. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Pilots Seek Right to Carry Firearms

WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Air Line Pilots Association is pressing for federal legislation that would allow pilots to carry firearms in cockpits, a move the union says could prevent hijackings.

"This is a reflection on how much the attack on Sept. 11 has changed everything we thought about hijackings and terrorism," said union spokesman John Mazor. He said armed pilots would be a radical step for the union, but the idea is supported overwhelmingly by its pilot members.

The union's president, Captain Duane Woerth, was to testify Tuesday at a House aviation subcommittee hearing on security and will urge Congress to act.

The Federal Aviation Administration prohibits pilots from being armed in the cockpit, said FAA spokeswoman Laura Brown.

"These men and women operate $100 million pieces of equipment. They can sure learn to operate a .38 snub-nose if they want to," said aviation consultant Michael Boyd of the Boyd Group in Evergreen, Colorado.