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First Class of Armed Pilots

Friday, April 18, 2003

The first group of pilots to have undergone extensive background checks and rigorous training could soon be equipped with firearms as a last line of defense against terrorist hijackers. Today’s Washington Post reports that the first armed pilots could be in the cockpit as early as this Sunday. Nearly four dozen volunteer pilots took part in the initial training program, which one described to the Post as "brutal work." The training has been completely anonymous, with not even the airlines knowing which of their pilots are enrolled. Once fully authorized, pilots will be required to give their airline 24-hour notification prior to flying.

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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.