Arming Cargo Pilots Moving Forward
Senate Bill Takes Step Toward Putting More Guns on Planes
— Your help needed to move companion bill in House
(Friday, March 14, 2003) — Great news! A key Senate committee voted yesterday to close the airline loophole and allow cargo pilots to carry firearms in the cockpit.
The loophole was created last year when a conference committee hijacked legislation that would have armed all pilots — instead, inserting language that would only protect passenger planes.
Senator Jim Bunning (R-KY) is the lead sponsor of the legislation to arm cargo pilots. Ironically, he has been joined by anti-gun Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA), who offered this language as an amendment in committee yesterday.
Senator Bunning was ecstatic after the committee vote. “This legislation will close a loophole in the [law] that was opened when cargo pilots were excluded last year,” he said.
“A cargo jet can just as easily be turned into a weapon of mass destruction as a passenger plane. By arming cargo pilots we would be providing one more layer of security to ensure that doesn’t happen again.”
Without a load of passengers to help defend the plane, a couple of stowaways could more easily commandeer a cargo jet than a passenger plane. For this reason, yesterday’s committee vote was very important.
The amendment passed handily as a rider to the Air Cargo Security Act (S. 165).
Over in the House, pro-gun Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC) has introduced similar language. His bill, H.R. 1049, would also allow cargo pilots to be armed.
Gun rights supporters should ask their Representatives to cosponsor this vital legislation. Please contact them today.
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