Good Work in Getting Signatures for Hostettler-Young Letter

— Effort to implement “armed pilots” law now shifts to the Senate

Thanks to your help, Representatives John Hostettler (R-IN) and Don Young (R-AK) secured more than 60 signatures on their petition to Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta.

Your phone calls, faxes and e-mails were instrumental in helping Hostettler and Young get more than five dozen Congressmen in a short period of time. They are asking Secretary Mineta to quickly implement the new law that President Bush signed on November 19 allowing pilots to possess firearms for the protection of passengers and crew.

Now, Senator Bob Smith (R-NH) is circulating a similar letter in the Senate and is inviting his fellow colleagues to join him in petitioning Mineta.

“Both houses of Congress, as well as the Airline Pilots Association and Allied Pilots Association, have demonstrated support for providing pilots the means to effectively protect commercial aircraft from violent acts by terrorists,” Smith’s letter says.

“We believe that armed pilots are a first line of deterrence to terrorism, because terrorists will know that armed pilots will be behind that reinforced cockpit door to defend the aircraft. We further believe that armed pilots are the last line of defense against terrorism, because when all else fails, an armed pilot will be provided with the most effective means to disable a terrorist. Accordingly, we hope that you and the new Undersecretary will move expeditiously to implement Section 128 [of the Aviation and Transportation Security Act].”

ACTION: Senator Bob Smith is trying to get as many Senatorial signatures as possible before he sends his letter to Secretary Mineta on Wednesday. Please ask your Senators to sign onto the Smith letter petitioning the Secretary for immediate action in this important endeavor.

And those of you who live in New Hampshire, be sure to thank Senator Smith for his diligent efforts to get guns back into airplane cockpits.

You can reach the Senate at 202-224-3121. To identify your Senators, as well as to send a message via e-mail, see the Legislative Action Center at on the GOA website.

—– Pre-written message —–

Dear Senator:

As you know, President Bush recently signed legislation establishing guidelines for arming pilots in the cockpits. Senator Bob Smith is petitioning Secretary Norman Mineta to put these procedures into place immediately so that passengers can travel the skies safely once again.

This issue is very important to me. But it is also an issue of growing importance to pilots, as they also 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.

Please call Smith’s office before the end of Wednesday, December 19 and ask him to add your name to this very important letter. Thank you.