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TSA to Allow Knives on Planes

Posted at: 03/05/2013 9:47 PM
Updated at: 03/05/2013 10:43 PM
By: John Doetkott

(ABC 6 News) -- There's a big change about to take place for American travelers going through security at the airport.

After more than a decade of confiscating tens of millions of pocket knives, the TSA says it’s time for a change and will now allow travelers to carry a small knife on board.

“We know that these small, little items are unlikely to be used again to try and hijack an aircraft, said Jeffrey Price, professor of aviation management at Metro State University of Denver.

Starting on April 25th travelers will be allowed to carry a folding knife if the blade is less than 2.36 inches long and half an inch wide.

But that's not the only change. Golfers will be able to carry on two clubs and hockey, lacrosse, and pool players can board with their sticks as well.

Razor blades and box cutters like those used by the hijackers on 9/11 will still be banned.

But not every flight has an air marshal on board who is trained to deal with knife wielding passengers, which is why flight attendants  are angry, saying they and their passengers will now be at risk.

"Having knives on board is a horrible decision and we're incredibly disappointed in the TSA for allowing weapons onboard an aircraft,” said Veda Shook, president of the Association of Flight Attendants.

But still some travelers at the Rochester International Airport said the change would make little difference.

“If someone is going to hurt someone on a plane they’d come up with some other way to do it than a pocket knife,” said Debbie Lane, who was traveling to Phoenix on Tuesday. “I don’t think it’s going to be a big deal.”

TSA officials said the change will allow officers to concentrate on more serious threats such as explosives, and of course, guns.

On average, four guns are found at U.S. checkpoints every day, three of them loaded.

Last week TSA officials announced they would be cutting the number of workers that screen, meaning longer wait times at security checkpoints.

The new rules are intended to speed up the security process.