FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 27, 2001
Dr. Ignatius Piazza
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA -- Dr. Ignatius Piazza, the Founder and Director of Front
Sight Firearms Training Institute in Las Vegas, Nevada is busy answering the
endless flow of e-mail and phone calls supporting his offer to train, free of
charge, every commercial pilot and co-pilot in the country that is authorized to
carry a handgun to defend their cockpits against terrorist attack.
Dr. Piazza is busy because on the morning of September 12 Front Sight was the
first to issue the statement that pilots should be armed. Front Sight backed up
their statement with their offer to train the pilots and co-pilots free of
charge. The response was immediate and positive.
Front Sight then issued another press release on September 14 in disgust over
the FAA's statement and plans to further disarm pilots. Front Sight requested
that all pilots contact their associations and demand that they be armed. Front
Sight states that the response across the country was overwhelming.
On September 19 Front Sight then issued a challenge to all airlines to use
Federal Air Regulation 108.11 (which allows pilots to be armed) and step up to
be the first to take back control of the skies and restore air passenger
confidence by arming their pilots. This resulted in Greg Amussen, a commercial
pilot and member of the Airline Pilots Association's (ALPA) Board of Directors
requesting to attend Front Sight's four day defensive handgun course in order to
report to ALPA on Front Sight's offer.
The day after Greg Amussen completed the course at Front Sight, ALPA
President Duane Woerth testified before Congress that ALPA pilots want to be
armed and requested that the FBI provide the training.
Dr. Piazza is pleased and proud that Front Sight's efforts and offer have
created a groundswell of support from pilots and public alike, resulting in the
reversal of ALPA's original stance on disarming pilots, however he is concerned
that government provided firearms training is a step in the wrong direction.
Says, Piazza, "My hat is off to Duane Woerth, President of the Airline
Pilots Association. He has taken the right step in arming the pilots as the
ultimate and last line of defense of the cockpit. Although his intent is pure in
thinking that the FBI is the source for training, he lacks a full understanding
of the much greater benefit Front Sight offers over the FBI in handling the
firearm training needs of his pilots."
Greg Amussen, a member of ALPA's Board of Directors and recent graduate of
Front Sight's four day defensive handgun course in Las Vegas, Nevada agrees with
Piazza. "After experiencing the training at Front Sight," says Amussen
"I can state without hesitation that Front Sight's courses are exactly what
is needed for our pilots and will more than satisfy any firearms training
requirements that ALPA, Congress, or the FAA could possibly require. The level
of skill acquired in that four day course is truly amazing. The safe gun
handling, expert marksmanship, live fire tactical simulation, and mindset
training will prepare our pilots to successfully defend their flight decks if
ever called upon to do so. Plus, Front Sight is just 45 minutes from Las Vegas.
Nearly every airline flies into Las Vegas anyway, so rotating pilots through
Front Sight will be extremely efficient and cost effective. On top of all that
the training is free of charge so no taxpayers, airlines, or air passengers have
to foot the bill. Front Sight demonstrated to me that they could start training
pilots tomorrow. There is no way our government or the FBI can offer what Front
Sight is offering in such a streamlined and effective manner. This is truly an
example of private industry leading the way for our government to follow."
Front Sight feels timing is crucial and fears that by the time the government
sorts out what they want to do, another air tragedy could occur. "Front
Sight has trained members of every branch of the US military and federal
agencies." states Piazza "Many of our instructors are active and
retired military and law enforcement instructors. We are very familiar with the
level of training provided in the government sector. It is very good, but there
is a reason why the agents, military personnel, and law enforcement officers
travel across the country on their own time and own dime to attend courses at
Front Sight. We are prepared to provide that same superior training to airline
pilots and co-pilots authorized to carry a handgun to defend the cockpits
Dr. Piazza again asks all pilots, air passengers, and citizens to contact
their airlines, associations, the FAA, and Congress to support Front Sight's
offer to train pilots free of charge. Dr. Piazza concludes, "There is no
logical reason why our taxpayers or air passengers should pay for what Front
Sight is willing to provide for free. We are prepared to train over 150,000
pilots and co-pilots. That represents over 150 million dollars in training
provided free of charge. Unfortunately, if the government handles the training,
it will cost taxpayers three to four times that amount. Front Sight stands
ready, willing, and able to serve."
Dr. Ignatius Piazza
Front Sight Firearms Training Institute
Greg Amussen, pilot, ALPA Board Member
For additional information about Airplanes & Guns, visit http://www.KeepAndBearArms.com/AirRKBA.