Nominee Could Sink Armed Pilots Law

— Ask your Senator to closely scrutinize the Magaw nomination

Because of your tremendous help, Gun Owners of America was able to overcome enormous hurdles while pushing a provision arming pilots through the Congress and onto the President’s desk earlier this Fall. Now the next phase in this battle begins.

The Senate Commerce-Science-Transportation Committee will hold confirmation hearings beginning this Thursday or Friday. The nominee is John Magaw who has been selected to fill the new Transportation Security Chief position.

Should he be confirmed, Magaw would have the job of enforcing the new law allowing pilots to carry arms onto planes. As the new security chief, Magaw would have the power to “make or break” it for the pilots, since he would be entrusted with the power to authorize (or deny) any specific program facilitating the arming of pilots.

Unfortunately, John Magaw does not come highly recommended by the firearms community. As the former Director of the BATF, Magaw oversaw the cover-up of the Waco debacle, and as chief Gun Czar, he was certainly no friend of gun owners.

ACTION: By receiving this alert, your Senator is one of the key members of the Commerce-Science-Transportation Committee. Please ask your Senator to get nominee John Magaw on record in support of enforcing the armed pilots provision in Section 128 of the new aviation act. Moreover, ask your Senator to OPPOSE Magaw if he will not commit to letting pilots defend their crews and passengers.


AK Ted Stevens (R)
AZ John McCain (R)
CA Barbara Boxer (D)
GA Max Cleland (D)
IL Peter Fitzgerald (R)
KS Sam Brownback (R)
LA John Breaux (D)
ME Olympia Snowe (R)
MO Jean Carnahan (D)
MS Trent Lott (R)
MT Conrad Burns (R)
NC John Edwards (D)
ND Byron Dorgan (D)
NV John Ensign (R)
OR Gordon Smith (R)
SC Fritz Hollings (D)
TX Kay B. Hutchison (R)
VA George Allen (R)
WV Rockefeller (D)

Hollings and McCain are the majority and minority chairmen of the committee, respectively. Both oppose arming pilots.

You can call your Senators at 202-224-3121. To send a message via e-mail, plug in your zipcode under Elected Officials at in the GOA Legislative Action Center.

—– Pre-written message —–

Dear Senator:

On November 19, President Bush signed the Aviation and Transportation Security Act into law. This bill creates a new under secretary of transportation security who will be in charge of administering the armed pilots provision which was included in Section 128 of the law.

I have strong reservations, however, regarding the nomination of John Magaw as the new security chief. As the former head of the BATF, he hardly demonstrated any support for the Bill of Rights. Thus, as the Commerce-Science-Transportation Committee begins hearings on Mr. Magaw, I hope you will make sure that he commits to enforce the law arming commercial pilots.

The “armed pilots” language will do more to secure the safety of passengers from the threat of terrorism than any of the other provisions in the act. It’s no wonder, then, that pilots themselves want to defend themselves with guns. At least four local pilot unions have passed resolutions around the country stating they will strike if they are not allowed to defend their planes and passengers with firearms. You can read about this for yourself at on the web.

Please do not support the confirmation of John Magaw unless he is 100 percent committed to approving a program that will facilitate the arming of pilots. Thank you.