow guns in national parks and on Amtrak trains – bills the NRA loves. Some agree with Nugent that politicians may be ducking the issue.
In other words, you have to wonder whether Lautenberg will be getting a cut from NRA fund-raising letters.
Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele will be the featured speaker at grassroots event tonight for the Georgia Republican Party’s 2010 Republican Round Up, which features training for GOP activists and candidates heading into a busy election year.
The event’s at the Cobb Galleria.
Simply because the New York Times this week declared him to be a “barometer of the conservative movement,” we need to pay attention to the fact that – on PeachPundit – the mercurial Erick Erickson is wondering aloud whether he should abandon Republican incumbent Kathy Cox in the race for state school superintendent and support the Libertarian candidate instead.
Republican candidate for governor Jeff Chapman of Brunswick has named Joe Dendy, who headed Mike Huckabee’s 2008 presidential campaign in Georgia, as his campaign manager. Says Dendy, speaking in objective fashion about the fellow signing his new paychecks: “Now I have found a man whose honesty and integrity inspires me just as much as both Reagan and Huckabee.”
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