After dropping out of the presidential elections race, Rand Paul has resumed his efforts to arm all American pilots.
The Kentucky Republican senator, who is known to have been affiliated with organizations far more extreme than the National Rifle Association, introduced the Arm All Pilots Act of 2015 as a standalone bill last year but it died in committee after failing to receive a vote.
This year, Paul is introducing his proposal as an amendment to the Federal Aviation Administration Reauthorization Act.
I introduced an amendment that would arm airline pilots so they can defend passengers from attack. Call your senators now and urge support!— Dr. Rand Paul (@RandPaul) April 13, 2016
S.Amdt.3518, improves and expands access to the FFDO program by: Adding an additional 5 training facilities throughout the United States.— Dr. Rand Paul (@RandPaul) April 13, 2016
Retaining the training requirements, but allows for three days of classroom work to be completed online.— Dr. Rand Paul (@RandPaul) April 13, 2016
Improving the carriage requirements and allows the FFDO to make reasonable efforts to keep their firearm concealed when in public.— Dr. Rand Paul (@RandPaul) April 13, 2016
It’s not as if arming pilots is a new idea. The issue has been under debate ever since September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
Thousands of airline pilots can currently carry guns while on duty in the cockpit, under the Department of Homeland Security's Federal Flight Deck Officer program. But under President Barack Obama’s government, funds for the program have been reduced to half.
“I’m concerned about what is the most cost-effective way of preventing another 9/11: I want all pilots to be armed,” Paul said on the Fox News program “Hannity” in 2014.
“The president has zeroed this out of his budget. He’s advocated for getting rid of the program. And when I talk to pilots, I’m at airports all the time, pilots come up to me all the time and say it’s too hard to get a permit and to keep up the permit.”
Read More: 6 Things You Didn’t Know About Rand Paul
Here, it’s important to mention that no armed U.S. pilot has ever had to use a gun to defend against a potential terror or hijacking threat since the program started. And while there are people like Paul who believe more pilots should be armed, there are many others who emphatically argue otherwise.
@RandPaul Restoring the Air Marshall program and expanding that would be much better than arming pilots. Let professionals carry.— Chris Rouse (@ChrisRouse) April 13, 2016
@RandPaul yeah because untrained airline pilots firing off rounds in a pressurized cabin is a good idea.— Captain Achmedica (@jiveassbaloney) April 13, 2016
Shouldn't the pilots be busy flying the damn plane? @RandPaul— Kragar (@Kragar_LGF) April 13, 2016
Rand Paul - who took $45,215 from gun lobby - wants to arm airline pilots.— igorvolsky (@igorvolsky) April 14, 2016
I mean, what could possibly go wrong? https://t.co/Uq0WFYFvVv