(SUN-SENTINEL) — They’re already allowed to carry guns in the cockpit, but many pilots say that’s not enough to keep aviation as safe as it should be.

They want police-like authority to holster a weapon all day long, whether they’re at the controls, riding in back of a plane or eating lunch in a terminal.

“That would put us in line with standard law enforcement,” said Marcus Flagg, president of the Federal Flight Deck Officer Association, which represents thousands of armed pilots.

He declined to say exactly how many pilots now carry guns, but he said the number is just behind the FBI, which has about 13,800 armed agents. Since being given permission to pack heat 10 years ago, no U.S. pilot has ever had to draw a weapon against a passenger.

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