Two conservative Republican lawmakers who want to lift Florida’s ban on concealed weapons in airport terminals say Friday’s shooting at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport strengthens the need for their proposal.
Weeks before Esteban Santiago opened fire on Friday in a baggage-claim area, killing five people and injuring six others, state Sen. Greg Steube and state Rep. Jake Raburn had filed bills in the Florida Legislature that would allow the 1.7 million people with concealed weapons permits in the state to carry their guns in airport passenger terminals.
Raburn, R-Lithia, said Saturday that the proposal wasn’t inspired by any particular incident but is a matter of allowing “lawfully abiding citizens” to protect themselves, even if it’s simply while picking up loved ones from the airport.
Raburn told the Herald/Times “it’s hard to say” if his bill, if in place now, would have made a difference on Friday. He said 44 states already allow guns in airport terminals.
“There’s always the potential — if it were allowed and there were someone in that area that had a concealed weapon — that it could have gone differently,” Raburn said. “I’m not going to say that it would have, because my understanding is we’re talking about a span of time that’s less than a minute. It may not have changed anything.”