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Official website of the Department of Homeland Security

Transportation Security Administration

Small Pocket Knives

Comments

Submitted by Anonymous on

Sounds like "not going to happen because it hasn't happened" thinking and that is just plain wrong and somewhat complacent thinking.

Submitted by Anonymous on

So lets keep and maintain a ZERO INCIDENT track record for these types of items, only thing is, they should only be allowed to be packed in a suitcase that travels UNDER the plane and NOT in the cabin! I, as well as millions of other Americans would feel a lot safer if NONE of these items were allowed in "carry on" bags on the aircraft. I get the feeling that the TSA is making the analogy that...as long as the cockpit is locked/secured from any passenger, it is OK for the passengers to use the items on themselves to inflict pain, just as long as the plane is not forced down.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Thank you for your dedication to keeping us safe. The stakes are so high when it comes to protecting us from terrorists while trying to avoid being overly restrictive. It's a tough line to walk. I know the dedicated women and men at the TSA are doing their best to make those hard decisions. My prayers are with all of you.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Can you please clarify about the length restriction. For example, I have a Swiss Army pocket knife similar to the first knife show on the left. The measurement shown is from the tip of the blade to the "handle" which includes a section which is not a sharpened blade. The knife I have has a measurement of ~2.5in from the tip to the "handle". The measurement of the sharpened section is ~2.0in. Would that pocket knife be permissible?

Submitted by Noah Kivesonplanes on

Does anyone remember the term "box cutter"and how they were used?How long is the blade on boxcutter? Any knife as described can be honed razor sharp Perhaps the pilots behind locked doors don't mind but an unarmed stewardess and/or passenger might. What is the great necessity for a traveler to carry a pocket knife? Dave Gebing, Roseburg, Oregon.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Would it be true to say that the TSA inspectors are going to spend more time measuring theses allowed small knives than if they just kept the present policies in place? How is this going to free up more time to look for more destructive devices?

Submitted by John Shannon, MD on

My concern with 6 cm blades is the bad guy will come up with some way to make the folding knife stay locked (locked blades cannot be carry-on).

Submitted by Anonymous on

Keep up the good work. I view this policy change as proof that the TSA is not a mindless buracracy; rather a progressive government agancy committed to trasnportation safety.

Submitted by Gene In Denver on

The picture of what appears to be a "standard" Swiss Army knife shows the 6 cm limit as being from the base of the blade to the tip. Actually that length is more than 6 cm as the *sharp edge* of the blade is 6 cm. So does a standard SAK pass or not? And concerning poles: I'll assume that hiking/trekking poles fall under skis poles. Realizing that the TSA doesn't oversee this, what can be said about the return international trip from European points? It is not clear that poles can be arrived as carry on from there? The knife policy appears to be reciprocal.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Finally, a sensible decision to resend a ridiculous regulation as regards the small knives. I can once again attach the small Swiss Army knife to my keychain. TSA got two of mine over the years when I forgot about them.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Common sense prevails at last! I can do more damage with my ball point pen than with the small Swiss Army knife.

Submitted by Andrew MacKie-Mason on

Translation: we've been needlessly banning these things for years, but now you should thank us for finally ending our senseless policy.

Submitted by Anonymous on

I'm usually critical of the TSA, but I think allowing pocket knives onboard is a step in the right driection. Knives are no longer a threat to airplanes. I think the allowable knife criteria is too small, but i realize you have to take initiatives like this slowly. Scissors and knitting needles have been allowed for years and there haven't been any attacks with them.

I hope to see more risk based initiatives in the future, since 99.9999999+% of travellers are not risks. This includes eliminating shoe removal and a loosening of liquid restrictions. Other countries don't require shoe removal and no planes have fallen from the sky. The liquid restrictions seem excessive since all of the confiscated liquids are simply thrown in a trashcan next to the checkpoint.

Submitted by Anonymous on

And yet your own boss has stated on the record that the TSA's sixth-of-a-million-dollar AIT machines might very well not find a well-concealed bomb.

http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2012/05/tsas-john-pistole-sc...

«...Would the TSA have been able to identify this most dangerous anomaly in the crotch area, had al-Qaeda managed to build one in the U.S.?

(Pistole) mentioned the TSA's new scanning devices, now in use at about 180 airports.

"The advanced imaging technology gives us the best chance to detect the underwear-type device," he said.

The best chance? "This is not 100 percent guaranteed," he said. "If it comes down to a terrorist who has a well- concealed device, and we have no intelligence about him, and he comes to an advanced-imaging technology machine, it is still our best technology. But it's really an open question about whether the machine, or the AIT operator, would detect the device."»

Submitted by Anonymous on

None of this makes any sense because those knifes can do just as much harm as a larger knife...it can slit someones throat,etc. Yet you aren't allowed to bring larger bottles of shampoo,etc.in a carry on. I think you are making a huge mistake doing this because more is going to be snuck in. I really think this should be rethought through before allowing it. I know the stewardesses, pilots, and passangers are not happy about his and niether am I.

Submitted by Anonymous on

So knives will be allowed in the cabin, but I still can't bring a weeks worth of shampoo and mouthwash in my carry on bag?

Submitted by Anonymous on

ceounivaI'm sorry but you are WRONG on this. A person could be incapacitated if the knife was used to stab the person in the eye. A small knife can be concealed in the hand and the person would not even see the attack coming. Much different than a knitting needle that is much larger and can not be concealed in the palm of a hand.

Submitted by Suzanne Smith on

On behalf of knitters everywhere, I thank you for acknowledging that knitting needs are unlikely to be used as weapons on planes. (Thankfully, ungrateful relatives who turn up their noses at hand-knitted gifts are not at issue here. I have never had a problem bringing my needles on a flight, but I've heard from other knitters that there are inconsistent practices at airports across the US. Can TSA please clarify this issue (again) for its employees and airline passengers? What needles are allowed? Bamboo, wood, metal, plastic? Any maximum length or size? (needle diameter is measured in millimeters and can be as much as 15mm).

Thank you so much for your delightful blog. If only all your screeners were as charming as you.

Submitted by Anonymous on

There is never a threat until someone gets the idea, who would have thought a box cutter can control a pilot in a locked cabin. If there is a way to use the listed items as a threat, you can bet some idiot is planning right now.

Submitted by Anonymous on

The change regarding sporting goods makes no sense. Why allow 2 Golf Clubs but not three? Golf Clubs, Hockey Sticks, Lacrosse Sticks-they should not be allowed on the plane. I play hockey, and I know the argument that says the sticks can't easily be used as a weapon in tight quarters is erroneous. (Not to mention the accidental contacts.) These changes will result in more flight attendants getting injured.

Submitted by Anonymous on

You haven't seen a single incident involving a small knife? Really? How big is a box cutter? I know those still won't be allowed...but really a box cutter and a small knife aren't all that different.

Submitted by Anonymous on

The policy makes sense. In the past I have been asked to get rid of the p-38 can opener (that I got from a can of C-Rats in the 70's while in the RVN); I've pitched nail clippers; and three small leathermen that I forgot were in my work vest. I've read the account of WW2 Medal of Honor winner who, on his way to West Point was hassled severely by TSA, refused to toss his medal in the trash bin. It's about time (12 years is long enough!) for TSA to get real and look for the genuine risks rather than focusing on the easy 'feel good' crap.

Submitted by Anonymous on

I think this is a policy that finally makes sense. I don't carry a fingernail file or a box cutter; however I do have to get into tearfree, impossible plastic and super strong cardboard packaging. The plastic packaging is often sharper and more damaging than a sensible pocket knife that I carry every day except those when I fly. The pocket knife is far less destructive than my fist, elbow, or foot; or, for that matter, a pointed ballpoint pen. It also allows me to clean my fingernails, remove hangnails, and often unscrew things. On occasion I use it to open cans of food. There are times that I have had to use it to remove insulation. I even use it to crop an articl or cut a picture to size. When I don't have it I have no choice: I make an otherwise unnecessary mess. Thanks for an intelligent policy, this time! BTW maybe if I were a robot I could read that crap that must be entered to submit . . .

Submitted by Del on

I'm on a an average of 4 flight legs a week and this is the first sign of reasoned security actions since putting a "real" door on the cockpit. Generally the kind of knife that appears to be on the proposed "allow" list poses less of a danger to anyone on-board than items I routinely carry (ball-point, keys, etc.) It is more important to screen for dangerous people, than common objects. At least targeting screening around elements that have been used for attempted flight disruption makes more sense than continued restrictions on a pen knife.

Many thanks for starting to move to a more efficient and less intrusive security check.

Submitted by Susan Richart on

More damage control, Bob?

Submitted by Laura Kliegman on

Thank you Mr. Bob Burns...very interesting and informative!

Submitted by Robert on

I'm supportive of any loosening of restrictions by the TSA. I think we should get away entirely from expecting this agency to protect us and more toward defending ourselves (not that I want the TSA abolished, we just need to have more of a "Let's Roll" mindset when it comes to security anywhere.)

Submitted by Anonymous on

There have also been zero incidents when toothpaste has been used abroad in airplanes.

And zero incidents with shoes that are not removed abroad for inspection.

And zero incidents with jackets, belts, and laptops.

Remove all those stupid security measures too!!

Submitted by Anonymous on

To those scared out of their wits about small pocket knives on planes, relax. Knives are already there. TSA misses most of them anyway.

Also, don't forget 4" scissors are already allowed, and if the blades are separated, that's two 4" knives with handles.

Anything can be a weapon, if you want to be paranoid or prepared, depending whether you are cowering in fear or defending yourself.

Full soda cans make a nifty projectile and empty ones can be twisted and torn to make a very sharp edge.

Breathe. Think logically and practically. You are not that special and no one is trying to kill you.

There is a 1 in 1,000,000,000 chance or less that the guy sitting next to you on a plane is a terrorist. With those odds, you will be quite safe even if your seatmate carries a small multitool that contains a knife.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Scissors 4 inches from the fulcrum are allowed. Enough said.

Submitted by Rosemary Blair on

I had terrible trouble a while back with sissors. I cut my husbands hair and they where cutting shires. They did take them.

Submitted by RB on

Who protects the public from TSA?

TSA agents 'humiliated' wounded Marine with aggressive inspection: report

http://www.washingtontimes.com/blog/inside-politics/2013/mar/19/tsa-agen...


This incident should result in everyone at that checkpoint being fired along with the airports FSD, AFSD, TSM and John S. Pistole for allowing TSA employees to do these terrible things.

Nothing short of firing is acceptable to correct this wrong!

Totally unacceptable for TSA to abuse Wounded Warriors!

Submitted by RB on

There is a 1 in 1,000,000,000 chance or less that the guy sitting next to you on a plane is a terrorist. With those odds, you will be quite safe even if your seatmate carries a small multitool that contains a knife.

March 19, 2013 at 8:22 AM
..............

The odds are far greater than you suggest.

1.6 million people fly each and every day in the United States. There have been no terrorist acts against aviation in the United States for over 10 years.

That would be 10 years X 365 days x 1.6 million flyers daily = 5,840,000,000.00 flyers and not one terrorist attack against United States aviation.

You figure the odds!

Submitted by Anonymous on

If you were really constantly revising your policies based on risk assessment, you would end the shoe carnival that no other nation replicates, end the liquids policy since there is no such thing as a viable liquid explosive, and vet rid of your naked body scanners that don't work, have never been independently tested, and have never found a dangerous object. You'd probably also stop you weekly fake-police blotter. I won't hold my breath,though, Curtis.

Submitted by Anonymous on

The TSA aggressive inspection of the wounded Marine at Sky Harbor Airport is despicable. Once again, the TSA is a national disgrace.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Good to know that we are wrong and TSA is right. Good to know that only the radical minority complains about them and that TSA operations are the epitome of Civil Rights and The Constitution.

If only I could believe you, Bob. If only...

Submitted by Anonymous on
"The TSA aggressive inspection of the wounded Marine..."

Right minded people support the actions of TSA on this. For a long time DHS has warned the American people of the terrorist threat from veterans. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
Submitted by Susan Richart on

"Right minded people support the actions of TSA on this. For a long time DHS has warned the American people of the terrorist threat from veterans. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure."

One sure hopes that this was said with sarcasm and the anonymous poster does not believe it to be true.

Submitted by RB on

Anonymous said...
"The TSA aggressive inspection of the wounded Marine..."

Right minded people support the actions of TSA on this. For a long time DHS has warned the American people of the terrorist threat from veterans. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

March 20, 2013 at 11:56 AM
...................
Only a TSA screener would make such and outlandish statement.

The public does not support the abusive treatment of anyone by the hands of TSA.

This Marine, a Wounded Warrior, was traveling in a group, is wheelchair bound, and presented no threat.

Some TSA screeners should be fired including the senior TSA staff at Phoenix.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Let's hear TSA's version of the disrespect shown when a double amputee veteran tried to go through screening at Phoenix. I'm sure TSA will expound all the normal fairy tales about how they always treat travelers will the utmost respect.

Submitted by Anonymous on

"Right minded people support the actions of TSA on this. For a long time DHS has warned the American people of the terrorist threat from veterans. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure."
***********************************
I suppose you also believe that DHS and TSA employees are worthy of taxpaying American's blind trust? If so, YOU ARE NOT in your "right mind".

Submitted by Anonymous on

I think the new knife rule is dangerous and ill advised. Period. The sporting goods relaxation is probably a good thing, how about adding kayak paddles, canoe paddles, fishing rods, etc.?

Submitted by Wintermute on

Anonymous said...
"I think the new knife rule is dangerous and ill advised. Period."

Do you have facts and sources to back this statement up, or is this an emotional response?

Submitted by Anonymous on

Does anyone at the TSA think that the reason we have not had an incident using the previously banned items is due to the fact that they were banned?????? Their thinking is beyond ridiculous as we are still the prime targets for a terrorist attack. In the right hands, the newly allowed items can certainly be used as weapons, yet I must take my tiny bottle of hand lotion from my purse, put it in a plastic bag and load it on the belt. Please wake up!

Submitted by Bob Gilbert on

TSA:

Thank you for your diligence and for your ongoing review regarding prohibited items to be allowed in carry on luggage and on a person. I believe that it is not the weapon - knife, box cutter, etc. that represents the real danger in air travel or any travel mode. It is the person(s) with bad intent that we must be on the watch for...

Submitted by Anonymous on

You guys have no imagination!
It is very easy to hide a very long blade inside the ski pole. Just push the button, release the external tube-sheath and you have a foot long dagger with a great grip.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Flight Attendants, Pilots, Airlines, TSA Agents...just about every professional organization in the industry is appalled by the new knife policy. Pistole says the policy will speed up security lines. It won't because agents will have to check width, length, locking mechanism of knives. More time consuming then simple confiscation. Pistole says a small knife can't bring down a plane because of new cockpit doors and procedures. Wrong again. There is a human factor. Five terrorists with small knives (as dangerous as box cutters) with those knives at the throats of passengers and Flight Attendants with threat of death would make it very hard for a Pilot to ignore. I am a Flight Attendant. Have been for 35 years. I know in detail what happens inflight and I can tell you that the cockpit is NOT always secure. I can also tell you that a good number of Pilots are married to each other, and often fly together on flights. Ask yourself how you would react to a murderer holding your spouse with a knife to her neck? As crew members we are always reminded by our airline security department that terrorists are constantly watching our procedures. Looking for any window of opportunity. They will take note of these new procedures. Pistole throws out statistics. Worthless....what were the odds on 9/11 of such a thing happening? One in a Million? Higher? It happened. How fast we forget. What would we have said if this new policy was instituted then? Even if it accompanied new cockpit doors and procedures. Few would have supported allowing knives onboard and they would have been right.<It's been postulated that the TSA is not in the business of protecting air crew or passengers. They are in the business of protecting against a plane being used as a deadly projectile. Fine, Then tell the traveling public that. Tell them that a Flight Attendant with a knife to his/her neck isn't your concern. That a passenger in the same situation isn't your concern. Tell them your job is limited to: A terrorist trying to bring down a plane and that's pretty much it.
You might also want to give the public a viable explanation as to why you never consulted any of the professionals in the airline industry before making your arbitrary changes. Tell them why Airline Managements (that looks under every rock in order to improve on time operations) are appalled by this change. Folks, the bad guys are watching. That'snot said to create undue fear. It is true. We all witnessed the horror of 9/11. Yes, the odds of it happening that day were phenomenal. Those odds really haven't changed but we still must be vigilant. Pocket knives do not belong on planes in this day and age. To the moderator. I am curious to see if you allow this post. I expect the TSA to be open to criticism on this issue. If it can't be as a government agency that will be noted and made an issue in and of itself.

Submitted by Wintermute on

Anonymous said...

"Flight Attendants, Pilots, Airlines, TSA Agents...just about every professional organization in the industry is appalled by the new knife policy."

Except security experts. They realize that a knife will never, ever, be able to be used to take over a plane again, and are thus not a threat. They also realize there are dozens of allowed items that are as dangerous as a knife, if not more so.

"Folks, the bad guys are watching. That'snot said to create undue fear. It is true."

Then why go on to invoke the memory of 9/11 after stating this? Unless you're trying to get an emotional response instead of a logical one. The logical one is that there are numerous items as dangerous as knives already allowed (and it's easy enough to obtain a knife INSIDE the "secure area"), and yet the bad guys, who are "always watching" haven't used a single one to attempt to take over an aircraft.

If we're banning everything that's dangerous, we would all have to travel completely naked with no possessions carried on at all, as just about anything can be used as a weapon, including clothing. And even then, people have their hands, feet, and heads to use as weapons. The only way to be 100% safe is to not fly at all.

Is that absurd? Of course it is. But we weigh the risks. Is clothing less risk than exposing my naked butt to the flying public? Probably. And so are small knives.

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