Senate Votes to Allow Guns on Amtrak

By: The Associated Press
By: The Associated Press

The U.S. Senate has passed a measure that would let Amtrak rail passengers carry handguns in their checked bags.

Sen. Roger Wicker of Mississippi introduced the bill.

“Gun owners should not be penalized for seeking alternative means of travel,” Wicker said. “Under current Amtrak policy, a lawful citizen who wants to take the train for a hunting trip could not because they are prohibited from storing a gun in any checked luggage."

Supporters say the measure is an effort to give Amtrak riders the same gun rights as airline passengers. Air travelers are allowed to transport firearms in checked baggage so long as they declare they are doing so. The arms must also be unloaded and in a securely locked container.

The amendment would deny the railroad its $1.6 billion taxpayer subsidy unless it changes the gun policy.

Opponents of the policy say it would be too costly and burdensome for Amtrak to make sure checked firearms wouldn't be lost, stolen or misused.

Amtrak had once allowed firearms on its trains so long as they were secured in locked baggage or carrying cases. But it added restrictions after the Sept. 11 attacks, and imposed a total ban after the 2004 Madrid train bombings.

Wednesday's vote is the latest in a string of victories for gun rights activists in the Senate. The bill still needs to be reconciled with a House-passed measure that doesn't include the gun-rights provision.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Cynthia on Sep 18, 2009 at 01:53 PM
    No one is trying to take guns away from outdoorsmen, to date. And this doesn't concern gun rights from a sportsman's or a home owner's right to protection point-of-view. It concerns national security. As for a gun "never having hurt no one," well, neither has an airplane until it accidentally crashes through pilot error, mechanical problems, or hijacking. And what does God have to with this? This is an issue of national security we're speaking of, so why drag God into your specious argument?
  • by ONE Location: EVERY WERE on Sep 17, 2009 at 06:36 AM
    CYNTHIA, DID YOU NOT SEE THE CHECKED BAGS PART. YOU KNOW UNDER THE TRAIN. A GUN NEVER HURT NO ONE,I HAVE HAD THEM IN MY HOUSE ALL MY LIFE AND THEY NEVER HURT ME. BEFORE THE DEM'S AND THE ACLU TOOK GOD OUT OF EVERY THING WE DID NOT HAVE ALL THESE SHOOTINGS, GO FIGURE.
  • by gilbert Location: philadelphia on Sep 16, 2009 at 07:27 PM
    i think it is good that some one in washington is looking out for the outdoorsman in mind. at least it is not taking a right away from me and others that agree with me go gun rights. gilbert
  • by Cynthia Location: Meridian on Sep 16, 2009 at 05:37 PM
    How ridiculous to allow people with unchecked firearms on a train! If Amtrak cannot afford the personnel to allow passengers to check their firearms into the baggage compartment, how much less will they be able to afford when passengers such as myself stop using their service or recommending their service to others simply because there might be some psycho sitting in the dining car with an unchecked gun. I've often recommended their trip from Meridian to New Orleans, but I will not do so anymore.
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