The TSA today announced that they are dropping the plan that would have permitted passengers to carry small knives and other previously banned items, like bats and golf clubs, on planes. These items have been banned since the attacks of September 11, 2001, when terrorists famously hijacked planes using items like box cutters as weapons.
TSA Administrator John Pistole formerly announced the plan to allow small knives (those under 2.36 inches long) and certain club-like sporting equipment back into carry-on luggage on March 5. Pistole had argued that relaxing the ban would allow security screeners to focus on items that posed a greater risk to air safety, such as explosives.
Back in April, CNN reported that the TSA was hearing additional testimony about the proposed ban reversal, and, as of today, the plan has officially been dropped.
The TSA had faced strong opposition to the ban reversal from airline CEOs, lawmakers, and relatives, friends and victims of terrorist attacks, among others. In total, nine groups petitioned legally against TSA and the Department of Homeland Security, USA Today reported.
Congressional representatives Michael Grimm (R-N.Y.) and Ed Markey (D-Mass.) also proposed legislation to ban the TSA from allowing knives and clubs back onto planes. At present, the TSA finds about 2,000 small knives per day during routine security searches.
“We will continue to take steps to improve our ever-evolving security posture while also improving the experience of the traveling public,” Pistole said. “Risk-based security enhances the travel experience while allowing TSA to continue to keep passengers safe by focusing on those we know less about.
Are some groups still unhappy? Sure they are. The knife industry, for example, tried to fight back. But what do you think? Should the ban have been lifted? Leave your thoughts in the comments.