A bit of bad news for those of you hoping to play a few rounds and/or skin an animal while zipping between LGA and SFO. The TSA's plan to allow bats and small knives on flights — announced three months ago today — has been scrapped.
The proposal would have allowed passengers to carry souvenir bats, golf clubs, and knives with blades shorter than two inches in length onto commercial flights. John Pistole, the head of the Transportation Security Administration, made the announcement in early March, with a target start date at the end of April.
But the idea quickly prompted strong, negative reaction. Pilots opposed allowing the knives and blunt instruments on planes, worried about their safety in the event of an attempted hijacking. Last month, as NBC News reported, a bipartisan group of 145 members of the House of Representatives agreed, sending a letter to Pistole. "Over the last two months," it read, "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." It ended: "No knives on planes. Thank you."
On its blog, the TSA tracks the number of firearms confiscated at screening points. It is regularly in the dozens per week. According to the Associated Press, the TSA also confiscates 2,000 small knives each day.
The AP also offered the TSA's rationale for the reversal.
Pistole tells the Associated Press that dropping the proposal allows his agency to focus on other programs.
We feel confident that those flight attendants, air marshals, pilots, and passengers who reached out to Congress to stop the knives proposal might have some suggestions about where the TSA could better spend its energy.
Photo: Items confiscated by TSA screeners.