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BATF/Waco Magaw's Refusal to Arm Pilots No Surprise

Oregon Firearms Federation
P.O. Box 556
Canby, OR 97013
Voice: (503) 263-5830
Fax: (503) 263-3708

OFF ALERT, May 21, 2002

Today, the "gun friendly" Bush administration announced that it will not allow pilots to have firearms in their cockpits to protect passengers and aircraft.

John Magaw, an undersecretary with the Department of Transportation made the announcement in testimony before a Senate committee.

While an outrage, this comes as no surprise. Magaw is the former head of the BATF.

The overwhelming majority of Americans support allowing pilots to be armed, but today the Bush administration decided that permitting pilots to have guns was "too dangerous." They have, however, not rescinded their willingness to blow airplanes full of Americans out of the sky using fighter jets. Apparently they consider that option less dangerous.

Magaw cited his experience in "law enforcement" while explaining that he would prohibit pilots from having the ability to defend their aircraft. If the history of the BATF is any indication and Magaw is now in a position of power at the Transportation Department it would be wise to carefully consider staying away from airplanes at least until the next election.

This is not over however. In the House, Representatives Don Young (R-AK) and John Mica (R-FL) are the sponsors of H.R. 4635, a bill to allow pilots to be armed. Senator Bob Smith (R-NH) is expected to introduce a companion bill in the Senate sometime this week.

Please contact your Representatives and urge them to reverse an insane policy that trusts pilots with a airplane filled with passengers but not with a firearm. Please remind them that all locked cabin doors will guarantee is a plane full or dead passengers.

You can call your Representative at 202-225-3121 or toll-free at 1-877-762-8762.

To find your House Rep, please use the GOA Legislative Action Center at

You can contact Senators Wyden and Smith at the following addresses:

Senator Smith
Washington, DC Office 404
Russell Building Washington, DC 20510-3704
Phone: (202)224-3753

Senator Wyden

516 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
(202) 224-5244

Sample text follows:

Dear Senator/ Representative,

I strongly urge your support of legislation to permit airline pilots to be armed.

It is the height of lunacy to trust these men and women with an airplane and then suggest they cannot be trusted with a firearm. Please don't believe the lies about cabin "depressurization" and other myths. If they were true then the only sensible response would be to disarm sky marshals.

The events of Sept. 11 illustrate the dangers faced by unarmed Americans when confronted with murderous terrorists. Please do all you can to see that this legislation is enacted and signed by the President.

Very truly yours,


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Arms discourage and keep the invader and plunderer in awe, and preserve order in the world as well as property . . . Horrid mischief would ensue were the law-abiding deprived of the use of them. Thomas Paine, Thoughts on Defensive War (1775).

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