The former chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security on Monday called on the head of the TSA to "go back and look" at a new policy that would allow pocket knives on airplanes.
"As far as the pocket knives, [when] that was first rolled out, I assumed that [TSA Administrator] John Pistole had spoken with the air marshals and the flight attendants," Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) said on MSNBC's "Andrea Mitchell Reports." "But the fact that he didn't, and there is such resistance now from the law enforcement community, I really think he should go back and look at that. Re-look at that before it's implemented."
King's comments came amid an outcry from some involved in the flight industry over a new Transportation Security Administration policy that would allow small pocket knives on planes, a plan set to take effect next month. King said that "there is some rationale" for the change, because it could allow TSA workers to "focus more on other devices or instruments that we may feel are more lethal."
"But on the other hand, again, in view of the fact that the professionals who are going to be on the flights are so concerned, I think John Pistole should go back and look at that again."
Another New Yorker, Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer, has been a vocal critic of the policy shift.
"These items are dangerous, and have not become less so in the years since they were banned from planes," Schumer said over the weekend, according to news reports. "Now is not the time for reduced vigilance, or to place additional burdens on TSA agents who should be looking for dangerous items."
Separately, King has blasted the TSA over a recent revelation that "simulated explosive devices" made it past security at Newark Liberty International Airport during an undercover operation. Last week, he sent a letter to Pistole, asking for an "immediate top-to-bottom security review of all TSA operations" at the airport.