Amtrak and Guns, Part II

2009 August 7
tags: Amtrak, Roger Wicker, Second Amendment
by Brett

Last April, I wrote of an amendment to a bill that Roger Wicker introduced in the Senate and eventually passed the full body with would give passengers of the federally subsidized Amtrak the right to securely transport firearms. The bill passed with 65 supporters (and just 35 opposing it), and I just assumed the bill was on its way to becoming law. However, it was later removed during House-Senate budget negotiations.

The Democrats, and there allies in the gun control lobby, can’t win a vote on the floor so they remove provisions they don’t like behind close doors. I’m glad Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid are leading the most ethical, open, and honest Congress in history.

Despite the setback, Wicker has introduced similar legislation titled the “Amtrak Secure Transportation of Firearms Act” which would require Amtrak to follow guidelines similar to the airline industry regarding firearms. This legislation would be enforced any year that Amtrak receives federal subsidies. Considering the current administration and the financial shape of Amtrak- that will continue for a long time.

Wicker’s press release is below the fold.

U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., today announced he has introduced legislation to ensure law-abiding gun owners are able to securely transport firearms on Amtrak trains. The Amtrak Secure Transportation of Firearms Act would require Amtrak to enact regulations similar to those the U.S. airline industry uses to regulate firearm transport on airplanes. The requirements would apply for any year that Amtrak receives a federal subsidy.

“Gun owners should not be penalized for seeking alternative means of travel,” Sen. 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. Our nation’s airlines allow gun owners to check guns in their luggage. Our federally-subsidized rail line should be no different.”

The legislation states that if an Amtrak station accepts luggage for a specific route, passengers would be able to lawfully transport firearms and ammunition in secure baggage based on the following guidelines:

- Before checking the bag or boarding the train, the passenger must declare that the firearm or pistol is in his or her bag and is unloaded
- The firearm or pistol must be carried in a hard-sided container
- The hard-sided container must be locked and only the passenger has the combination or key for the container

Wicker’s legislation mirrors an amendment he introduced to the budget resolution earlier this year. The amendment passed by a vote of 63-35 but was later removed during final House-Senate negotiations.

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