Should small knives be allowed on commercial airliners?
That question stirred stormy debate last week when the federal Transportation Security Administration announced it would relax its prohibitions against some knives and other items that could be used as weapons by airline passengers.
The new policy, which goes into effect on April 25, permits folding knives with blades that are 2.36 inches or less in length and are less than 1/2-inch wide — about the size of an average Swiss Army knife. The policy is aimed at allowing passengers to carry pen knives, corkscrews with small blades and other small knives.
Passengers also will be allowed to include in their carry-on luggage novelty-sized baseball bats less than 24 inches long, toy plastic bats, billiard cues, ski poles, hockey sticks, lacrosse sticks and two golf clubs. Items like box cutters and razor blades are still prohibited.
The new policy conforms U.S. security standards to international standards and allows the TSA to concentrate its energies on more serious safety threats, the agency said when it announced the change last week.
But the change provoked an immediate backlash of protest from flight attendants, pilots, federal air marshals and even insurance companies.
What do you think about the change? Take our poll, then click on “comments” if you want to say more about it.