John L. Mica

Monday, July 1st, 2002

U.S. Rep. John L. Mica of Florida,
Chairman of the Subcommittee on
Aviation of the House Transportation
and Infrastructure Committee,
is the July recipient of the CCRKBA
Gun Rights Defender of the Month
Award.
CCRKBA Public Affairs Director
John Michael Snyder stated that,
“During these perilous times, Chairman
Mica has come front and center
during the national debate on the
right of qualified commercial airline
pilots to keep and bear arms. In the
face of the ongoing militant Islamist
terrorist threat, the ability of pilots
to protect themselves and their passengers
has become a matter of great
consequence. The particular issue
highlights in striking detail the right
of law-abiding citizens generally and
in more ordinary circumstances to
keep and bear arms for the protection
of their lives and the lives of their
loved ones.”
Congressman Mica has taken a
strong lead as Aviation Subcommittee
chairman to promote the ability
of pilots to carry guns in cockpits for
protection against the continuing
terrorist threat. He has stood up to
anti-gun bureaucrats in promoting
legislation to ensure that qualified
pilots may be armed if they so desire,
Snyder noted.
“He surely is most deserving of this
award,” Snyder insisted.
Mica is pushing H.R. 4635, which
he introduced along with the Transportation
Committee chairman, Rep.
Don Young of Alaska, a past CCRKBA
Gun Rights award winner.
H.R. 4635 would require the Under
Secretary of Transportation for Security
to establish a program not later
than 90 days after the date of enactment
to deputize qualified volunteer
pilots as federal law enforcement
officers to defend the cockpits of
commercial aircraft in flight against
acts of criminal violence or air piracy.
“We have armed military personnel
in our airports,” said Rep. Mica.
“We have armed law enforcement
officers at our departure gates. We
have armed air marshals aboard our
planes. Our pilots have requested
the ability to defend themselves –
they are our last line of defense and
should have at least a fighting chance.
Congress must comply with their
request.”
Under Section 128 of the Aviation
and Transportation Security Act, a
commercial pilot may carry a firearm
aboard an aircraft if he receives
approval from the Under Secretary
of Transportation for Security and
his employer, and he has received
proper training. In late May, Undersecretary
John Magaw said he would
not permit the arming of the pilots.
The Mica-Young bill would overrule
Magaw’s decision.
Mica is a cosponsor of H.R. 2037, by
his fellow Floridian, Rep. Cliff Stearns,
another CCRKBA Gun Rights
award winner. This proposal would
protect manufacturers, sellers or
trade associations from civil liability
if they do nothing illegal or negligent
in the conduct of interstate business.
Mica also cosponsored Rep. Stearns’
proposal providing that an
individual who has a valid permit
to carry a concealed firearm in any
state may carry that firearm in any
state.
Mica received an Associate of Arts
degree from Miami-Dade Community
College in 1965 and his Bachelor of
Arts from the University of Florida in
1967. He married Patricia Szymanek
in 1972. They are the parents of two
children, D’Anne and Clark. Mica
was a member of the Florida House
of Representatives from 1976 to 1980.
Last year Rep. Mica was named
chairman of the House Subcommittee
on Aviation, with jurisdiction
over civil aviation, including airport
improvement, aviation safety and
security, and other related issues.