Texas House takes away felony for guns at airports

AUSTIN (KXAN) — It happens quite a bit, licensed gun owners forgetting they have their weapons on them at the airport. Now lawmakers want to get rid of the penalties.

Ryan Kurzynski admits the TSA caught him scissors once, with something he was not supposed to take onto the plane.

“Yes, in my carry on, and the confiscated them,” said Kurzynski.

He has never brought a gun to the airport, but understands how it could happen.

“People rush, people rush to get to the airport, to catch their flight,” said Kursynski.

Bringing a gun to the airport is currently a 3rd-degree felony. It dates back to the 90’s when the state started issuing handgun licenses.

“It’s a massive inconvenience,” said Rep. Drew Springer, R-Muenster, who says the law is not necessary. The Texas House voted 139-0 to get rid of it.

“One of the big arguments is, ‘What if someone is trying to use it to gauge our security? TSA will record it. If you try it multiple times during the day, you will be targeted,” said Springer.

If passed, TSA will still stop anyone carrying a weapon. But CHL holders will be allowed to return the weapon to their vehicle or into a checked bag without being arrested.

Without the threat of jail time, Kurzynski said more people might get caught with guns.

“They’re still going to be bringing guns in the airport, maybe forget, maybe not forget. Because now the felony is not there. What are they going to get? Their gun taken away and that’s about it,” said Kurzynski.

This bill still has to be voted on by the Senate and signed by the governor.

TSA Agents collect a lot of guns at Austin’s airport, but the numbers are much higher in Houston and Dallas. In Austin, 12 guns have been confiscated so far this year. There were 44 last year.

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