FedSmith.com Users Say 'No' to Arming TSA Agents

By on November 18, 2013 in Current Events with 38 Comments

A recent poll conducted on FedSmith.com indicated that our users overwhelmingly oppose the idea of arming TSA agents at airports and public transportation facilities.

The recent shooting at LAX airport that left one TSA agent dead led to calls to arm the TSA. We asked FedSmith.com users if they thought this was a good idea.

76% of those responding said they did not believe it was wise to arm TSA agents. 20% said they thought it was a good idea and 4% weren’t sure.

74% of respondents said they did not believe armed TSA agents would make public transportation facilities safer. 20% said they thought it would make these areas safer and 6% were not sure.

Respondents had numerous comments on the issue, mostly expressing opposition to the idea of armed TSA agents. A random sampling of comments follows:

  • The cities and states should be providing police for law enforcement.
  • TSA security personnel are well known for their excitable and temperamental behavior when faced with mundane issues; giving them a weapon could/would increase their boldness and aggressive attitude toward customers. BLUF is how long have they operated with so very few confrontations that actually required lethal force at the airport security gates? This is over reaction.
  • I would advocate arming some TSA officers at each airport. Those with prior law enforcement or military background should be the first ones offered the training. Training should be volutary such as with the FFDO program.
  • Are you kidding? Clerks with guns and a billion dollars to train? The airport police can handle this.
  • These are essentially baggage inspectors that wear a nice uniform. They do not have law enforcement training nor do they need it. They need to carry guns as much as the average cirizens, which is never.
  • I’ve heard that TSA agents should be armed because they are “sitting ducks.” We (civilians) are all sitting ducks in airports and elsewhere, but we are not allowed to be or should be armed.
  • TSA should be desolved and let each airport run its own security
  • Maybe with proper basckground clearance and intense training
  • TSA Agents work in close quarters with travelers, increasing the chance a traveler could grab a gun from one of them. It would increase the required training and low the pool of qualified people for the job. One specially trained armed guard for each security area would address AFGE’s request.
  • These so called “agents” are not law enforcement personnel. They neither have the training, nor the pre-employment requirements of other law enforcement personnel. The security areas at airports are extremely crowded, and to have these personnel armed in such close quarters invites disaster.
  • Try supervising and adequately training these folks.
  • The “rent-a-cop” aka security guards in Federal Buildings not that long ago we’re not armed, now they carry firearms. One has to wonder what level of training they have been given and how much in the future will be given and by whom.
  • Carrying a weapon will require a GS-12 pay scale plus a 25% bonus for hazardous duty pay. This would be a terrible waste of taxpayer money.
  • I do not want to travel in a “police state”.

Thanks to our users who took the time to share their feedback in our survey.

© 2016 Ian Smith. All rights reserved. This article may not be reproduced without express written consent from Ian Smith.

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About the Author

Ian Smith is one of the co-founders of FedSmith.com. He enjoys writing about current topics that affect the federal workforce. Ian also has a background in web development and does the technical work for the FedSmith.com web site and its sibling sites.

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