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Knives on a plane: TSA makes changes to security policy

Courtesy of MCT

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The Transportation Security Administration recently announced changes to its security policy which will allow passengers to bring certain small knives and some previously banned sporting equipment on planes.
Despite this change in security, some students said they are comfortable with the adjustment.
“I think it is a smart and rational course of action,” said Peter Marzalik, a third-year in Russian and international studies with a specialization in security and intelligence.
Marzalik, president of Ohio State’s Security and Intelligence Club, said he questioned the safety of the change at first, but understood TSA’s reasoning after further research.
“A lot of those kinds of knives are just things you find in your toiletry kit,” Marzalik said.
The new rule, which becomes effective April 25, will allow knives that are no longer than 2.36 inches and less than a half an inch in width. Additionally, the knives cannot have a lock, fixed blade or a molded grip.
Marzalik does not think those knives will be much of a threat and will not endanger those on flights.
According to a TSA press release, the reason for the policy change is to allow TSA officers to focus their attention on more pressing security threats.
Some sporting equipment such as lacrosse sticks, hockey sticks, pool cues, ski poles and two golf clubs will now also be allowed on planes.
Novelty baseball bats that are less than 24 ounces will also be allowed in carry-on baggage.
TSA spokeswoman Ann Davis said many passengers forget they are carrying small knives when they board planes.
“A lot of people have Swiss Army knives on their key chains or they just carry them for utility purposes,” Davis said. “About half of the items surrendered at check points around the country include small knives.”
According to multiple sources, about 35 million Americans carry pocketknives.
Ryan Barta, a third-year in business with a specialization in operational and aviation management, said the door to the cockpit has enhanced a plane’s security so small knives will not be a threat.
“The security has increased in the airplane itself to the point where the presence of knives isn’t going to let them hijack the plane,” Barta said.
Barta said some people nervous about flying might be uneasy about the relaxed rules.
“Someone could have a knife on a bus, or any kind of public transportation, and it just carries the same amount of risk,” Barta said. “It’s just the fact that it’s up in the air that people are more fazed by it.”
Elisabeth Rogge, a first-year in theater and English, was shocked when she first heard the news, but said she will feel comfortable when she flies to London this summer.
“That’s a little terrifying, knives on planes,” she said. “I think that they know what they’re doing, they’re not stupid, this is what they’re paid to do and I’m sure they’ve thought it through.”

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