pageok
pageok
pageok
Senate votes to allow guns in checked Amtrak baggage:

Today the Senate voted 68-30 to require that Amtrak allow passengers to transport unloaded firearms in checked luggage, in the same manner as currently allowed for airline passengers. The vote for was for an amendment (SA 2366) to the Transportation Housing and Urban Development appropriations bill. The amendment was sponsored by Sen. Roger Wicker. If the amendment becomes law, it will undo a policy change which Amtrak imposed in 2001.

Houston Lawyer:

If the amendment becomes law, it will undo a policy change which Amtrak imposed in 2001.


Which was implemented to stop all of those high-profile train hijackings.
9.16.2009 2:53pm
Kazinski:
Amtrak should just follow state law, and passengers will have to either switch to open carry when they cross into states like California that don't allow CCW, or have a lockers where you can check your gun when you cross into states that don't any form of carry.
9.16.2009 3:01pm
rick.felt:
Just keep it in your carry-on. It's not like there's any security on Amtrak. I think SNL (or perhaps the Onion) put it best when they said "Amtrak: America's Favorite Way to Travel with Weed."
9.16.2009 3:22pm
Abdul Abulbul Amir (mail):
Kaz: This has zip to do with carry. This is luggage.
9.16.2009 3:24pm
David C. (www):
I am waiting to see the headline - Obama Restores Gun Rights to Owners Across America
9.16.2009 3:26pm
ruuffles (mail) (www):

If the amendment becomes law, it will undo a policy change which Amtrak imposed in 2001.

Hmm 2001. So let's see, that's what, eight years ago? 4 of which were under both a Republican President and a Republican Congress? You'd think the NRA would have lit a fire rather than wait until both the White House and Congress flipped.
9.16.2009 3:26pm
Snaphappy:
Who checks bags on Amtrak? I had no idea it was even possible to do so.
9.16.2009 4:14pm
Tim Nuccio (mail) (www):

You'd think the NRA would have lit a fire rather than wait until both the White House and Congress flipped.


No, because the NRA doesn't care about gun rights, only hunting. They have sold us up the river before. They didn't even want Heller to see the inside of the Court.

If it weren't for the Cato Institute, there would be no D.C. v. Heller and the NRA wouldn't care.
9.16.2009 4:29pm
bgrahamMA:
What an awful piece of legislation. Does Sen. Wicker understand what hardships that imposes for both the riders and Amtrak as an institution? And for what purpose?

In the Northeast, most Amtrak riders are commuters going to and from work. The majority want to get to work on time, not have to go through a security checkpoint that adds to their commute and to potential delays. I doubt that very few are carrying firearms to the office.

Without funding, it would make it almost impossible to implement under the current fiscal situation Amtrak faces. The best thing to do is for Sen. Wicker to pull the legislation and it being forgotten. It serves no value for the majority of Americans and Amtrak's ridership.
9.16.2009 5:43pm
Anderson (mail):
Ah, I wondered what our junior senator had been accomplishing. Now I know.
9.16.2009 5:45pm
Pinkycatcher:

Hmm 2001. So let's see, that's what, eight years ago? 4 of which were under both a Republican President and a Republican Congress? You'd think the NRA would have lit a fire rather than wait until both the White House and Congress flipped.



It was a policy change by Amtrak, not a legislative change by congress or the president



No, because the NRA doesn't care about gun rights, only hunting. They have sold us up the river before. They didn't even want Heller to see the inside of the Court.

If it weren't for the Cato Institute, there would be no D.C. v. Heller and the NRA wouldn't care.


The NRA does support all gun rights, they just didn't believe that the Heller case would turn out favorable, and it was too much of a gamble. They were wrong on that case, but their idea was valid. If you get any of the NRA magazines then you would know that it is far less than half dedicated to hunting gear or guns. (well my American Rifleman magazine at least)
9.16.2009 5:45pm
Anderson (mail):
Which was implemented to stop all of those high-profile train hijackings.

I guess on 9/10/2001, a rule requiring bulletproof doors on commercial jet cockpits would've struck Houston Lawyer as yet another silly regulation.
9.16.2009 5:46pm
ruuffles (mail) (www):

It was a policy change by Amtrak, not a legislative change by congress or the president

Yes, and today the Senate voted to undo it. Why didn't they vote to undo it 8 years or 6 years ago under a Republican president and a Republican congress? If you plan to say 9/11 9/11 9/11, why not 2 years ago before the Democrats gained control?
9.16.2009 5:55pm
ruuffles (mail) (www):

I guess on 9/10/2001, a rule requiring bulletproof doors on commercial jet cockpits would've struck Houston Lawyer as yet another silly regulation.

Oh SNAP.
9.16.2009 5:55pm
ruuffles (mail) (www):

The NRA does support all gun rights, they just didn't believe that the Heller case would turn out favorable, and it was too much of a gamble.

I'll give them props for at least seeing Bork as being hostile to their interests and not going with the rest of the conservative groups.
9.16.2009 5:56pm
Richard Gould-Saltman (mail):
Anderson:

"Which was implemented to stop all of those high-profile train hijackings. "

While I almost always think that Houston Lawyer is remarkably full of it, even I thought that this was pretty funny. I mean, outside of movies, and remakes of movies, has anyone in the last 100 years ever "hijacked" (as opposed to robbed, or committed some other crime aboard) a train? An Amtrak train?
9.16.2009 5:57pm
Henry679 (mail):

It was a policy change by Amtrak, not a legislative change by congress or the president




It was a policy change then and now--why didn't the overriding legislation happen earlier when the Bushites had all the marbles, that was the question.
9.16.2009 6:00pm
Henry679 (mail):
Sorry, ruuffles, did see your post about the obvious question.
9.16.2009 6:01pm
Henry679 (mail):
did NOT

Jesus, time to go home.
9.16.2009 6:02pm
ruuffles (mail) (www):

It was a policy change then and now--why didn't the overriding legislation happen earlier when the Bushites had all the marbles, that was the question.

I suspect it's the same reason they waited until Obama to allow guns in national parks (passed), and force reciprocal CCW between states (failed narrowly in Senate). They wanted tough votes for Democrats. Otherwise, why wait?
9.16.2009 6:05pm
dohertje (mail):
Sen. Gillibrand is sure trying hard to have the fastest drop in history in an NRA grade, isn't she?
9.16.2009 6:12pm
Soronel Haetir (mail):
As for the commuters mentioned by one commentor, I very much doubt those passengers are checking in baggage, so this wouldn't effect them at all.
9.16.2009 6:14pm
Order of the Coif:
I like trains and always take them in Europe.

But, in the USA, I always fly. This is why.

It is no hassle to take a firearm in checked baggage [except on Sun Country which wants you to display it to the clerk (and everyone else) at the ticket counter]. Even TSA has learned to respect gun owners. There is nothing "special" about Amtrak as a mode of transportation.
9.16.2009 6:56pm
NYC Esq.:
Seems curious that Sen. Pryor (D-AR) voted "nay" on this, given that he's sensitive to appearing anti-gun. Case in point: Pryor literally ran screaming into the Senate to change his vote to "aye" on a recent concealed-carry provision, after being informed by Schumer that his "nay" vote wouldn't be needed to defeat the measure. The Amtrak vote, however, wasn't nearly as close-- what was Pryor thinking this time?
9.16.2009 7:16pm
Kirk:
This is a welcome move. Can I entertain hope that a "national forest" protocol for carrying fireams will follow soon. I.e. just follow whatever the law is in the state you're in, meaning I could carry concealed when taking Amtrak from WA to MT (or openly, for that matter, though in WA that would still require a CPL.)
9.16.2009 7:23pm
Hugh JArce (mail):
Yeah sure, like I'm going to declare that I have an $800 pistol in my luggage to a $12 an hour Amtrak employee.

That gun would be whisked down to a pawn shop so fast it would remove the finish.
9.16.2009 7:30pm
Bob from Ohio (mail):

I guess on 9/10/2001, a rule requiring bulletproof doors on commercial jet cockpits would've struck Houston Lawyer as yet another silly regulation.


Did you read the amendment:


b) Definition.--In this section, the term ``secure transportation of firearms'' means--

(1) if an Amtrak station accepts checked baggage for a specific Amtrak route, Amtrak passengers holding a ticket for such route are allowed to place an unloaded firearm or starter pistol in a checked bag on such route if--

(A) before checking the bag or boarding the train, the passenger declares to Amtrak, either orally or in writing, that the firearm is in his or her bag and is unloaded;

(B) the firearm is carried in a hard-sided container;

(C) such container is locked; and

(D) only the passenger has the key or combination for such container; and


Do you honestly think a terrorist would do these things?

Even if one did, it is a gun in checked luggage. Kinda hard to access it.

The policy is just NY/Beltway mindless fear of guns.
9.16.2009 8:03pm
Carl in Chicago (mail):
bgrahamMA at 9.16.2009 5:43pm ...

Hey Dick Durbin ... is that really you posting on the VC?
9.16.2009 8:44pm
Oren:

It was a policy change by Amtrak, not a legislative change by congress or the president

But the point is that someone could have petitioned the nominally pro gun House, Senate or President to reverse it.
9.16.2009 8:55pm
Mike Stollenwerk (mail) (www):
The devil is in the details - I just hope the bill does not criminalize normal handgun carry on AMTRAK, which currently violated no federal law.

Many people conceal carry on AMRAk every day.
9.16.2009 11:12pm
NickM (mail) (www):

Anderson:

"Which was implemented to stop all of those high-profile train hijackings. "

While I almost always think that Houston Lawyer is remarkably full of it, even I thought that this was pretty funny. I mean, outside of movies, and remakes of movies, has anyone in the last 100 years ever "hijacked" (as opposed to robbed, or committed some other crime aboard) a train? An Amtrak train?


A Polish hijacker took over a train at gunpoint back in the early '70s and demanded that the conductor take him to Cuba.

Nick
9.17.2009 2:20am
M-K (mail):

It was a policy change by Amtrak, not a legislative change by congress or the president



But the point is that someone could have petitioned the nominally pro gun House, Senate or President to reverse it.


Perhaps they were too busy with the Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, or the National Emergency no-confiscation Act, or the multiple failed attempts to undo DC's unconstituional laws, or defeating attempts to reinstate the "assault weapons" ban, or any of the other attempted pro-gun legislation. You can't do it all at once, and there are priorities.
9.17.2009 1:40pm
Oren:
M-K, couldn't it have been tacked on as an amendment to any of those Acts (except the non-act of not renewing the AWB, but duh). Would the act have lost any important votes?
9.19.2009 12:21am

Post as: [Register] [Log In]

Account:
Password:
Remember info?

If you have a comment about spelling, typos, or format errors, please e-mail the poster directly rather than posting a comment.

Comment Policy: We reserve the right to edit or delete comments, and in extreme cases to ban commenters, at our discretion. Comments must be relevant and civil (and, especially, free of name-calling). We think of comment threads like dinner parties at our homes. If you make the party unpleasant for us or for others, we'd rather you went elsewhere. We're happy to see a wide range of viewpoints, but we want all of them to be expressed as politely as possible.

We realize that such a comment policy can never be evenly enforced, because we can't possibly monitor every comment equally well. Hundreds of comments are posted every day here, and we don't read them all. Those we read, we read with different degrees of attention, and in different moods. We try to be fair, but we make no promises.

And remember, it's a big Internet. If you think we were mistaken in removing your post (or, in extreme cases, in removing you) -- or if you prefer a more free-for-all approach -- there are surely plenty of ways you can still get your views out.