Texas airports get ready for state's new 'open carry' gun law.


New York (AirGuide - Inside Air Travel) Airports in Texas are posting signs and issuing memos in advance of the state's new "open carry" law, which goes into effect tomorrow, Jan. 1, 2016. The law allows legally licensed handgun owners to openly carry a holstered gun in public but, as the Houston Airport System notes, "there still are some restrictions in certain locations, including at airports." A statement outlining what the new state rules mean for passengers and employees at George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH), William P. Hobby Airport (HOU) and Ellington Airport (EFD) - and presumably other airports in the state - says gun owners with properly licensed and displayed guns (as well as gun owners with licenses for concealed weapons) "can have their gun in public areas only, like baggage, ticketing, garages and public sidewalks or walkways." Federal law still prohibits passengers from bringing weapons to or past airport security checkpoints and the TSA is permitted to issue fines to travelers found with loaded or unloaded guns. But an amendment to the Texas handgun licensing law that went into effect in September says a passenger found with a licensed gun at an airport checkpoint won't be subject to felony charges as long as the gun was taken to the airport accidentally (the explanation the TSA says most everyone caught with a gun at an airport seems to give) and as long as the passenger immediately takes their gun away from the secure area when it's found. "The Houston Airport System does not anticipate a discernible impact on our day-to-day operations with the implementation of the state's new open carry law," said Bill Begley, public information officer for the Houston Airport System. "State public safety officials have put in place requirements that are designed to ensure the safe use of firearms, and Houston's airports will follow those regulations and safeguards to ensure...

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