In the News August 12, 2008

Michael Kenny Representing City of Atlanta in Airport Gun Battle

As reported by the Associated Press, Daily Report and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Michael Kenny is defending the City of Atlanta in a case that revolves around a new state law enacted July 1 that allows licensed gun owners to carry weapons in public venues, including public transportation. The City is arguing that the law does not apply to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, and is being sued by and state Rep. Timothy Beardon (R-Villa Rica), who authored the law, to lift the ban.

On August 11, a federal judge ruled in favor of the City and denied plaintiffs' request for a preliminary injunction, ruling that the plaintiffs had failed to prove that the new state law applies to airports, or established a substantial likelihood of success on the merits of their claims.

Kenny argued on behalf of the defense that letting guns into the airport poses a threat to an estimated 90 million passengers and 56,000 employees expected to travel through the facility this year. “The public interest weighs in favor of hewing to the status quo,” he said.

Kenny also pointed out the jurisdictional issue involved: “Under federal statute, an airport operator serves a single master . . . It’s the federal government, not the Georgia Legislature.”

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