Senate OKs Guns For Cargo Pilots
On Monday, the U.S. Senate voted to let cargo pilots carry firearms and stun guns in the cockpit. The measure would amend the law already in effect that allows pilots of passenger airlines to participate in the Federal Flight Deck Officer (FFDO) program administered by the Transportation Security Administration. The vote comes on the heels of a report last Friday that terrorists may be planning to use cargo planes -- possibly seized overseas -- against American targets, possibly inside the United States. No specific information about a potential threat was received, the Homeland Security Department said. The bill now must be passed by the House and signed by the president before it can take effect. Bob Lambert, president of the Airline Pilots Security Alliance, welcomed the move. "Although there are still some serious flaws in the administration of the FFDO program, we are pleased that the Senate has seen the wisdom of arming cargo pilots as a last line of defense against acts of air piracy and terrorism," he said in a news release on Tuesday. Lambert also made use of the opportunity to critique the TSA: "We call upon the TSA to stop putting up roadblocks to an effective FFDO program and begin implementing the clearly stated will of Congress."