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Rand Paul: 'I want all pilots to be armed'

After the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the TSA developed the Flight Deck Officer Program which trained pilots to carry firearms on commercial flights. The program was expanded under the Bush administration but then heavily contracted under the Obama administration.
By Aileen Graef   |   April 11, 2014 at 11:51 AM   |   Comments

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WASHINGTON, April 11 (UPI) -- Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., says that he would like to see "100 percent" of pilots armed in order to prevent another terrorist attack like 9/11.

"I think that you should be allowed to have weapons on military bases. I'm for allowing those who have concealed carry, at the very least, have their weapons on base. But also I'm concerned about what is the most cost-effective way of preventing another 9/11. I want all pilots to be armed. The president has zeroed this out of his budget. He's advocated for getting rid of the program," said Paul on Fox News. "I have a bill to streamline this and the goal of my bill is to have 100 percent of American pilots armed."

Paul confronted former Homeland Security Secretary Secretary Janet Napalitano last April about the program reduction and she responded to him during 2013 Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee hearing.

"Well, I’ll tell you the reason why we zeroed it out, Senator, and that is -- and it goes to a lot of the changes in the budget, we’re moving to risk-based. And an FFDO program is not risk-based. It’s just happenstance, where you happen to have a pilot on board that went through the training or not. We’re offering the training to air carriers if they want their pilots covered. But we would rather stick with the FAMS [Federal Air Marshal Service], who are portion-based on risk."

There have been incidents where pilots firearms have accidentally fired in the cockpit, causing safety concerns about arming pilots.


[HuffPost Live]

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