145 members of the House of Representatives today sent a letter to the head of the Transportation Security Administration commending the agency for delaying a previously announced rule change that would have allowed small knives to be brought onto planes. The signatories also ask the agency to keep the current rules in place that prohibit knives and other potential weapons from being brought into plane passenger cabins. The bipartisan letter, led by Reps. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) and Michael Grimm (R-N.Y.), has enough signatories to fill a typical Boeing 737. Reps. Markey and Grimm have introduced legislation to freeze the TSA prohibited items rules so that such knives are not permitted to be carried aboard passenger planes.
"Over the last two months, we have heard from flight attendants, air marshals, pilots, passengers, TSA screeners and airlines who are unequivocal in their unified view that allowing knives to be brought into the cabin of passenger planes is dangerous, unnecessary, and irresponsible. Putting TSA agents in charge of judging which knives are permissible and which must be confiscated will also decrease security and increase wait times for passengers," write the bi-partisan group of Members of Congress in the letter to TSA Administrator John Pistole. "We urge you to keep the rule simple: No knives on planes."
Under intense pressure from flight attendants, pilots, law enforcement and others, TSA last month delayed implementation of the rule to allow for additional stakeholders to provide comment.