In many US airports, guns are OK outside security

Posted: Updated:

PHOENIX-- Flying in the U.S. has been transformed since 9/11, with passengers forced to remove their shoes, take out their laptop computers and put liquids and gels in clear plastic bags.

Yet it's perfectly legal to take a loaded gun right up to the security checkpoint at some of the nation's biggest airports.

An Associated Press survey of the 20 busiest U.S. airports found that seven of them -- including Sky Harbor in Phoenix -- let people with gun permits carry firearms in the general public areas of the terminal.

Some anti-terrorism experts say that's a glaring security loophole that could endanger people.

Other authorities say the nonsecure areas of the terminal are no different from other public venues and do not warrant special restrictions.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)