TSA's knives-on-planes decision encounters growing opposition
BOSTON -- U.S. Rep. Ed Markey and others are stepping up pressure on the Transportation Security Administration to abandon its new policy that will allow passengers to carry small folding knives onto planes.
Markey held up a Swiss army knife at Boston's Logan International Airport when he announced Tuesday that he is filing legislation that would prevent the TSA from implementing the policy starting April 25.
Markey cites opposition from flight attendants, pilots and federal law enforcement officers. The Malden Democrat was joined by representatives of flight attendants and pilot unions.
Markey is a candidate in the state's special U.S. Senate election.
Flight attendants and pilots said the small knives could be very dangerous and baseball bats could make conflicts inside planes more dangerous.
U.S. Rep. Richard E. Neal also came out against the decision.
"This recent change in aviation policy is ill-advised, unwise and risky," Neal said in a statement. "How can the TSA justify allowing small knives on an airplane and still prohibit small amounts of toothpaste, shampoo and shaving cream?"
Attorney General Martha Coakley also said on Tuesday that Massachusetts law prevents knives from being brought on flights. She, too, urged the TSA to overturn its policy.
"In order to better protect travelers in Massachusetts and across the country, we urge the TSA to maintain that same ban of these potentially dangerous weapons," Coakley said in a statement.
Sen. Charles Schumer wants the Transportation Security Administration to reverse its newly announced plan to allow passengers to bring small knives and other items, like golf clubs and hockey sticks, onto planes.