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Eleventh Circuit Upholds Atlanta Airport Gun Ban

On March 12, 2009, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit affirmed a decision of the U.S. District Court that, in effect, permits the continued application of a longstanding ban on firearms within public airports in Georgia.  In v. City of Atlanta, a gun rights advocacy group and a member of the Georgia House of Representatives argued that H.B. 89, enacted by the Georgia General Assembly in April 2008, authorized licensed firearm owners to carry a firearm within public airport terminals, superseding the prior ban.  The District Court found that the law, by its plain language, did not apply to public airport terminals and that the pre-existing ban therefore remains valid and enforceable.  The U.S. Court of Appeals affirmed the District Court decision in an unpublished opinion, citing the reasoning of the District Court.