Finally, Some Common Sense from TSA

The Transportation Workers Union may be unhappy about this, but I’m afraid this time I’m not on their side. I say hallelujah to this:

The U.S. Transportation Security Administration will let people carry small pocketknives onto passenger planes for the first time since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, along with golf clubs, hockey sticks and plastic Wiffle Ball-style bats.

The agency will permit knives with retractable blades shorter than 6 centimeters (2.36 inches) and narrower than 1/2 inch, TSA Administrator John Pistole said today at an aviation security conference in Brooklyn. The change, to conform with international rules, takes effect April 25.

Does this mean I can soon bring my beloved Swiss Army Knife with me when I travel? Sadly, no. Depending on how you measure, the blade on mine is either six or seven centimeters long, and I’ll bet that TSA will choose the method that makes it seven centimeters. So I’ll have to get a new one that conforms.

I can live with that. I just want to have a little pocketknife with me when I travel. It’s one of those things that’s really astonishingly convenient, and I’ve cursed not having one more times than I can remember since 9/11. So hooray for common sense.


Mother Jones was founded as a nonprofit in 1976 because we knew corporations and the wealthy wouldn't fund the type of hard-hitting journalism we set out to do.

Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation today so we can keep on doing the type of journalism 2019 demands.

We Recommend


Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.


Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.