View Full Version : Apsa Victory Update, November 2002

I. M. Esperto
26th Nov 2002, 12:09



That's "we," as in all American citizens. Last week, the Senate finally passed a bill with armed pilots legislation in it. Today, President Bush signed that bill into law. We are elated and you should be, too.

Highlights of the bill include a mandatory program for training and arming any FAR 121 passenger airline pilot who volunteers and passes screening and training. Individual airline may NOT opt out of the program. The TSA must establish a program and APSA and other pilot groups, joined together as a team, are already in talks with the TSA regarding this "implementation." We are optimistic that the TSA will proceed according to the will of the Congress and develop a program agreeable to airline pilots; a program that will encourage, not discourage, participation.

Understand: this is a HUGE victory that cannot be exaggerated, one that practically no one thought possible when APSA began pressing this issue just fourteen months ago. We have been on a year-long rollercoaster of encouraging victories and significant defeats. But as Vince Lombardi said, it is not how many times you fall, but how many times you get up. APSA always got up. And we will continue to do so. We beat one of the wealthiest lobbies in the business, the Air Transport Association. We even blasted through the opposition of a wildly popular president. But we didn't do it alone, and that is the thrust of this Update.

We want to thank those who made this victory possible. A cast of literally thousands made this happen so we can't thank you all by name. For those we can list, here are their names and where they serve:

In the US Senate: Senators Bob Smith, Barbara Boxer, Craig Thomas, Conrad Burns, Frank Murkowski, Zell Miller, Larry Craig, and Strom Thurmond. These individuals worked unselfishly to produce a single, good bill rather than an assortment of bills that would have taken time to resolve. Their leadership was indispensable.

In the US House of Representatives: Congressmen John Hostettler, Joe Wilson, Peter DeFazio, John Thune, Bob Barr, Joe Barton, and Roscoe Bartlett. Each of these Congressmen rose to meet challenges and helped us clear obstacles at critical times. The leadership of House Transportation Committee Chairman Don Young and House Aviation Subcommittee Chairman John Mica was also crucial to our success, and APSA thanks them for seeing this through.

In the media, our new Best Friend, G. Gordon Liddy, who has linked his website to ours, put our issue on his home page, and been our tireless ally. He and his politically active listeners were instrumental in helping us shape the House bill, which became the foundation for the bill the president just signed.

Our pilot allies: First and foremost, our good friends at the Allied Pilots' Association (APA) and their Committee for Armed Defense of the Cockpit. Their commitment, selflessness, teamwork and friendship made them indispensable in this fight. The Independent Pilots' Association (IPA) and, Coalition of Airline Pilots' Associations (CAPA) worked many hours with us and APA, walking the halls of Congress. We thank the Southwest Airlines Pilots' Association (SWAPA) for helping us to get our message out and supporting our cause. These four groups banded with APSA and together we formed a unified group when dealing with Congress. We are working with them now during implementation, advocating a single program to the TSA.

Our Second Amendment friends: the National Rifle Association, Gun Owners of America, and Armed Females of America. Also, all groups attending the Gun Rights Policy Conference who unanimously passed a resolution supporting the arming of pilots:


26th Nov 2002, 12:22
Do you guys intend to carry guns on international flights as well. If so, are you prepared that either it won't be approved by most countries or in return that ANYBODY carries guns to the US whatever his/her nationality is?

I. M. Esperto
26th Nov 2002, 15:18
I'm not sure. There are a lot of things to be ironed out.

Pilots who do arm themselves may have trouble with local state laws regarding the carrying of a pistol in their cars, for the drive to and from the airport.