This past Saturday, travelers got a scare when a firearm was discharged at the security checkpoint of Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. The thing is, apparently, it wasn’t the fault of the felon who pulled the trigger. It was the NRA’s, according to Shannon Watts.
An unintentional gun discharge in the Atlanta airport caused mass panic today among passengers who thought there was an active shooter.
— Shannon Watts (@shannonrwatts) November 20, 2021
Kenny Wills, a convicted felon, had a firearm in his checked bag when going through security. His bag was flagged for a secondary search after going through the X-ray machine. As a TSA agent started to search through his bag, Wills lunged for it, and at some point, the gun discharged. All reports seem to confirm that it was a negligent discharge and not an intentional discharge.
Wills then fled the security checkpoint with the gun and was able to escape through the front doors. But not before dumping the firearm in a trashcan where it sat until it was found on Tuesday. Wills is still on the run as the manhunt continues and has been charged with carrying a concealed weapon at a commercial airport, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, discharging a firearm, and reckless conduct.
According to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Wills had a history of felony convictions, including possession of a firearm by a felon not once but twice. Once in 1997 where he was convicted and sent to prison for three months. Then a second time in 2015 where he was convicted and sent to prison for two years. He has faced other charges: impersonating a police officer, impersonation, multiple traffic offenses, and theft by taking.
An outstanding member of society right there.
But according to Shannon Watts, this is the NRA’s fault for a Georgia bill that was passed in 2014 called the Safe Carry Protection Act of 2014, aka ‘Guns Everywhere’ Bill. Now let’s actually take a look at what this bill allows.
In short, this bill allows anyone with a Georgia concealed carry permit as well as those from other states with licenses or permits that Georgia accepts to carry a firearm into “bars, churches, school zones, government buildings and certain parts of airports.” While permitted within airports and the Transportation Security Administration checkpoint lines, firearms are still not permitted within the secure area.
So now we know what this bill covered. How in any way, shape, or form does this apply to a convicted felon who forgot a gun in his checked bag going through airport security? It doesn’t. But all of this was left out of her tweet. So anyone doing drive-by headline reason would read that and think, “Oh, the NRA backed a bill that allows everyone to carry guns everywhere, including airports.” And that simply isn’t true.
While this type of rhetoric isn’t surprising coming from Watts, I found it necessary to take a few minutes while on a plane flying home today to research this “guns everywhere” bill, which simply took one Google search and explain what it actually allows. After reading this, if you still think the NRA had anything to do with this incident, share your thoughts in the comments.