TSA Backs Down: No Small Knives on Planes

Move to allow them met with outcry from flight attendants, others
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 5, 2013 3:46 PM CDT
In this file photo, knives of all sizes and types are piled in a box after being discarded at the security checkpoints of Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.   (AP Photo/Gene Blythe, File)

(Newser) – The TSA is abandoning a plan to allow passengers to carry small knives, souvenir bats, golf clubs, and other sports equipment onto planes in the face of fierce congressional and industry opposition. By scuttling the plan to drop the knives and sports equipment from TSA's list of prohibited items, the agency can focus its attention on other priorities, including expanding its Pre-Check program to identify ahead of time travelers who don't pose a security risk, said TSA Administrator John Pistole.

Pistole had unveiled the proposal to loosen the rules for carry-ons in March, saying the knives and other items can't enable terrorists to cause a plane to crash. He said intercepting them takes time that would be better used searching for explosives and other more serious threats. TSA screeners confiscate more than 2,000 of the small folding knives a day from passengers. Skeptical lawmakers, airlines, labor unions, and law-enforcement groups complained that the knives and other items in the hands of the wrong passengers could be used to injure or even kill passengers and crew. (Read more TSA stories.)

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