TSA stands by plan to allow small knives on planes

Associated Press
FILE - In this Jan. 4, 2010 file photo, TSA officer Robert Howard signals an airline passenger forward at a security check-point at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport in SeaTac, Wash. The head of the Transportation Security Administration on Thursday, March 14, 2013 told lawmakers he stands by his plan to allow passengers to carry small knives onto planes despite a growing backlash against the proposal. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)
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FILE - In this Jan. 4, 2010 file photo, TSA officer Robert Howard signals an airline passenger forward at a security check-point at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport in SeaTac, Wash. The head of the Transportation Security Administration on Thursday, March 14, 2013 told lawmakers he stands by his plan to allow passengers to carry small knives onto planes despite a growing backlash against the proposal. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The head of the Transportation Security Administration says the agency will allow passengers to carry small knives onto planes despite a backlash against the proposal.

TSA Administrator John Pistole told the a House committee on Thursday that he doesn't believe small folding knives would enable a terrorist to take over a plane and that finding and eliminating them is time-consuming.

Pistole says that screeners find 2,000 small knives a day on passengers or in their carry-on bags, with each incident requiring two to three minutes to deal with.

Several lawmakers at the hearing say they don't see much difference between the knives and the box cutters used by 9/11 terrorists.

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