By Steve Strunsky/The Star-Ledger
on March 12, 2013 at 7:13 PM
The union representing 47,000 TSA airport screeners said permitting pocket knives on airliners would be dangerous for its members, for passengers and for flight crews. The TSA said it understands the union’s concern.
The Transportation Security Administration said today there was “an extremely low likelihood” pocket knives could be used by terrorists to bring down an airliner, and the agency vowed to work with authorities to prosecute anyone using one in a mid-air assault.
The agency was responding to an announcement by the TSA screeners union that it was opposed to a rule change, effective April 25, permitting small knives as carry-on items. The union says allowing such items on board commercial aircraft would pose a danger to screeners, passengers and flight crews.
“TSA is aware of the concerns of AFGE,” the agency said in a statement, referring to the American Federation of Government Employees, the union representing 47,000 screeners nationwide. “The upcoming change in TSA’s Prohibited Items List is part of the agency’s new risk-based security approach designed to allow TSA officers to better focus their attention to finding higher threat items – such as explosives and explosives components – to prevent a catastrophic incident from taking place.
“TSA will work with local law enforcement to prosecute to the fullest extent any traveler who assaults a TSA officer with or without the use of a weapon,” the statement said.
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Touching Sensitive Areas…We should all Just say NO!