Buffalo, NY (WKBW/Press Release) - Senator Chuck Schumer is calling on the Transportation Security Administration to reverse its decision to allow airline passengers to carry small knives, baseball bats, golf clubs and other items.
In response to the September 11th attacks, the TSA prohibited passengers from carrying these items onto planes due to security risks. This week the TSA announced it would allow small knives, blades, small baseball bats, toy bats, golf clubs, hockey sticks, ski poles, lacrosse sticks and billiard cues to be carried onboard airplanes.
Calling these items "weaponizable," Schumer is urging the TSA to continue knife bans as is, saying even smaller knives could put passengers, flight attendants and pilots at risk.
Schumer also noted that this week undercover federal agents were able to smuggle a mock bomb through security at Newark Airport, exposing a significant security risk. The Senator says TSA agents should not be distracted by new rules requiring them to measure the length of knives and bats.
"While it's true that pilots are safe, locked behind cockpit doors, these dangerous items still pose a significant hazard to the flight crew, other passengers, and even the integrity of the plane," said Schumer. "These items are dangerous, and have not become less so in the years since they were banned from planes. And with the major security breach at Newark this weekend, now is not the time for reduced vigilance, or to place additional burdens on TSA agents who should be looking for dangerous items, not wasting time measuring the length of a knife blade."
The rule goes into effect April 25th, 2013. It includes small knives with non-locked blades smaller than 2.36 inches and less than half an inch in width.