Florida state Sen. Greg Steube and state Rep. Jake Raburn, who introduced separate pro-gun bills weeks ago, are insisting eliminating gun-free zones in airports is more important now, following the mass shooting Friday that took place at Fort Lauderdale International Airport, where five people were killed.
Steube said the bills, which would allow licensed gun owners with concealed carry permits to have their firearms with them in unsecured areas of their state’s airports, could have potentially made a difference.
"Had a licensed permit holder been one of those people standing right behind him, he'd have gotten one shot off and somebody would've pulled a gun out and shot him," Steube told the Orlando Sentinel.
Iraq war veteran Esteban Santiago, 26, also injured six people when he opened fire around 12:55 p.m. at one of the baggage claims. His weapon, a 9 mm handgun, had been packed in his checked baggage.
Steube's Senate Bill 140, if passed, would allow citizens to carry handguns on college campuses, in unsecured areas of airports and at local government meetings. They would also be allowed to open carry in public. Applicants who want a handgun must also "demonstrate competence with a firearm" by completing some type of safety or training course.
"Those with mental illness and terrorists specifically target locations where they know law-abiding people like myself aren't carrying," he told Yahoo News. "They go to places they know where they can do as much damage and as much terror as possible until law enforcement arrives. I don't think that should be the law of the state."
Raburn's House Bill 6001 would allow concealed carry permit holders to carry guns in unsecure areas of an airport.
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