Spin Cycle

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A Long Island senator Thursday blasted federal rules to let passengers carry pocketknives on airplanes and promised state hearings.

Sen. Charles Fuschillo Jr. (R-Merrick) called the Transportation Security Administration’s rules “absurd, illogical, and completely lacking commonsense.”

“The TSA needs to immediately reconsider its actions,” Fuschillo said in a statement. “A knife, regardless of whether the blade is under or over 2.36 inches, is a potential weapon that can be used to kill, injure, or threaten. Placed in the hands of a criminal or terrorist in a crowded airplane, it becomes a very real safety threat to both passengers and the flight crew.”

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The Republican referred to a TSA ease restrictions on small knives, 2.36 inches long and less than half an inch wide. Souvenir baseball bats, golf clubs and other sports equipment also will be permitted starting next month.

Fuschillo, who leads the state Senate Transportation Committee, said he’d soon schedule a public hearing “to explore what actions can be taken at the state level to better protect airline passengers.”

The TSA's decision has outraged family members of the some of the victims of the Sept. 11 attacks. Unions also have blasted the rule. The agency said the policy aligns the U.S. with international standards and allows the TSA to concentrate on more serious safety threats.