UPS, FedEx pilots can carry guns

| Wednesday, August 06, 2003

President Bush has said he’ll sign a bill introduced by Sen. Jim Bunning, R-KY, to allow cargo carrier pilots such as UPS and FedEx to carry handguns in the cockpit after training, The Louisville-Courier Journal reports.

The legislation, part of the FAA Reauthorization Bill, has passed the Senate and House of Representatives, as well as a conference committee. The House and Senate will take final votes after the August recess.

"If the passenger carriers have armed pilots and the cargo carriers do not, that allows a vulnerable path to develop," said Leon Laylagian, an official with the Louisville-based Independent Pilots Association, which represents United Parcel Service pilots.

The bill seems destined to pass over the opposition of UPS. The industry's lobbying caused cargo pilots to be dropped from earlier legislation allowing airline pilots to carry weapons.

"We feel the security we have in place is quite strong and sufficient to provide a level of safety and security for our pilots," David Bolger, spokesman for UPS in Washington, DC, said. "Secondly, we have a longstanding policy against weapons in the workplace. Having a weapon on the premises is of tremendous concern to us."

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