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TSA drops plan to allow small knives on planes

By Joan Lowy

Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 10:06 a.m. HST, Jun 05, 2013

WASHINGTON » The Obama administration said today it was abandoning a plan that would have let passengers carry small knives, souvenir bats, golf clubs and other sports equipment onto planes.

The decision by the head of the Transportation Security Administration, John Pistole, came after fierce opposition by members of Congress, airlines, labor unions and some law enforcement groups. They said that people intent on causing harm could use the knives and other items to injure or kill passengers and crew.

Knives and sports equipment will remain on the list of prohibited items, and shelving the proposal will allow the agency to focus on other priorities, including expanding the Pre-Check program to identify earlier those travelers who don't present a security risk, Pistole said in an Associated Press interview.

Pistole had presented the proposal to loosen the rules for carry-ons in March, saying the knives and other items couldn't enable terrorists to cause a plane to crash. He said intercepting the items took time better used searching for explosives and other more serious threats.

Agency screeners each day confiscate more than 2,000 of the small folding knives passengers.

Last month 145 House members signed a letter asking Pistole to retain the policy barring passengers from including the knives and other items from in their carry-on bags.

Flight attendant unions organized protests in Washington and at airports across the country. Airlines for America, which represents major U.S. carriers, and executives from some of the nation's largest airlines came out against the proposal.

"After getting the input from all these different constituents, I realized there was not across-the-board support that would serve us well in moving forward," Pistole said.

By withdrawing the proposal, he said agency can focus on programs to identify the greatest security threats.

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gari wrote:
on June 5,2013 | 10:34AM
serious wrote:
Can't the Obama Administration do anything right? I don't care which party it is--these scandals, misquotes, horrible decisions--first the X-Rays--buy them and then get rid of them, outlaw knives, then allow them and now disallow them. The Secret Service, The GSA, then the most recent three events. If HE would stay home and try to be a leader rather than flying all over the country in AF One for Fund raisers!! Is he looking for a third term? With the number going on welfare, he'd win by a landslide. Another Chicago/Detroit!!!
on June 5,2013 | 10:44AM
Hapa_Haole_Boy wrote:
I still want my mini-leatherman back.
on June 5,2013 | 11:35AM
localguy wrote:
No mini knives on the plane but sharp pencils can kill just as well when held to a person's throat. Write this of as another political fiasco. Mini knives would not have been a problem on the plane. Especially when ceramic and plastic knives fly right through the TSA, their scanners cannot detect them.
on June 5,2013 | 11:58AM
cunfuzd4 wrote:
just imagine if each one of those knives in the picture cost the person attempting to get them through inspection a $300 fine.
on June 5,2013 | 03:06PM
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