Nebraska Airport Bans Concealed Weapons

Add the Lincoln Airport to the list of places banning concealed weapons.

The Airport Authority voted unanimously at its monthly meeting Tuesday to post signs and make bringing concealed weapons into the terminal a crime.

The Legislature passed a law last year allowing people who obtain a permit to carry concealed firearms in most public places. It went into effect Jan. 2.

Places not specifically exempted by the law must post signs if they wish to prohibit the carrying of concealed guns on their premises.

Airport Authority member John Hoppe Jr. questioned why such a ban was necessary because the Transportation Security Administration already screens passengers before they board planes.

But Airport Director John Wood said he was more concerned about a potential problem in the terminal.

For instance, if someone were to drop a weapon or if another person were to see it poking out of a jacket, "We could end up having a major incident given the nature of airport security and aviation security,"Wood said.

Wood said it's his understanding the ban would not apply to people parking guns in checked luggage.

In other business Tuesday, the Airport Authority voted to accept the resignation of board member Wayne Fisher.

Fisher, who was elected to the board in 1999 and re-elected in 2005, has been undergoing treatment in Texas for an undisclosed medical condition, Wood said.

Though the treatment has gone well, Wood said Fisher has chosen to stay in Texas and not return to his board seat.

Wood said the board plans to recommend Chris Hove, who lost to Fisher in the 2005 election, to fill the seat until the city election in May.

It will be up to Mayor Coleen Seng whether to appoint Hove, who is a senior vice president at West Gate Bank, or someone else. That person then must be approved by the City Council.

Wood said because of the short window from now until the election, Seng may choose not to fill the seat.

The person who wins the election in May would serve the remainder of Fisher's term, which expires in 2011.



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