Contact: Eben Burnham-Snyder, Rep. Ed Markey, 202-225-2836
Jeff Sharp, Rep. Ed Markey, 202-225-2836

Calls TSA’s policy to allow knives on planes “March Madness”

WASHINGTON (March 22, 2013) – Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) applauds the efforts of Senators Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Ala) to keep knives off of passenger planes following the introduction of a budget amendment in the U.S. Senate that will prevent TSA from implementing the changes to the prohibited items list that they announced earlier this month. The new TSA rules permit folding knives with blades shorter than 2.36 inches and narrower than 0.5 inches to be carried into aircraft cabins, the first time since 9/11 that knives would be able to be carried aboard airplanes by passengers. Last week, Mr. Markey introduced the No Knives Act in the U.S. House of Representatives, bipartisan legislation that would ban the removal of knives from the list of items that passengers cannot bring onto airplanes.

“TSA’s dangerous policy change is not the ‘March Madness’ Americans were hoping for,” said Rep. Markey. “I urge my colleagues in the Senate to support this bipartisan amendment to restore some sanity to our skies.”

Rep. Markey has long fought to maintain the sensible safety standards that have kept our airplanes safe since the attacks on 9/11. In 2005, TSA first relaxed post-9/11 rules to permit potential bladed weapons onto passenger planes in carry-on baggage. In response, Rep. Markey joined flight attendants to fight the relaxed rules, including pushing his Leave All Blades Behind Act that would have kept intact the ban on razor-sharp implements like scissors or small knives. However, the TSA refused to reverse course.