Schumer: Now Is Not the Time To Cut Back On Safety

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The opposition surrounding the Transportation Security Administration’s decision to allow small knives on airplanes continues to grow.

On Friday, U.S. Senators Charles Schumer and Lisa Murkowski introduced an amendment to the Senate budget resolution that would prohibit the TSA from allowing knives on planes, a ruling that many, including pilots and relatives of 9/11 victims, feel could put passengers and flight attendants at risk.

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Following the 9/11 terror attacks, the TSA prohibited passengers from carrying small knives onto planes due to security risks.

However, the agency recently announced that they would end that policy, saying in part, “This is part of an overall Risk-Based Security approach, which allows Transportation Security Officers to better focus their efforts on finding higher threat items such as explosives.”

This is the first time in nearly twelve years that knives of any kind have been allowed on airplanes.

The rule, which goes into effect on April 25, includes small knives with non-locking blades smaller than 2.36 inches and less than 1/2 inch in width.

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 Schumer and Murkowski argue that the policy change poses a risk, while providing few benefits for passengers.

“We can’t simply sit on our hands and allow TSA to enact this foolhardy plan to let knives back onto airplanes,” Schumer said. “This legislation would undo dangerous policy that puts passengers and crew at risk. It’s a common-sense proposal that members of both parties can support. Knives are every bit as dangerous today as they were on September 11, and they should continue to be kept off of passenger planes.”

Several organizations and unions have come out against the new rule, including the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association and the Coalition of Airline Pilot Associations.

The Flight Attendants Union Coalition also blasted the decision saying: “To permit knives back into the aircraft cabin is a poor and shortsighted decision by the TSA. Continued prohibition of these items is an integral layer in making our aviation system secure and must remain in place.”

Box cutters, larger blades and knives with molded handles will still be banned from carry-on luggage. Some novelty bats and sporting equipment will be allowed as carry-ons.

The budget is being considered on the Senate floor this week.

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What do you think about the TSA policy? Should small knives be allowed on planes? Sound off below.