TSA drops plan to allow small knives on planes

Posted at 10:06 PM, Jun 05, 2013
and last updated 2013-06-05 22:59:28-04

The Transportation Security Administration is finally giving up the fight to carry knives on flights.

The announcement comes following months of backlash after the T-S-A administrator said he wanted to lift the ban on small knives and other objects.

Banning knives on planes might sound like a no-brainer.  After all, that’s exactly what terrorists used to hijack the planes  used in the September 11th attacks.

So, many were shocked when the head of the T-S-A, the same agency charged with ensuring our safety on flights, announced he wanted to lift the ban on small knives.

Now after months of outrage, it seems he’s had a change of heart.

“A small pocket knife is simply not going to result in the catastrophic failure of an aircraft,” said TSA Administrator John Pistole.  “The fact is there are so many objects already on flights that can cause the type of harm you’re talking about.”


It’s ironic when a guy named Pistole leads a fight in favor of knives.

But time and time again that was exactly the case as John Pistole, the head of the TSA, passionately called to lift the ban on knives with blades shorter than 6 centimeters, or just under 2 and a half inches. The idea was to waste less time on small knives.

Right now the TSA collects about 2-thousand every day.

And focus on other potentially hazardous materials that might sneak past security like metallic explosives.

“This is not enough to cut throats of flight attendant?  Pilot? Or anyone they want on the flight? We forgot what happened September 11th?” said Airline Security Expert Isaac Yeffet

Isaac Yeffett is the former head of security for El-Al airlines.  Like many lawmakers and aviation groups, Yeffet could not believe the TSA wanted to allow passengers to carry the small knives on planes and immediately called for Pistole to reconsider.

“We have to show every passenger that we have such a security that they can be sure that they can arrive safe and secure to their destination,” said Yeffet.

Pistole got the message.  After initially postponing the rule change which was scheduled to go into effect back in April, today the TSA announced small knives will STAY on the banned items list, along with small bats an other sporting equipment that would have also been removed. Passengers at LaGuardia airport say after 9-11 enforcing the ban is just common sense.

“You can’t bring 6oz of perfume but you can bring a small knife?” asked Jennifer Miles of Harlem.

“I’m in the medical device field and I actually carry sharp objects and I’m not allowed to bring that on,” said New Jersey resident Gary Carfagno.  “So it’s kind of weird that you’d have people that would be able to bring small knives on board. It just doesn’t make much sense to me.”

Now this decision comes on the heels of what’s been a pretty embarrassing few months for the TSA.  First an undercover inspector was able to sneak simulated explosives past security during a test at Newark Airport.  Then, after an uproar from privacy advocates, the administration decided to stop using full body scanners in favor of a more generic body image.  So today’s decision, to keep small knives like these off of planes, seems like a much needed victory in the court of public opinion.