Amtrak to allow passengers to pack guns
November 30, 2010
Amtrak will allow passengers to bring guns on most trains starting next month. [Sacramento Bee]
The change, pushed by gun rights advocates and ordered by Congress, aligns Amtrak’s firearms policy with air travel rules that allow unloaded guns to be stored in locked baggage holds.
Federal Homeland Security officials on Monday said they are OK with guns being on trains as long as security protocols are enforced.
“It’s deemed safe and appropriate,” federal Transportation Security Administration spokesman Nico Melendez said. “If people follow the rules, it’s pretty simple.”
Under the policy, which reverses a decade-old ban, beginning Dec. 15, guns can be brought aboard trains that have checked baggage service. Gun owners must inform Amtrak officials 24 hours ahead of departure. Unloaded firearms must be packed in hard-sided containers and will be stored in train lockers.
Amtrak officials said the federally funded train system is retrofitting train cars for gun storage, but said they have no idea how many people will travel with firearms.
The policy change was pushed by the National Rifle Association and U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., who called it a victory for people who want to carry firearms for sport or own them for safety.