NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – The chorus is growing louder against the Transportation Security Administration’s new carry-on guidelines that will allow knives on board airplanes.
Just days after the TSA released new guidelines that will allow travelers to bring small knives, souvenir baseball bats, golf clubs, hockey sticks and other sports gear on planes, Sen. Charles Schumer has called on the agency to reverse itself.
Schumer said the new guidelines, set to take effect on April 25, will put passengers and crew members in unnecessary danger.
“Everyone is befuddled,” Schumer told reporters including WCBS 880’s Jim Smith. “You don’t have to have a PhD in physics, you don’t have to be Albert Einstein to know that these items are dangerous.”
The TSA was created in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 terror attacks, when hijackers took over four commercial airplanes. Schumer noted the hijackers were armed with small blades in the form of box cutters.
While box cutters and some other small knives will remain banned from carry-on luggage, Schumer warns that the new rules will leave the plane and those on board vulnerable.
The TSA said the move will allow agents to better focus on more serious weapons like explosives, and noted that the new guidelines are more in line with international standards.
“I am asking the TSA to rescind that ruling and say small knives, any knives, are not allowed on planes,” Schumer said.
If the TSA does not reverse course, Schumer said Congress will look at overturning the policy.
The senator also notes that last week, undercover federal agents were able to smuggle a mock bomb through security at Newark Liberty International Airport, highlighting the need to remain extra vigilant against potential threats.
On Saturday, Rep. Peter King also blasted the TSA for allowing the fake bomb through two checkpoints.
The TSA would not disclose the make-up of the mock bomb but if it was real, it could have blown a hole large enough to bring a plane down, experts said.
The incident was part of an undercover inspection at Newark and followed an abysmal performance on an audit last October.
The audit found that Newark TSA agents:
- Followed proper pat down procedures just 16.7 percent of the time.
- Confiscated banned items from carry-on luggage just 25 percent of the time.
Last week, relatives of 9/11 victims blasted the new guidelines, arguing they will make the skies less safe.
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