TSA bans knives and bats, again

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Those travelling to and inside the United States of America might be relieved or frustated, depending on their views, thanks to the latest decision by the Transport Safety Administration (TSA).

The US government department responsible for, as the name says, safety in transport, has reversed its decision to lift a ban on small knives, bats, golf clubs, and other sporting goods weapons of terror. According to the Associated Press, the decision comes after pressure from the industry and US Congress.

Amusingly-named TSA administrator John “Don’t shout my name in crowded Italian airport” Pistole, said that the TSA will instead continue focussing its efforts on advancing the pre-screening program. Using this, they screen in advance those travellers who don’t pose a risk, thus allowing them to skip the scanning lines and reduce congestion.

Coincidentally, his original plan to allow certain banned items in carry-on baggage was also intended to reduce time spent at scanning stations. He reasoned that an inordinate amount of time is spent on checking for those non-threatening items, with up to 2 000 small knives confiscated per day.

If it had been approved, the original proposal would have allowed travellers to carry pen knives with blades up to 6cm in length and 1cm wide, as well as corkscrews, novelty-size bats, pool cues, ski poles, hockey sticks, and golf clubs. A convenience for sporty types, no doubt, and no more a threat than a man with a beard.


Christo van Gemert

Christo van Gemert

Eleven years ago Christo started writing about technology for one of South Africa's (then) leading computer magazines. His first review? A Samsung LCD monitor. Hey, it was hot news, back then. Nowadays he gets more excited about photography, cars, game consoles, and faster internet connections. He's sort of an Apple fan, but will take any opportunity to remind you about his Windows-powered home theatre PC and desire to own a vanilla Android tablet.   Currently uses: Apple 13-inch Macbook Pro with Retina Display, Apple iPhone 5, Microsoft Laser Mouse 6000, Audiofly AF78 Earphones, Xbox 360, Nikon D50.