Reps. Black, Flores Introduce Bill to Reverse Discriminatory TSA Policy Ahead of Holiday Travel Season
Washington, DC – Today, Congressman Diane Black (R-TN-06) and Congressman Bill Flores (R-TX-17) introduced H.R. 4026, the Nondiscriminatory Transportation Screening Act. The legislation would allow Americans to use gun license permits as permissible identification for Transportation Security Administration (TSA) purposes while maintaining strong protections for gun owners’ privacy rights and prohibiting government tracking of individuals who choose to present this identification at airport screenings. The bill comes ahead of the 2015 Thanksgiving holiday season, where 25 million Americans are expected to board flights to travel destinations throughout the country.
Currently, the TSA explicitly bans the use of handgun licenses at airport checkpoints, despite the fact that these licenses meet all criteria for “verifying identity documents” under current law. Black and Flores released the following statements:
“We all understand the need for stringent security standards at our nation’s airports, but there must also be a place for commonsense. It is mind-boggling that the TSA has reportedly accepted Costco membership cards at airport screenings, yet its website expressly prohibits the use of handgun carry permits. Why the double standard? Handgun licenses are a government-issued form of identification and no one has given me a valid reason why they cannot be accepted at TSA checkpoints. Americans who exercise their Second Amendment freedoms have bared the brunt of much hostility from this Administration over the last seven years. As a handgun carry permit holder myself, I believe this should be a simple, bipartisan step we can take to stop the government’s marginalization of gun-owners and alleviate confusion for millions of American travelers this holiday season,” said Congressman Diane Black.
“As travel continues to be a vital piece of our nation’s economy, TSA should accept approved government issued concealed handgun licenses as a valid form of identification. The requirements to obtain a concealed license are similar and often times stricter than that of obtaining a standard ID card. Earlier this year, the Texas House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed a bipartisan resolution petitioning Congress to allow the TSA to accept concealed handgun licenses. Concealed handgun licenses contain all of the identifying information required by the TSA. It is time they recognize these licenses as acceptable forms of identification. The Nondiscriminatory Transportation Screening Act provides a commonsense approach for the TSA to update its policies on permissible verifying documents,” said Congressman Bill Flores.
Congressman Diane Black represents Tennessee’s 6th Congressional District. She has been a registered nurse for more than 40 years and serves on the House Ways and Means and Budget Committees.