This information provided by Armed Females of America, http://www.armedfemalesofamerica.com
FOREWARD: As you know AFA, along with www.federalobserver.com were the first to publish the petition to train and arm qualified airline pilots with firearms. We want to thank all of you who have helped make this a reality.
By Airline Pilots Security Alliance
The U.S. Senate passed the Homeland Security bill this evening; the House of Representatives passed the same bill earlier this month. The President will soon sign the bill into law. A key provision of the bill allows for arming the pilots of passenger airliners.
APSA Chairman, Capt. Tracy W. Price, offered this reaction to this development. "We are very pleased that arming airline pilots will soon be the law of the land and that the Homeland Security bill requires the TSA to implement a strong program. There are no limits on participation - each pilot of a passenger airliner that passes the screening and training will be allowed to carry a firearm on the flight deck. The passenger airlines will not be allowed to 'opt out' of the program - participation in the program will be an individual decision that each pilot will make independent of his or her employer."
Price continued, "Unfortunately, this bill has a significant weakness. Airline pilots flying freight will not be allowed to participate in the armed pilot program. Considering that these pilots never have the advantage of Federal Air Marshals or the possibility of passenger intervention to stop an attack on the flight deck, this is a serious hole in the program. Recalling that a 747 freighter in the hands of a team of terrorists will knock down a building just as well as a 747 passenger airliner, APSA will be working with leaders in the 108th Congress to fill this unacceptable gap in our nations aviation security system."
Price concluded, "We owe many people thanks for this important victory, but none more than Senator Bob Smith and his staff that led this fight. Arming airline pilots is a common-sense measure that will become part of the large and impressive legacy of Senator Bob Smith. APSA now looks forward to working with the TSA to produce a top-notch program for arming pilots that will provide a critical layer to our aviation security system."