TSA to Allow Pocket Knives, Sporting Equipment
By Matt Alderton
March 12, 2013
After terrorists used box cutters to hijack planes on Sept. 11, the U.S. government banned all potential weapons from U.S. aircraft. Now, more than 11 years later, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is once again allowing some of those items — including some pocket knives and sporting equipment — back on board, it announced yesterday.
Effective April 25, TSA will allow in passengers’ carry-on bags knives that have blades that are 2.36 inches or less in length and less than 1/2 inch in width, provided the blades don’t lock. It also will allow novelty-sized and toy bats, billiard cues, ski poles, hockey sticks, lacrosse sticks and up to two golf clubs. Liquids in volumes above 3 ounces will continue to be prohibited.
“This is part of an overall risk-based security approach, which allows transportation security officers to better focus their efforts on finding higher threat items such as explosives,” reads a TSA statement announcing the change.
Although many passengers welcome the changes, at least one group — flight attendants — vehemently opposes them.
“Today’s announcement to permit knives back into the aircraft cabin is a poor and shortsighted decision by the TSA. Continued prohibition of these items is an integral layer in making our aviation system secure and must remain in place,” reads a statement from the Flight Attendants Union Coalition, which represents nearly 90,000 flight attendants at carriers nationwide. “As the last line of defense in the cabin and key aviation partners, we believe that these proposed changes will further endanger the lives of all flight attendants and the passengers we work so hard to keep safe and secure.”
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