The federal government is making available $8 million to continue firearms training for commercial pilots who want to carry guns in the cockpit. The Associated Press says that Fred Bates, an American Airlines pilot who helped lead the fight in Congress to arm pilots, reports being bombarded with calls and e-mails from colleagues who want to be trained. “Hundreds are going to sign up for this thing, and that number is just going to escalate,” Bates said.
The first 44 pilots allowed to carry guns were sworn in last Saturday after a week of training. The next class is scheduled for midsummer.
The AP quoted one estimate that about a third of the 100,000 U.S. pilots will volunteer to carry guns in the next five years.