The Transportation Security Agency blog says some knives and some sporting equipment will be allowed back on planes, in late April.
According to the announcement,
…the following items [will be permitted] in carry-on bags [and presumably — for knives — in one’s pocket] beginning April 25th:
- Small Pocket Knives – Small knives with non-locking blades smaller than 2.36 inches and less than 1/2 inch in width will be permitted
- Small Novelty Bats and Toy Bats
- Ski Poles
- Hockey Sticks
- Lacrosse Sticks
- Billiard Cues
- Golf Clubs (Limit Two)
The change “is part of an overall Risk-Based Security approach” whose hermetically mysterious internal analytics can distinguish between the risks associated with a 6 centimeter, half inch wide, non-locking blade; and the risks created by a 7 centimeter, three-quarter inch wide, locking blade.
Maybe there is some science behind the metric. But if the decision process was similar to many of the early TSA decisions Kip Hawley described in his book Permanent Emergency: Inside the TSA and the Fight for the Future of American Security, there may have been more BOGSAT involved than science.
Whatever the rationale, for those who look at carrying knives as a 2nd Amendment right, a bit of pre-9/11 freedom is coming to an airport near you on April 25th.
It’s probably not a coincidence April 25th was selected to allow knives to return to flight. It is the 329th anniversary of the first patent for a thimble.
The date may also reflect the sense of humor of whoever at TSA decided small knives are an acceptable risk. On April 25th, 221 years ago, Nicolas Pelletier became the first person to be executed by guillotine — a different kind of knife.
Here are the TSA-provided pictures outlining the new rules (click on the image to make it bigger):