Tags: Feds | Nix | Pistol-Packing | Pilots

Feds Nix Pistol-Packing Pilots

Tuesday, 21 May 2002 12:00 AM

Under Secretary of Transportation for Security John Magaw, testifying before a Senate committee, said the agency's decision, taken in the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and a clamor by pilots to be armed, would formally be announced at a later date.

"Utilizing the experience of my 40 years in law enforcement and consulting with all the interested parties, and having our staff with a lot of experience look at this issue, and obviously consulting all along the way with Secretary Mineta, I will not authorize firearms in the cockpit," Magaw said.

"... The cockpit in the aircraft is for the pilots to maintain positive control of that aircraft. And the positive control to them, and what is to me, is get it on the ground as quickly as you can, regardless of what's happening back there."

Pilots, concerned about hijackings, have requested they be allowed to carry firearms in the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks that cost more than 2,800 lives.

The Senate and the House are considering legislation on the arming of flight deck crews.

Airline flight attendants, meanwhile, have requested government permission to carry non-lethal weapons such as stun guns and batons.

In the Sept. 11 attacks, four airliners were commandeered. Two were crashed into the World Trade Center, one into the Pentagon. The fourth plane crashed in a Pennsylvania field after passengers apparently tried to wrest control of the aircraft from hijackers.

Magaw said federal air marshals would carry the only firearms on airliners.

"These marshals are trained not only in the use of a weapon, but all the kind of things that would build up to that," he told the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee.

"They have a special firearms training, which is much more difficult, much more strenuous, than any other firearms, save maybe our Delta Force and a few of those special units in the military, because obviously if that firearm is discharged, obviously we don't want them under the normal circumstances to hurt or kill an innocent person. But we certainly also don't want them shooting that firearm with the possibility of bringing that airliner down." Copyright 2002 by United Press International.

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Under Secretary of Transportation for Security John Magaw, testifying before a Senate committee, said the agency's decision, taken in the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and a clamor by pilots to be armed, would formally be announced at a later date. Utilizing the...
Feds,Nix,Pistol-Packing,Pilots
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2002-00-21
Tuesday, 21 May 2002 12:00 AM
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