CCRKBA URGES SUPPORT FOR ARMED PILOTS, CALL DOT SECRETARY MINETA NOW

Wednesday, December 5th, 2001

BELLEVUE, WA – The Citizens Committee for the Right To Keep and Bear Arms today urged all citizens, and especially gun owners, to call Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta by Wednesday, Dec. 12 and tell him to implement the Armed Pilots Provision of the Aviation and Transportation Security Act.

The Aviation Security Act is designed to prevent the kind of terrorist attack on America that took place Sept. 11. Critical to making each commercial aircraft safe is providing pilots a means of defending the cockpit. Gun owners need to contact Mineta before he begins the confirmation process for the newly-created position of Under Secretary of Transportation for Security, which will reportedly begin within the next two weeks.

“Within hours of the cowardly attack on America,” recalled CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb, “the Citizens Committee called upon the airlines and the Federal Aviation Administration to train and arm pilots. The Airline Pilots Association lobbied for the authority to arm pilots who volunteered to take the necessary training, and both houses of Congress agreed to include the Armed Pilots Provision in the airline safety law. It’s time for Mineta to act.”

Section 128 of the Aviation and Transportation Security Act defines the guidelines for authorizing commercial pilots to carry firearms in the cockpit. This section details the level of training and the appropriate type of firearm to be carried. These guidelines specifically require approval of the new Under Secretary for Security.

“Citizens, and especially gun owners who support the right of pilots to defend themselves and their aircraft, and people on the ground, need to tell Secretary Mineta that they expect Section 128 to be implemented quickly,” Gottlieb stated. “The issue of guns in the cockpit is not a political football, but a matter of passenger safety and national security.”

Gottlieb urged citizens to call the Department of Transportation at (202) 366-1111 and leave a message for Secretary Mineta to implement Section 128 of the Aviation and Transportation Security Act immediately. You may also contact the DOT via e-mail at: dot.comments@ost.dot.gov