As the United States goes through a critical wave of terror threats -- Obama administration officials have expressed their certainty that an Al-Qaeda attack would be attempted within the next six months -- the organization representing LAX police is urging federal authorities to allow off-duty cops to carry weapons onboard commercial flights.
"We believe that additional armed, trained law enforcement personnel aboard aircraft is a prudent measure to be taken at this time," states Marshall McClain, president of the Los Angeles Airport Peace Officers Association (LAAPOA). "We join FLEOA (Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association) in urging President Obama to issue an executive order to authorize all law enforcement officers, active and retired, and certified by the Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act (LEOSA), to carry firearms aboard domestic flights as an added line of defense against terrorists."
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As it stands, law enforcement personnel are only allowed to carry firearms when they are traveling on official business and have specific permission from their agencies to carry their service weapons.
McClain cites the attempted bombing of an airliner above Detroit Christmas Day as an example of why having more badges and guns aboard planes could only be a good thing. Al-Qaeda has claimed credit for the try. "This action is necessary at this time as an additional layer of security to safeguard the flying public," states the LAAPOA.
However, we wonder aloud whether a U.S. Transportation Security Administration that seems to be continually behind the ball in catching threats (a woman got through security two weekends ago without being "wanded," shutting down an LAX terminal for nearly an hour), would be just as slow at catching terrorists impersonating cops.
We recently told you about a man who allegedly posed as a U.S. Marshal to deport his distant cousin's wife to her native Philippines. When he took her to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection station nobody noticed that he was an alleged fake cop. Imagine what havoc could be wreaked on a flight by one or two armed terrorists with fake badges. We wonder aloud if the reason the administration hasn't already approved such a pro-carry rule for cops is that its TSA is not up to the task of ferreting out phonies.