Judge sets new policy for travelers with guns caught at airport

by: Tom Jones Updated:


ATLANTA - A new policy has taken some of the hassle out of getting arrested for trying to board your flight with your gun at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.

Channel 2's Tom Jones has learned those arrested with clean records won't have to go before a judge before being released.

Travelers usually spend the night in jail, then go before a judge before they're released. They'd most likely miss their flight.

Now, some of the sting has been taken out of getting arrested for the offense. People arrested for carrying weapons in unauthorized locations are bonding out of jail within two to three hours.

Court officials say that's because new Chief Magistrate Court Judge Wanda Dallas has changed the policy.

Now those arrested have a preset bond and if they can make it, they get out right away.

Jones tried to contact the judge for two days to get a comment about the new policy but one of her assistants said her schedule was full.

It's a huge change for an airport that leads the nation in the number of weapons confiscated. Last year 97 people were arrested. So far this year 76 people have been arrested.

Passengers at the airport don't like the new policy.

"It's not enough. Not enough. They have time to think about it when they're in jail overnight," traveler Janet Rose said. "I think that's crazy. I think they should get more than a penalty than that," another traveler said.

Clayton County Solicitor Tasha Mosley says the new policy would save the county money by not having to house people overnight.

But some travelers say this is not about money, but about safety.

"I am not for that but its sounds like they are making it a little more lenient for the people that get caught," traveler Ross Sachs said.

Several people arrested have been high-profile business travelers.

Stacey Mims says they should be treated like everyone else.

"My grandfather used to say 'you got to be more careful,'" he said.

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