The Transportation Security Administration recently reversed a policy barring small knives on airplanes, but some members of Congress evidently believe the move makes U.S. airspace unsafe. Senators Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) have filed legislation to reverse the TSA decision.
“Introduced amendment to prevent TSA from allowing passengers to carry small knives onto planes again with @lisamurkowski,” Schumer announced via Twitter.
The legislative effort comes on the heels of a letter sent to TSA Administrator John Pistole calling for the agency to reverse its decision to allow small knives on airplanes.
From the letter:
On September 11, 2001, hijackers on board United 93, United 175, American 77, and American 11 took over these planes using mace, box cutters and knives to attack passengers and crew,” the lawmakers wrote in the letter, first drafted by Reps. Michael Grimm (R, N.Y.), Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) and Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) on March 12.
After these deadly terrorist attacks of 9/11, all knives and dangerous sporting equipment, like pool cues, were placed on a list of prohibited items and banned from planes… Congress acted swiftly to ensure that TSA was afforded the resources and authority to ensure a secure aviation system for the American flying public. We strongly believe that the prohibition of dangerous items is an integral layer in the safety of our aviation system.
TSA officials say taking the knives off the list, however, actually makes American flyers safer.
“That’s what risk-based security is all about, trying to identify what are the most significant risks … and making sure that our officers and our entire national U.S. government national security team is trying to be as precise and focused on those threats that cause the greatest damage,” Pistole said.