Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

APPEARS IN Legal & Legislation

Support For Armed Pilots Remains High—Opposition Waning

Friday, July 26, 2002

Support for legislation that would establish a program to arm pilots continues to gather momentum. A little over two weeks ago, the House passed by nearly a 3-to-1 margin its bill, H.R. 4635, which would establish an armed pilots program. Last week’s resignation of Undersecretary of Transportation for Security John Magaw—the head of the Transportation Security Administration(TSA), who was publicly opposed to the idea of training pilots how to safely handle a firearm on the flight deck—removed one of the bureaucratic obstacles to passage of this critical legislation. And this week, the U.S. Senate finally began discussing its armed pilots legislation, S. 2554, and Secretary of Transportation Norman Mineta’sprevious opposition to the proposal seems to be waning.

On Tuesday, Secretary Mineta told the Aviation Subcommittee of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure that he had instructed Magaw’s replacement at TSA, Admiral James M. Loy, to examine the possibility of arming commercial airline pilots. And on Thursday, the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation held a hearing on aviation security where the only real vocal opposition to arming pilots expressed by a lawmaker came from U.S. Senator Ernest Hollings (D-S.C.), who chairs the committee.

Hollings’s opposition to armed pilots is so extreme that he rejected a request to testify before Congress from the widow of a pilot who was killed in the September 11 terrorist attacks. Ellen Saracini, whose husband was killed when the plane he piloted, United Airlines Flight 175, was hijacked by terrorists and crashed into the World Trade Center, was on The O’Reilly Factor Wednesday night. She told Bill O’Reilly that Senator Hollings would not let her testify before his committee. After O’Reilly asked if she had contacted Hollings directly, she stated, "I have a letter right here that was addressed to the senator. [U.S.] Senator Bob Smith (R-N.H.) wrote a letter, asking that I be able to testify and it was denied." When NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre heard from Ellen Saracini, and she told him of her not being allowed to testify, LaPierre sent a letter to Senator Hollings asking, "On behalf of our over 4 million members and the tens of millions of Americans who believe in pilots being given a practical and effective tool to defend the cockpit from terrorist attacks, I am appealing to you to give Ellen Saracini the opportunity to testify."

Fortunately, few lawmakers are willing to openly join Hollings in his opposition to S. 2554, while supporters of the bill continue to make themselves known. The bill now has 24 co-sponsors, and U.S. Senator Gordon Smith (R-Ore.) announced he supports the bill after having spoken to two pilots recently when weather delayed his flight out of Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport. Quick action in the Senate on S. 2554 remains critical, so now is the time to contact your U.S. Senators and urge them to support this legislation. Please contact your U.S. Senators at (202) 224-3121 and urge them to cosponsor S. 2554, work to ensure the bill is brought up for consideration, or support its being offered as an amendment to other legislation being considered on the Senate floor. You can find additional contact information by using our "Write Your Representatives" tool.

TRENDING NOW
Reuniting The United States With Reciprocity

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Reuniting The United States With Reciprocity

Most concealed-carry permit holders understand the potential pitfalls of traveling with a firearm, given the outrageous patchwork of state laws involved in even a short interstate trip. And while we haven’t posted much about reciprocity ...

National Reciprocity Bill Nears Goal Line in the House but Needs Your Support to Reach the End Zone

News  

Friday, September 15, 2017

National Reciprocity Bill Nears Goal Line in the House but Needs Your Support to Reach the End Zone

Gun owners received good news this week with the passage of the SHARE Act by the U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources (see related story). Meanwhile, progress continued to be made on another NRA legislative ...

House Committee Passes SHARE Act by Wide Margin

Hunting  

News  

Friday, September 15, 2017

House Committee Passes SHARE Act by Wide Margin

As we have reported, this year’s version of the SHARE Act is the most expansive and far-reaching yet. Besides previously-introduced provisions aimed at enhancing opportunities for hunting, fishing, and shooting and broadening access to federal lands ...

Wall Street Journal/NBC News Poll Throws Wrench in Anti-gun Agenda

News  

Friday, September 8, 2017

Wall Street Journal/NBC News Poll Throws Wrench in Anti-gun Agenda

Demonstrating the importance of the gun issue to the American electorate, 35 percent of respondents reported that “gun rights or gun control” had an impact on their voting behavior. The issue was the highest-rated answer, ...

Urban Myth: Crime Doesn’t Pay – California City Authorizes Stipends to Gang Members

News  

Friday, September 15, 2017

Urban Myth: Crime Doesn’t Pay – California City Authorizes Stipends to Gang Members

In a special meeting on August 29, the nine-member City Council of Sacramento unanimously agreed to allocate $1.5 million in funding and to move forward with a “gun-violence reduction strategy” that will include cash payments ...

Anti-Gun Politicians: Blocking Out The Facts About Suppressors

Hunting  

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Anti-Gun Politicians: Blocking Out The Facts About Suppressors

As soon as the Hearing Protection Act was put forward on Jan. 9, 2017, leftists came out of the woodwork to criticize and misconstrue the goals of those who supported removing suppressors from the auspices ...

Bloomberg Spending Millions To Elect Anti-Gun Virginia Governor

News  

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Bloomberg Spending Millions To Elect Anti-Gun Virginia Governor

Billionaire anti-gunner Michael Bloomberg is at it again, pledging to spend $1 million through his gun control group Everytown for Gun Safety in an attempt to impact Virginia’s upcoming elections for governor and attorney general.

Wisconsin: Constitutional Carry Passes Committee Vote

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Wisconsin: Constitutional Carry Passes Committee Vote

Today, Senate Bill 169 passed the Senate Judiciary Committee with a vote of 3-2.  SB 169 would allow for the concealed carry of a firearm without a concealed carry license anywhere in the state where ...

NRA Backed SHARE Act Passes Committee

News  

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

NRA Backed SHARE Act Passes Committee

“Today marks an important step in protecting the Second Amendment freedoms of America’s hunters and sportsmen and strengthening our outdoor heritage,” said Chris W. Cox, executive director, NRA-ILA. “The SHARE Act will cut burdensome red tape that restricts ...

NRA Applauds Reintroduction and Expansion of SHARE Act

News  

Hunting  

Friday, September 8, 2017

NRA Applauds Reintroduction and Expansion of SHARE Act

On Sept. 1, U.S. Congressman Jeff Duncan introduced H.R. 3668, the Sportsman’s Heritage and Recreational Enhancement Act (SHARE Act), a wide-ranging package of legislation aimed at promoting Second Amendment rights and America’s outdoor sporting traditions.

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -
NRA ILA

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.