Obama Wants to Disarm U.S. Pilots Wednesday, March 18, 2009 12:19 PM By: David A. Patten Article Font Size The Obama administration is taking steps quietly to shut down the program that qualifies commercial airline pilots to carry firearms in jetliner cockpits in order to ward off another 9/11-type attack. The administration recently diverted $2 million from a program to train and certify pilots to carry firearms safely while on duty. Instead, it is using the money to hire additional field inspectors to help discipline pilots who step out of line, according to a report in Tuesdays Washington Times. A Times editorial condemned the Obama administration's action, calling it completely unnecessary harassment of the pilots. Since Obama took office, the approval process for certifying pilots to carry firearms has ground to a halt, the newspaper reports. Pilots are afraid to speak out about the behind-the-scenes maneuverings, for fear of retaliation, according to the newspaper. No cases have been reported in which pilots have brandished a weapon inappropriately or otherwise abused their eligibility to carry firearms. About 12,000 pilots have been authorized to carry handguns while flying aircraft as part of the Federal Flight Deck Officers Program. Congress authorized the program in a 310-to-113 vote following the 9/11 attacks to help prevent terrorists from turning jetliners into flying bombs that could be used to attack key sites like the White House, the Pentagon, or Capitol Hill. Newsmax.com - Obama Wants to Disarm U.S. Pilots I was more than willing to give Obama the benefit of the doubt, but the more I see, the more concerned I become.