Previous TSA effort to allow knives on planes was met with fierce outcry
Washington (September 11, 2017) – Today, on the 16th anniversary of the September 11th terrorist attack, Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), and Congressmen David P. Joyce (OH-14) and Daniel W. Lipinski (IL-03) introduced legislation banning small knives on planes. Following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, in which hijackers reportedly used knives and box cutters to hijack four aircraft, the Transportation Safety Administration (TSA) added knives to the prohibited items list. In 2013, the TSA proposed allowing small folding blades to be carried onto aircraft, but later reversed course after staunch public opposition. The lawmakers’ legislation would prohibit the TSA from removing small, non-locking knives from the prohibited items list.
“It makes absolutely no sense to give knives a boarding pass onto airplanes,” said Senator Markey, a member of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee. “The 9/11 Commission described ‘failures of imagination’ as a primary reason we were unable to prevent those fateful attacks, but it does not take much imagination to understand why allowing knives back onto planes is a bad idea. In the confines of an airline cabin even a small knife can lead to devastating consequences. I thank Rep. Joyce and Rep. Lipinski for their partnership on this legislation and look forward to working to pass this commonsense legislation.”
“I wholeheartedly believe that it makes little to no sense to allow passengers to bring knives onto airplanes,” said Congressman Joyce, a member of the House Appropriations Committee. “Since the hijackers on 9/11 used knives and box cutters to hijack four aircraft, it is common sense that these weapons should be banned from planes. After hearing from several flight attendants, air marshals, pilots, passengers, TSA screeners, and other airline employees who believe that allowing knives and box cutters on planes is unnecessary and dangerous, my colleagues and I are taking the initiative to protect Americans in the air.”
“On the emotional anniversary of one of the darkest days in our country’s history, this legislation serves as a reminder that we must continue to stay vigilant,” said Rep. Lipinski. “I wish we didn't need these types of policies or this bill, but in the reality we live in it is necessary and just commonsense.”
A copy of the legislation can be found HERE.
Last year, Senator Markey proposed an amendment with Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reauthorization bill that would have forbidden any changes to the prohibited items list that would permit passengers to carry small knives through screening checkpoints. Senator Markey’s amendment was accepted into the Senate-passed bill, but was ultimately dropped from the final legislation. In 2013, the TSA proposed allowing passengers to carry small knives onto planes for the first time since 9/11.
The legislation is supported by the Association of Flight Attendants, Allied Pilots Association, Transportation Trades Department AFL-CIO, and International Association of Machinists & Aerospace Workers.
“Never Forget is not just a thought; it is a promise of action,” said Sara Nelson, International President of the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA. “Sixteen years is far too long to wait for passage of common sense legislation to keep knives out of the aircraft cabin. Four flights, our friends, our family, our nation's security - all taken in a moment by those with evil in their hearts and small knives in their hands. Never again. We thank Senator Markey for taking action to keep knives out of the aircraft cabin for good.”