The decision by federal airport screeners to allow small knives, golf clubs, and other items on commercial flights drew a harsh rebuke from a group representing federal law enforcement officers.
The Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association (FLEOA) objected to the policy change, calling it "dangerous and ill-advised" in a strongly worded statement.
"In light of the staff and resource constraints placed on us by the sequester, why would TSA choose to elevate the risk of Americans getting injured at 30,000 feet," said Jon Adler, FLEOA president. "If the TSA policy makers were engaged in close quarter combat with a psycho wielding a 2-inch blade at 30,000 feet, they might reconsider the foolishness of their decision."
The Transportation Security Administration announced the policy change Tuesday that allows passengers to carry knives with blades less than 2.36 inches and sporting equipment such as golf clubs, billiard cues, ski poles and hockey and lacrosse sticks. The policy goes into effect April 25.
"These are popular items we see regularly," said David Castelveter, a TSA spokesman. "They don't present a risk to transportation security."
The new policy would expose federal air marshals, armed officers, and the flying public to greater risk, Adler said.