Grimm, Markey Lead 145 House Members in Bipartisan Effort Opposing Knives on Planes

May 22, 2013 Issues: Defense and National Security

WASHINGTON– Today, Reps. Michael G. Grimm (R-SI/Brooklyn) and Ed Markey (D-MA) led 145 members of the House of Representatives in sending 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 TSA to keep the current rules in place that prohibit knives and other potential weapons from being brought into plane passenger cabins. The bipartisan letter 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.

“We have heard from a host of stakeholders on this issue, and the consensus is simple: no knives on planes. We are all in agreement that it is not only irresponsible but dangerous to change this policy. The reality is that we live in a post-9/11 world, and we can never be too careful when it comes to protecting the safety of our flight crew and passengers. Keeping knives off our planes is a smart decision and one that should be upheld,” said Rep. Grimm.

The letter states, “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. 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.