Smith Amendment To Arm Pilots Passes Senate
Smith Amendment To Arm Airline Pilots Adopted In The U.S. Senate
Earlier today, the Senate, via a unanimous consent vote, adopted the Bob Smith (R-NH)/Frank Murkowski (R-AK) amendment to allow airline pilots to carry firearms. The amendment was also cosponsored by Senators Mike Enzi (R-WY) and Conrad Burns (R-MT).
The bill now goes to the House. After that, it will probably go to a House-Senate conference to work out the details.
This is an enormous victory for GOA members who lobbied relentlessly to sway reluctant senators.
BUT THE BATTLE IS NOT OVER!
Next week, the House will take up its version of the Aviation Security Bill. A number of congressmen are considering offering amendments to arm pilots, but they must first secure the approval of the House leadership and the House Rules Committee in order to offer any amendment.
ACTION: Please contact House Speaker Dennis Hastert, House Republican Leader Dick Armey, and House Republican Whip Tom DeLay and demand that they allow the House to vote on the armed pilots amendment in connection with the Aviation Security Bill.
Rep. Dennis Hastert
E-mail: [email protected]
Rep. Dick Armey
No Public E-mail
Rep. Tom DeLay
No Public E-mail
—– Pre-written message —–
Dear Representative __________:
When the Aviation Security Act comes before the House, I hope you will use your leadership position to allow amendments to the bill that would let pilots be armed.
There are plenty of aviation engineers who agree that bullet holes will not cause a massive depressurization in a plane. If depressurization was truly a concern, then why are we even considering putting air marshals on planes? Their bullets will be no different from the ones being used by the pilots. But more to the point, there is no way we can get an air marshal on all 35,000 daily flights.
So the only way to deter these terrorists is to make sure that our last line of defense — the pilots — can protect the plane. Reinforcing the cockpit doors is also a good idea, but it’s not a panacea. Are we to assume that on a long trip the door will NEVER be opened? That pilots will NEVER take a bathroom break? That there is no one among the flight crew who will ever have the keys or security codes to open the door?
Reinforcing the cockpit doors can help. But the only way to stop terrorism on board aircraft is to let these villains know in advance that, if they ever try to invade the cockpit, they’ll be sorry.
Please support language that will allow pilots to be armed, and thus, will enable them to protect the lives of their crewmembers and passengers.
If you are a pilot, or work in the aerospace industry, please let GOA know by dropping an e-mail to [email protected] at your convenience.