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The FFDO program was instituted by President George W. Bush in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, and was created to be a last line of defense for airplanes facing an attempted terrorist takeover. Through it, pilots who pass the extensive background check, meet the marksmanship demands and survive the physical rigors of testing -- including hand to hand combat -- earn the right to carry a handgun in the cockpit: a handgun they are trained to use to protect that cockpit should a terrorist breach its door.

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