5/21/02 GOA Blasts Transportation Department For Refusing To Arm Pilots

GOA Blasts Transportation Department For Refusing To Arm Pilots
— Says decision comes out of “Al Gore’s playbook”

For Immediate Release
May 21 2002
Contact: Tim Stone

(Springfield, VA) — Gun Owners of America today blasted the Transportation Department, and Undersecretary John Magaw in particular, for its refusal to allow pilots to carry firearms in airplane cockpits.

“The administration has just given the American people the ‘middle finger,'” said GOA Director of Communications Erich Pratt. “A majority of the American people support arming pilots. A majority of pilots support it, as does the U.S. Congress which last year passed legislation allowing pilots to be armed.”

“But now the administration says that they know best how to keep passengers safe on board — despite the fact that air marshals are not present on most flights and despite the fact that weapons still continue to slip by airport screeners,” Pratt said.

Speaking for the administration, Undersecretary Magaw said that pilots need to just focus on flying the plane.

“Of course, pilots can’t fly the plane if someone is crashing through the cockpit door,” Pratt said. “Pilots have admitted the cockpit door does not stay closed the entire flight as they must inevitably make use of the bathroom.”

Unfortunately, many gun owners feared this decision because of the anti-gun sentiments of those who are entrusted with implementing the law to arm pilots. Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta was an “F-” rated congressman when he was in office; and Undersecretary John Magaw was equally prejudicial against the rights of gun owners when he was the Director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.

“This decision comes right out of Al Gore’s playbook,” Pratt said. “This is not what the American people elected George Bush to do. He had better take some officials to the political woodshed, or else people are going to start wondering where he stands on the important right of self-defense,” Pratt said.

Erich Pratt is the Director of Communications for Gun Owners of America, a national gun lobby with over 300,000 members located at 8001 Forbes Place, Springfield, VA 22151.

Erich Pratt is available for press interviews.

— GOA —