LOS ANGELES, (UPI) — The Transportation Security Administration chief announced a delay in a policy change that would have allowed small folding knives onto U.S. flights this week.
TSA chief John Pistole did not say whether he would reconsider lifting the knife ban at a later date, the Los Angeles Times reported Tuesday.
Opponents of allowing knives on planes said Pistole reversed the proposed change after backlash from flight attendants, airline executives, lawmakers and the families of the victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
“So we can incorporate their input and to continue training requirements nationwide, I have decided to temporarily delay implementing the prohibited items changes,” he said Monday in a letter to TSA workers.
Under the rule change that was set to go into effect Thursday, passengers would have been allowed to carry small knives, no longer than 2.36 inches long and less than a half-inch wide, as well as pool cues, ski poles, hockey sticks, lacrosse sticks, golf clubs and novelty-size bats.
“The United States has banned all knives from commercial flights since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks for good reason: Knives were the terrorists’ weapons of choice in bringing down four jetliners and murdering thousands of Americans,” a coalition of flight attendants said in a statement.