TSA backs away from plan to allow small knives on flights

WASHINGTON -- The Transportation Security Administration has reversed itself on its proposal to let passengers carry small knives on planes.

The change in its position follows a steady outcry from lawmakers and industry advocates.

The TSA announced today its current policy on carry-on baggage will remain in place.

The agency said it "appreciates the varying points of view shared throughout the review process."

Skeptical lawmakers, airlines, labor unions and some law enforcement groups were critical of the plan.  They argued knives and other items in the hands of the wrong passengers could be used to injure or even kill passengers and crew.

Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., praised the decision to back off the policy change.

"It seemed obvious to most travelers and airline employees that the decision to allow knives on planes was wrong, and we're glad the TSA, after further review and input, has seen it our way," Schumer said.

The original proposal would have also allowed travelers to bring souvenir bats, golf clubs and other sports equipment onto planes.

TSA Administrator John Pistole had unveiled the proposal to loosen the rules for carry-ons in March, saying the knives and other items can't enable terrorists to cause a plane to crash. He said intercepting them takes time that would be better used searching for explosives and other more serious threats.

TSA screeners confiscate over 2,000 small folding knives from passengers each day.