Senators Smith And Miller Introduce Armed Pilots Bill

Senators Smith and Miller Introduce Armed Pilots Bill
— Ask your two senators to cosponsor this important bill

(Thursday, May 23, 2002) — Great news! New Hampshire Senator Bob Smith (R-NH) has taken an important step toward protecting American aviation by utilizing pilots armed with firearms to defend themselves, their passengers, and their crew.

The bipartisan Smith bill, S. 2554, was introduced today with the cosponsorship of Democratic Senator Zell Miller (GA) and Republicans Jim Bunning (KY), Conrad Burns (MT), Frank Murkowski (AK) and Strom Thurmond (SC).

The introduction of S. 2554 is the most recent development in a battle waged by Smith and House pro-gun advocate John Hostettler (R-IN).

So effective were Hostettler’s efforts that his cause has now been taken up by House Transportation Committee Chairman Don Young (R-AK) and Congressman John Mica (R-FL). Their counterpart to Smith’s bill, H.R. 4635, was introduced earlier this month.

Currently, a pilot is defenseless against terrorist efforts to take over his plane. And, with F-16 fighter jets positioned to shoot down hijacked airplanes, it is only a matter of time until the current policy of disarming pilots results in another terrible calamity.

S. 2554 would change all of this: the Smith-Miller bill would deputize trained pilots to use firearms to defend their planes and MANDATE that the Bush administration put armed pilots in the air within 90 days.

The Smith-Miller bill would also establish a program to train flight attendants in the use of non-lethal force. As a result of this program, the principal flight attendants’ union — the Association of Flight Attendants — has reversed its position and now supports the armed pilots bill. The bill also has the support of the 62,000-member Airline Pilots Association.