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Popping off

Convicted felon accidentally fires gun during Atlanta airport security check, flees scene

A man accidentally discharged a firearm at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport on Saturday afternoon, fled the scene, and is being sought by police, Fox News reports.

Law enforcement has identified the suspect as Kenny Wells and issued a warrant for his arrest. Wells is a convicted felon.

The gun reportedly went off when Wells reached inside his bag during a security check. According to the Washington Post, Transportation Security Administration agents had already detected the firearm via X-ray and were about to confiscate it. No one was struck by the shot, but panic ensued as bystanders, fearful of an "active shooter" situation, ran for cover. One person suffered minor injuries from a fall and two others reported shortness of breath.

Gun control activist Shannon Watts took to Twitter to blame the incident on an "NRA-supported 'guns everywhere' law allowing loaded guns inside airports" that Georgia lawmakers passed in 2014. However, Maj. Reginald Moorman of the airport police said Wells could be charged with carrying a concealed weapon at a commercial airport, suggesting that Wells was already breaking the law before he pulled the trigger.

The text of the 2014 law to which Watts alluded prohibits bringing guns into "the restricted access area of a commercial service airport, in or beyond the airport security screening checkpoint."