Some Pilots Blame TSA For Cockpit Gunfire

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The Airline Pilot Security Alliance (APSA) Thursday released a statement saying that TSA weapons-handling rules are to blame for the accidental discharge of a pilot's firearm while in the cockpit of a flying US Airways jet last weekend. The APSA pointed specifically to the TSA's requirement for pilots to remove the guns from their person, lock them and carry them "off-body" when off the flight deck. The group quotes an unidentified federal flight deck officer who said the pilot involved was preparing for landing and was trying to remove his gun and secure it when "the padlock depressed the trigger." Personal responsibility aside, the rules may force some pilots to handle their guns ten times each day and that much gun play is "a recipe for disaster," according to David Mackett, president of the APSA. APSA's press release concluded with one pilot's opinion that Congress should take a look at how the program is operated, and the suggestion that pilots should follow the same procedures applied to federal air marshals.