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Thu, Jun 06, 2013

TSA Reverses Proposed Policy On Small Knives In Airline Passenger Cabins

Representatives Markey, Grimm, Who Led Effort In Congress, Praise TSA Reversal On Knife Policy

The TSA Wednesday changed its mind on a policy to allow small knives in the passenger cabins of U.S. airliners and abandoned the idea. The move comes after months of protests from many sectors of the aviation community, including flight attendants and pilots.

TSA originally proposed the rule change in March of 2013, expanding the list of accepted items to small knives, golf clubs, small baseball bats, and other items. Representatives Ed Markey (D-MA) and Michael Grimm (R-NY), along with Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY), immediately opposed the policy publicly. Days after the proposed change, Reps. Markey and Grimm introduced legislation to eliminate the policy. Two weeks ago, the two Congressmen, along with more than 140 of their colleagues, sent a letter to Pistole asking him to keep the current rules in place that prohibit knives and other potential weapons from being brought into plane passenger cabins.

Bipartisan support in Congress grew for their amendment that was set to be voted on Wednesday night on the Homeland Security funding bill. Ahead of that vote, TSA head John Pistole finally acquiesced to the opposition in Congress, and cancelled the proposed plan.
 
“This is a victory for every single person who sets foot on a plane, and a reaffirmation that the government listens to the people,” said Rep. Markey. “The bi-partisan effort to stop this rule change, and the grassroots movement among pilots, flight attendants, law enforcement and TSA screeners, was successful because this rule change was wrong from the start. I commend TSA Administrator Pistole for listening to the opposition to this policy, and for having the courage to reverse course.”
 
“Today, our calls to keep knives off planes have been heard!” said Rep. Grimm. “TSA’s decision to uphold the knife ban is not only smart policy, but will ensure that we continue to maintain the highest levels of safety for passengers and flight crews. In a post-9/11 world, we must always put safety first, and I commend the TSA for reversing its position.”

The policy was eventually opposed by the major unions representing pilots, flight attendants, TSA screeners, law enforcement agents, and by many of the major airlines.

(Image provided by TSA)

FMI: www.tsa.gov

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