Forty-four volunteers this week became the first U.S. airline pilots certified to carry guns in the cockpit. The pilots were issued .40-caliber pistols after passing background checks and two days of instruction at a federal training center in Georgia. Airline unions lobbied for guns in the cockpit after the 9/11 hijackings, and advocates say a third of U.S. commercial pilots—about 30,000 people—could be armed within five years. Some passengers said the idea scared them. “It’ll get in the hands of the wrong person,” a Wisconsin woman said. But an airline captain said that arming pilots would help stop any hijackers who eluded security screeners and baggage checkers. “The ultimate link in that safety chain is me,” she said.
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