If an airline pilot has a license to open or concealed carry are they able to do so while flying? I mean they already have control of the plane so the only bad thing that could come of it is if a passenger somehow got control of their weapon, or if the pilot decided to shoot the passengers.
sherill: A very select few airline pilots are allowed to carry weapons under the Federal Flight Deck Officer program administered by the Federal Air Marshal Service.
The pilots who participate in FFDO program undergo special training in weapons, use of force, legal, psychology, and other topics. Upon completion of the training they become Sworn and Deputized Federal Law Enforcement officers, in addition their regular airline duties.
Yes, There IS a US federal program that allows, in certain circumstances, and under VERY strict supervision, SOME pilots to carry handguns on board an aircraft. BUT since the pilots are safely locked away inside their little cockpits while the aircraft is in flight, it seems kind of senseless to me. It's NOT like a pilot is going to come out of his little hole with guns blazing to stop a riot or prevent a hijacking. Seems to me that an armed pilot is more in danger of shooting himself in the foot than actually NEEDING a gun on board a commercial aircraft.
There was a program in place, before I retired. Soon after it started, a pilot shot a hole in the cockpit. Lots of sensationalist publicity. Not long after, it happened again, but this one didn't make it to the media. I was under the impression, that since the cockpit door had been reinforced, the program had been disbanded. I'd think the crash axe would be more effective in close quarters anyway.
State-issued CCW permits are not valid to carry firearms on board an aircraft, just like they aren't valid in many other kinds of high security jobs and areas. Only law enforcement officers designated under the Federal Air Marshal Service can carry firearms on board, such as Federal Air Marshals themselves, or other authorized law enforcement. Not only that, but the ammunition has to be low-velocity ammunition, designed to be powerful enough to kill or seriously wound without ripping through the fuselage.
However, since 9/11 attacks FAMS has a provision for pilots, where the Federal Flight Deck Officer program actually makes them deputized federal law enforcement officers too. Pilots can exercise their power as FFDO only for the safety of the flight, and not anywhere else like inside an airport terminal. The process to become an FFDO is lengthy and a pain for most pilots, and its effectiveness in a terrorist situation is still debatable, so most pilots don't bother. There aren't too many of them around.
"the only bad thing that could come of it is if a passenger somehow got control of their weapon, or if the pilot decided to shoot the passengers." Or, if the gun went off by any other means, such as dropping it. This has already happened, and on one occasion a passenger accidentally took a pilot's bag with his gun it it. Thankfully she found it and returned it to the pilot, but you can imagine the trouble the pilot and airline would be in if the passenger was a criminal or a nut case.
No. I believe there is something like an Armed Flight Deck Officer permit or something.. but otherwise, they have to pass through security like everyone else.
And no, they don't have control of the plane. One suicide junkie has to overpower the other flight crew members before deciding to crash the plane (or lock the cockpit door… another completely stupid knee-jerk reaction to counter terrorists).
Then there is the problem of collateral damage.. damaging a vital system, killing innocent people (an overwhelming number of gun deaths are accidents), or having the plane crash anyways because buddy was too busy playing cowboy instead of flying the god damn airplane.
The safest thing for airplane security is to be proactive. Screen your passengers intelligently… using people well trained in recognizing behaviours like the Israelis do… rather than unionized and uneducated minions who will miss a bag of semtex while they are confiscating your nail clippers.
Oh… and 'Merica? Stay the hell out of the world's affairs. Boko Haram are getting on just fine without you bombing them… Israel will figure it out… there's more oil elsewhere in the world… and Saudi Arabia executes more people than ISIS does.
Yes they can, but they have to qualify as Federal Flight Deck Officers before they are allowed to carry weapons on board.