Site of Ft. Lauderdale Airport Shooting a Gun-Free Zone

Man in Passenger Terminal AP

On January 6 a passenger from an Air Canada flight allegedly pulled a gun from a checked bag in baggage claim and opened fire, shooting numerous innocents inside the passenger terminal.

Florida law designates an airport “passenger terminal” as one of the many places that law-abiding citizens are not allowed to carry a gun for self-defense.

The Florida Senate’s list of Florida Statutes states that a “[concealed carry] license issued under this section does not authorize any person to openly carry a handgun or carry a concealed weapon or firearm into…the inside of the passenger terminal and sterile area of any airport, provided that no person shall be prohibited from carrying any legal firearm into the terminal, which firearm is encased for shipment for purposes of checking such firearm as baggage to be lawfully transported on any aircraft.”

In other words, it is legal to have a gun with you if it is “encased” for travel–say, for the purposes of a hunting or shooting trip–but it is not legal to have one otherwise. This mean law-abiding Floridians with concealed carry licenses were barred from having their guns on their persons for self-defense while at the baggage claim where the January 6 attack occurred. The Crime Prevention Research Center notes that “Florida is one of only six states that completely ban concealed carry at airports.”

Breitbart News spoke to Florida Carry Inc.’s Sean Caranna after news of the Ft. Lauderdale attack broke, he said:

Once again a murderer has chosen a so-called “gun free zone” to indiscriminately kill innocent people. Thankfully law enforcement was able to respond quickly, but tragically not before multiple victims were murdered. Florida Rep. Raburn (R-57) and Sen. Greg Steube (R-23) have each filed separate legislation this year to allow for lawful defensive carry in the non-secure areas of airport terminals. This cowardly and tragic act is further proof that people need the ability to defend themselves wherever they peacefully go.

AWR Hawkins is the Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and host of “Bullets with AWR Hawkins,” a Breitbart News podcast. He is also the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at


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