DETROIT (Det. Free Press) -- A new federal rule allowing airline passengers to carry small pocket knives in airports won't fly in Michigan, the Michigan Attorney General's Office said Wednesday.
"MCL 259.80F remains in effect," said spokeswoman Joy Yearout today, referring to a strict Michigan law prohibiting knives of any length in secure areas of airports.
The Michigan law, enacted in the dark days after 9/11, bans firearms, explosives, knives, razors and box cutters. Bringing one in a carry-on bag is a misdemeanor punishable by a $1,000 fine. Anyone attempting to board an aircraft with any of these items faces a 10-year felony and a $10,000 fine.
The TSA new rules permit pocket knives 2.36 inches long and less than a half-inch wide, plus billiard cues, toy bats, ski poles, hockey and lacrosse sticks and up to two golf clubs.
Metro Airport spokesman Scott Wintner said Wednesday that airport attorneys were looking into the matter to see how federal and state law mesh regarding the knife regulation.
"We are in the middle of it, and at this point I really can't say what will happen," he said. "The Michigan law was passed originally to support the federal regulations, so it may take awhile for everything to be coordinated."
The TSA offices in Washington were shut down due to a winter storm Wednesday, and TSA spokesman Jonathan Allen said late this afternoon the agency would have to research before responding.
To bolster the state's argument, Yearout pointed to a TSA provision which warns passengers that "origination and destination cities may have local laws prohibiting the possession of (certain) items" allowed by TSA.
By Ellen Creager, The Michigan Traveler/Detroit Free Press