Under Fire, TSA to Keep New Knife Policy

But Congress considers legislation to reinstate ban

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Mar 15, 2013 6:29 AM CDT

(Newser) – The TSA has gotten a lot of flak for deciding to allow small knives back on planes—but not enough to change its mind. "I could have done a better job of bringing (the policy) in earlier," TSA boss John Pistole testified before a Homeland Security subcommittee. Lawmakers emphasized their problems about the new TSA rules by bringing props, including a golf club, to the meeting, Politico reports. (Up to two clubs are now allowed under the relaxed rules.)

TSA personnel daily take between 2,000 and 3,000 small knives from baggage, at a time cost of two or three minutes per item, Pistole said. Yet "we’re unaware of a single incident involving these knives," he said, adding that the International Civil Aviation Organization—which oversees flights for some 5 billion people—allows the knives. But several members of Congress said they had plans to introduce legislation to re-ban the knives. That's the only way a ban would be reinstated, Pistole said.

In this Nov. 9, 2011 file photo, Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Administrator John Pistole testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington.
In this Nov. 9, 2011 file photo, Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Administrator John Pistole testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)
In this Sept. 26, 2006, file photo, knives of all sizes and types are piled in a box at the State of Georgia Surplus Property Division store in Tucker, Ga.
In this Sept. 26, 2006, file photo, knives of all sizes and types are piled in a box at the State of Georgia Surplus Property Division store in Tucker, Ga.   (AP Photo/Gene Blythe, File)
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