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Urgent - Eliminate terror on commercial aircraft:

"Airline Safety and Anti-terrorism Act of 2001"

Gary S. Marbut/MSSA/TOS
President, Montana Shooting Sports Association

September 17, 2001


Dear Gun-owning Friends,

It is apparent to any rational observer that if law abiding U.S. citizens flying on commercial aircraft last Tuesday had not been prevented by federal and state laws from possessing firearms for personal protection, hundreds or maybe thousands of innocent lives could have been saved.

We must no longer go along with the demands by some that we all exist in a state of personal vulnerability, unable to defend ourselves and loved ones.

Below is the outline of a recommended piece of federal legislation to require that certain qualified gun owners, including law enforcement and civilians, be allowed to fly armed on commercial aircraft. If we are going to war against terrorism, you and I will be the "home guard", and help protect our fellow citizens.

Please forward this draft bill to your U.S. Senators and Representatives in Congress, and insist that they help sponsor and pass this measure. Please insist that this strategy be an integral part of any overall plan to deal with terroristic threats against the U.S.

Also, please forward this to every citizen you know who is concerned about our liberties, and our freedom from fear and terrorism.

Thank you for your help.

Sincerely yours,

Gary Marbut
President. Montana Shooting Sports Association

Airline Safety and Anti-terrorism Act of 2001

Proposed is federal legislation, which may be called the "Airline Safety and Anti-terrorism Act of 2001", that would accomplish the following:

A. Remove all current prohibitions concerning carrying firearms on commercial aircraft for certain persons considered to be "air safety assets" under certain conditions, and to exempt these people from punishment by local and state laws where airplanes upon which they are riding may land, as follows:

1. Persons identified as an "air safety asset" who may be called a "sky guard" include:

a. any current, sworn, law enforcement officer for any federal, state or local agency, and

b. any person with a permit to carry a concealed weapon issued by any state, or by any local agency under the authority of a state, and

c. any person who is a classified handgun competitor under the rules of the United States Practical Shooting Association or the International Defensive Pistol Association.

2. Persons not eligible to be a "sky guard" include:

a. persons who are not eligible to possess firearms under federal law, and

b. persons who are not yet 18 years of age, and

c. persons who are not legal citizens of the United States as a result of birth or naturalization.

3. The Federal Aviation Administration must accomplish the following:

a. originate and publish within six weeks a brief manual, called a "sky guard briefing" which explains the fragility and weak points of commercial aircraft, which aircraft parts may be susceptible to dangerous disruption from either gunfire or terrorist activity, and which explains several most recommended tactics for defeating terrorists onboard aircraft, and

b. publish this manual as a paperback book, which must be available to persons qualified to serve as sky guards at a reasonable cost or at no cost, and

c. devise a system of signals whereby any sky guard flying on a particular aircraft may be identified under emergency conditions by other sky guards flying on that particular aircraft.

4. Conditions under which any qualified persons would be allowed to carry firearms on commercial aircraft departing from and arriving at destinations on U.S. soil, and the soil of U.S. allies which accept this arrangement, are:

a. when the person is carrying a firearm that is concealed from view and simple detection by casual observers, and

b. when the firearm being carried is loaded only with frangible ammunition, such as Glaser Safety Slugs or the equivalent, and

c. when the sky guard certifies that he or she has read the sky guard briefing and understands the contents, and

d. when the sky guard consumes no alcohol or mind-altering substances at all within 12 hours before travel, or during travel where the person serves as a sky guard.

B. Persons serving as sky guards:

1. Would serve in a voluntary (unpaid) capacity, and

2. Would be exempt from local or state laws restricting their ability to possess firearms along their route of travel, and at any location on the ground along their route of travel for a period of 72 hours between landing and departure, and

3. Both commercial airlines, and sky guards not acting with gross negligence, would be held harmless under law for the acts or omissions of sky guards serving voluntarily and while traveling on commercial aircraft or while in air terminals during travel.

C. The prerogatives and duties of sky guards while serving in that capacity would be limited to defeating any attempt to wrest control of a commercial aircraft from the airline crew, and to interfere with any person aboard a commercial aircraft who presents an immediate threat of loss of life to any crew member or passenger of a commercial aircraft upon which the sky guard is a passenger. The duties and prerogatives of a sky guard specifically would not include the use of a firearm or brandishing of a firearm to subdue an unruly passenger who does not pose a threat of loss of life to any crew member or passenger.