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Front Sight or the FBI?


September 27, 2001

Dr. Ignatius Piazza
Fax: 831.684.2137

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA -- Dr. Ignatius Piazza, the Founder and Director of Front Sight Firearms Training Institute in Las Vegas, Nevada is busy answering the endless flow of e-mail and phone calls supporting his offer to train, free of charge, every commercial pilot and co-pilot in the country that is authorized to carry a handgun to defend their cockpits against terrorist attack.

Dr. Piazza is busy because on the morning of September 12 Front Sight was the first to issue the statement that pilots should be armed. Front Sight backed up their statement with their offer to train the pilots and co-pilots free of charge. The response was immediate and positive.

Front Sight then issued another press release on September 14 in disgust over the FAA's statement and plans to further disarm pilots. Front Sight requested that all pilots contact their associations and demand that they be armed. Front Sight states that the response across the country was overwhelming.

On September 19 Front Sight then issued a challenge to all airlines to use Federal Air Regulation 108.11 (which allows pilots to be armed) and step up to be the first to take back control of the skies and restore air passenger confidence by arming their pilots. This resulted in Greg Amussen, a commercial pilot and member of the Airline Pilots Association's (ALPA) Board of Directors requesting to attend Front Sight's four day defensive handgun course in order to report to ALPA on Front Sight's offer.

The day after Greg Amussen completed the course at Front Sight, ALPA President Duane Woerth testified before Congress that ALPA pilots want to be armed and requested that the FBI provide the training.

Dr. Piazza is pleased and proud that Front Sight's efforts and offer have created a groundswell of support from pilots and public alike, resulting in the reversal of ALPA's original stance on disarming pilots, however he is concerned that government provided firearms training is a step in the wrong direction. Says, Piazza, "My hat is off to Duane Woerth, President of the Airline Pilots Association. He has taken the right step in arming the pilots as the ultimate and last line of defense of the cockpit. Although his intent is pure in thinking that the FBI is the source for training, he lacks a full understanding of the much greater benefit Front Sight offers over the FBI in handling the firearm training needs of his pilots."

Greg Amussen, a member of ALPA's Board of Directors and recent graduate of Front Sight's four day defensive handgun course in Las Vegas, Nevada agrees with Piazza. "After experiencing the training at Front Sight," says Amussen "I can state without hesitation that Front Sight's courses are exactly what is needed for our pilots and will more than satisfy any firearms training requirements that ALPA, Congress, or the FAA could possibly require. The level of skill acquired in that four day course is truly amazing. The safe gun handling, expert marksmanship, live fire tactical simulation, and mindset training will prepare our pilots to successfully defend their flight decks if ever called upon to do so. Plus, Front Sight is just 45 minutes from Las Vegas. Nearly every airline flies into Las Vegas anyway, so rotating pilots through Front Sight will be extremely efficient and cost effective. On top of all that the training is free of charge so no taxpayers, airlines, or air passengers have to foot the bill. Front Sight demonstrated to me that they could start training pilots tomorrow. There is no way our government or the FBI can offer what Front Sight is offering in such a streamlined and effective manner. This is truly an example of private industry leading the way for our government to follow."

Front Sight feels timing is crucial and fears that by the time the government sorts out what they want to do, another air tragedy could occur. "Front Sight has trained members of every branch of the US military and federal agencies." states Piazza "Many of our instructors are active and retired military and law enforcement instructors. We are very familiar with the level of training provided in the government sector. It is very good, but there is a reason why the agents, military personnel, and law enforcement officers travel across the country on their own time and own dime to attend courses at Front Sight. We are prepared to provide that same superior training to airline pilots and co-pilots authorized to carry a handgun to defend the cockpits against terrorism."

Dr. Piazza again asks all pilots, air passengers, and citizens to contact their airlines, associations, the FAA, and Congress to support Front Sight's offer to train pilots free of charge. Dr. Piazza concludes, "There is no logical reason why our taxpayers or air passengers should pay for what Front Sight is willing to provide for free. We are prepared to train over 150,000 pilots and co-pilots. That represents over 150 million dollars in training provided free of charge. Unfortunately, if the government handles the training, it will cost taxpayers three to four times that amount. Front Sight stands ready, willing, and able to serve."

Dr. Ignatius Piazza
Front Sight Firearms Training Institute

Greg Amussen, pilot, ALPA Board Member

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