The U.S. government Tuesday denied allowing pilots to have firearms in the cockpits of commercial airplanes. Officials didn't give a reason for the decision. The announcement was made at a Senate Commerce Committee hearing by John Magaw, undersecretary for transportation security.
It followed months of debate over whether arming pilots would be a deterrent to hijackers. Airline pilots have pushed for guns, saying it would allow them to confront a hijacker who breaks into the cockpit. Opponents of arming pilots have said reinforced cockpit doors now required on all planes make pistols unnecessary.