Federal Regulations concerning concealed carry at airports

What are the FAA/ Federal Regulations concerning concealed carry on airport property? Obviously you can’t, although some foolishly try, bring a firearm through TSA into the secure area of the airport but what about the public areas? Is it illegal or legal to carry at arrivals, baggage claim, restaurants etc.? What about private or general aviation airports? I’m a retired pilot and have and usually do carry at the airport when not a passenger. State regulations differ I’m sure for some airports I imagine but federal covers all states.

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Federal laws and regulations ban guns in the designated secure areas of commercial airports (e.g. past the TSA security point). If there are no added state laws (see below), yes, you can carry into the open area of the terminal and baggage claim, stores and food places, etc.
I have not been in a general aviation facility for decades, so I do not know how they define their secure areas now. Might be best to call them if you are going out on a private aircraft.

NOTE: Be sure to check state laws about airports. Some, like Arkansas where I am, ban guns anywhere in the passenger terminal, not just in the TSA secure areas. They do, of course, allow for unloaded guns and ammunition properly secured in baggage to be checked for your flight.
Interestingly, Arkansas does allow concealed carry into the terminal for those with an Arkansas Enhanced CHCL (available only to Arkansas residents), but not with any basic CHCL/CCW/CHGP.

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My understanding is that non secure areas of the airport fall within the bounds of state law

But I am not a lawyer and cannot and do not give legal advice

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I’ve picked people up at the airport, walked into the baggage claim areas, I believe that’s allowed here. I’ll look it up…

Index Utah Code
Title 76 Utah Criminal Code
Chapter 10 Offenses Against Public Health, Safety, Welfare, and Morals
Part 5 Weapons
Section 529 Possession of dangerous weapons, firearms, or explosives in airport secure areas prohibited – Penalty.

76-10-529. Possession of dangerous weapons, firearms, or explosives in airport secure areas prohibited – Penalty.

(1) As used in this section:

(a) “Airport authority” has the same meaning as defined in Section 72-10-102.

(b) “Dangerous weapon” is the same as defined in Section 76-10-501.

(c) “Explosive” is the same as defined for “explosive, chemical, or incendiary device” in Section 76-10-306.

(d) “Firearm” is the same as defined in Section 76-10-501.

(2) (a) Within a secure area of an airport established pursuant to this section, a person, including a person licensed to carry a concealed firearm under Title 53, Chapter 5, Part 7, Concealed Firearm Act, is guilty of:

(i) a class A misdemeanor if the person knowingly or intentionally possesses any dangerous weapon or firearm;

(ii) an infraction if the person recklessly or with criminal negligence possesses any dangerous weapon or firearm; or

(iii) a violation of Section 76-10-306 if the person transports, possesses, distributes, or sells any explosive, chemical, or incendiary device.

(b) Subsection (2)(a) does not apply to:

(i) persons exempted under Section 76-10-523; and

(ii) members of the state or federal military forces while engaged in the performance of their official duties.

(3) An airport authority, county, or municipality regulating the airport may:

(a) establish any secure area located beyond the main area where the public generally buys tickets, checks and retrieves luggage; and

(b) use reasonable means, including mechanical, electronic, x-ray, or any other device, to detect dangerous weapons, firearms, or explosives concealed in baggage or upon the person of any individual attempting to enter the secure area.

(4) At least one notice shall be prominently displayed at each entrance to a secure area in which a dangerous weapon, firearm, or explosive is restricted.

(5) Upon the discovery of any dangerous weapon, firearm, or explosive, the airport authority, county, or municipality, the employees, or other personnel administering the secure area may:

(a) require the individual to deliver the item to the air freight office or airline ticket counter;

(b) require the individual to exit the secure area; or

(c) obtain possession or retain custody of the item until it is transferred to law enforcement officers.

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It varies State by State, and in some instances at the County or City level. Know before you go. That being said, you also cannot count on TSA or local LEOs to know the applicable law/statute as well as they should.

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