TSA Earmarks $8M For Pilot Gun Training

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The Transportation Security Administration announced last Thursday it has committed $8 million to train pilots to carry arms by October. Forty-four pilots attended the first 48-hour session, and were deputized as Federal Flight Deck Officers just over a week ago. Training includes defensive tactics, instruction in the use of force, information on how to safely transport their weapons ... and legal liability. Pilots have to carry the gun to the plane in a locked case inside a nondescript bag. When they leave the cockpit but are still on duty, they must keep the weapon in a lockbox. The inaugural group of pilots learned how to use a handgun and apply other defensive tactics in an effort to stop a terrorist or anyone else attempting to hijack an airplane in flight. The new federal law enforcement officers were issued .40-caliber semi-automatic pistols to use in defense of the cockpit. Pilots for the inaugural class were nominated by the Airline Pilots Association and the Coalition of Airline Pilots Associations and selected by the TSA. To maintain proficiency, they will complete recertification training each year.