Rep. Miller Blasts TSA Decision to Allow Small Knives to be Carried on Planes
“The decision by the TSA to change security rules to allow knives onboard aircraft is just wrong," said U.S. Rep. Candice Miller.
Planning a summer vacation? Feel free to pack your golf clubs, pool cues and Swiss army knives in your carry-on luggage. As of April 25, these items and several others once banned from aircraft cabins will be allowed.
Transportation Security Administration head John Pistole announced Tuesday that small pocketknives and sporting equipment banned after the Sept. 11, 2011 terrorist attacks would once again be allowed in U.S. planes, according to CNN.
However, the announcement was not met with support on all fronts.
Citing continued safety concerns, U.S. Rep. Candice Miller, who represents local residents in Michigan's 10th congressional district, shared her opposition to the TSA's decision in a statement Thursday.
“The decision by the TSA to change security rules to allow knives onboard aircraft is just wrong," said Miller, who serves as vice chair of the House Committee on Homeland Security. "While pilots are responsible for securing the physical aircraft and with hardened cockpit doors knives may not allow a breach of the cockpit as happened on 9/11, they still pose a threat to the flight attendants and passengers."
"I stand with the flight attendants, 9/11 families and many others in urging the TSA to reconsider this decision which moves the security of our aircraft in the wrong direction," Miller added.
Under the new regulations, knives with blades that are 2.36 inches (6 centimeters) or shorter and less than a 1/2 inch wide will be permitted on U.S. airline flights so long as the blade is not fixed or lock into place, according to CNN.
Razor blades and box cutters will continue to be prohibited.
Passengers will also be allowed to carry sporting equipment such as ski poles, lacrosse sticks, pool cues or toy bats in their carry-on luggage.
The changes are due to take effect April 25 and will bring the U.S. into alignment with international regulations currently in place, CNN reports.
The screening process is not expected to be lengthened by these changes as TSA agents will use "common sense" during the screening process and not measure every knife blade or weigh every bat, CNN quoted TSA spokesman David Castelveter as saying.
What are your thoughts on the TSA's decision? Tell us in the comments below.