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TSA asked to continue knife ban

March 22, 2013 at 5:49 PM

WASHINGTON, March 22 (UPI) -- A bipartisan group in the U.S. Congress has asked for a continued ban on small knives on airplanes.

In a letter to John Pistole, head of the Transportation Security Administration, the group said that the hijackers on Sept. 11, 2001, used box cutters to take over four planes. By Thursday, 130 representatives from both parties had signed the letter, the New York Post reported.

"This level of congressional opposition should serve as a wake-up call to TSA," said Rep. Michael Grimm, R-N.Y., one of the authors. "The decision to lift the ban on knives was done without any rhyme or reason and without consulting stakeholders, like members of Congress, flight attendants and air marshals and the general public."

Flight attendants handed out leaflets Thursday at Los Angeles International Airport asking travelers to support the continued ban, the Los Angeles Times reported. Their union launched a campaign Thursday against what it called "pre-9/11 weapons."

The Coalition of Flight Attendant Unions also sponsored leafletting Thursday at Ronald Reagan International Airport outside Washington and Norfolk International Airport in southern Virginia.

The TSA announced March 6 that passengers would be able to carry pocketknives -- but not box cutters -- and to include sports equipment like golf clubs and hockey sticks in carry-on baggage. The rule change is to take effect April 25.

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