TSA Reverses Plan To Allow Knives on Airliners

Agency backs down after strong resistance.

TSA Knives

TSA Knives

The Transportation Security Administration is dropping a plan to allow small knives, golf clubs and other sporting equipment in carry-on luggage on airline flights.

Reversal of the proposed plan, which was initially unveiled in March, was triggered by a strong backlash from a variety of aviation groups, including flight attendant unions, air marshals and family members of individuals killed in terrorist attacks. After a slew of lobbying against the measure, nearly 150 House members signed a letter to the TSA last month requesting that the no-knives policy remain in place.

According to TSA Administrator John Pistole, the original intent of the plan was to reduce the workload of TSA personnel so they could focus on what the agency considered the more dangerous threat of explosives in carry-on luggage. Pistole said screeners confiscate about 2,000 small folding knives from carry-on luggage every day as millions of travelers pass through airport security.

Pistole announced this week that the TSA has dropped the plan due to the lack of support for the proposed changes. While the objects remain prohibited from carry-on luggage and will continue to be removed by TSA screeners, Pistole says the agency will place a bigger emphasis on the search for non-metallic explosives.