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Thread: AMTRAK, Did You Know?

  1. #1
    Regular Member WOD's Avatar
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    AMTRAK, Did You Know?

    I'm planning a trip back to Ohio, I'll be driving there, but returning home via the train. Being an Open carrier, as well as a Concealed Carrier, I thought I would look at the rules regarding firearms on Amtrak. Now, if I'm not mistaken, somewhere on this site I think I saw someone discussing carry on the train. Also, if I'm not mistaken, it was said that, you can carry on an Amtrak train. If you were the one who mentioned this, please reply. Because I happened to find this little Gem in their page.

    Taken from Amtrak.com
    All travel on, and transactions with, Amtrak is governed by the laws of the District of Columbia, United States of America, without regards to its principles of conflicts of law. You agree to submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of any Federal court located in the District of Columbia, United States of America, and waive any jurisdictional, venue or inconvenient forum objections to such courts.

    Now, from what I read today in the DC forum, carrying isn't allowed outside the home. If the laws of DC are what Amtrak follows, that means carry on the train isn't allowable. I'm going to post this and go back to DC's forum, and investigate Law, and edit this post as necessary..... BRB!

    Ok, I just refreshed my brain in the DC forum, and everything there that I read said NO CARRY. Unless of course, you're a criminal, then it's OK.... Off to the Law Library Forum to see if I can decipher this little puzzler...

    I didn't see any relevant threads in the Law Library Forum either. So, somebody help me out here, since I didn't find any links to DC's Ordinances/Codes/Statutes, whatever they prefer to call them..
    Last edited by WOD; 03-12-2012 at 02:29 AM.
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  2. #2
    Regular Member 09jisaac's Avatar
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    I don't see how they can charge you with a DC law if you are outside the jurisdiction of DC. Unless it is a federal law then you should only be governed by the state(s) laws you are traveling to/from/through and the city's laws that you are traveling to/from/through.
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    Sounds like a civil rule .. and I don't know if its enforceable.

  4. #4
    Regular Member WOD's Avatar
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    I'm not certain how they can do it either 09jisaac, but then again in America, I can't see why it's against the law for law abiding citizens not to be able to defend themselves in DC! something is wrong with this picture...
    Be safe, be prepared, and carry on!

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  5. #5
    Herr Heckler Koch
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    The search function is your friend. There are more than four pages of threads of AMTRAK discussions listed.

    Why would AMTRAK not be able to prohibit what it will just like any other private entity? Look to the constitution of AMTRAK as a corporation in the DC jurisdiction.
    Last edited by Herr Heckler Koch; 03-12-2012 at 07:39 AM.

  6. #6
    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    All travel on, and transactions with, Amtrak is governed by the laws of the District of Columbia, United States of America, without regards to its principles of conflicts of law. You agree to submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of any Federal court located in the District of Columbia, United States of America, and waive any jurisdictional, venue or inconvenient forum objections to such courts.
    Without going into all the law school background you need to really understand that sentence, it says that if you have a civil beef with Amtrak you agree to bring the case in DC Federal Court - even if the thing that caused you to have a beef happened in Hawaii. (Think about the fact that Amtrak does not want to pay for their lawyers to travel.)

    Where criminal cases are tried is based on whose law you violated. If it was a federal law your case would be heard in a federal court within the Federal District where the crime occurred, just as a state/local crime would be tried in the state/locality where the crime was committed.

    stay safe.
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  7. #7
    Regular Member O2HeN2's Avatar
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    Because of the risk of trains being hijacked to Cuba, Amtrak's rules are basically the same as flying (no carry):

    Firearms in Checked Baggage

    Effective December 15, 2010, Amtrak will accept reservations of firearms and ammunition for carriage between Amtrak stations and on Amtrak trains within the United States that offer checked baggage service. Thruway Bus Services will not be included in this service change. The following policies are in effect:

    • Notification that the passenger will be checking firearms/ammunition must be made no later than 24 hours before train departure by calling Amtrak at 800-USA-RAIL. Online reservations for firearms/ammunition are not accepted.
    • The passengers must travel on the same train that is transporting the checked firearms and/or ammunition.
    • All firearms and/or ammunition must be checked at least 30 minutes prior to scheduled train departure. Some larger stations require that baggage be checked earlier. Please contact your departure station for more details.
    • All firearms (rifles, shotguns, handguns, starter pistols) must be unloaded and in an approved, locked hard-sided container not exceeding 62" L x 17" W x 7" D (1575 mm x 432 mm x 178 mm). The passenger must have sole possession of the key or the combination for the lock to the container. The weight of the container may not exceed 50 lb/23 kg.
    • Smaller locked, hard-sided containers containing smaller unloaded firearms such as handguns and starter pistols must be securely stored within a suitcase or other item of checked baggage, but the existence of such a firearm must be declared.
    • All ammunition carried must be securely packed in the original manufacturer's container; in fiber, wood, or metal boxes; or in other packaging specifically designed to carry small amounts of ammunition. The maximum weight of all ammunition and containers may not exceed 11 lb/5 kg.
    • The passenger is responsible for knowing and following all federal, state, and local firearm laws at all jurisdictions to and through which he or she will be travelling.
    • All other Amtrak checked baggage policies apply, including limits on the number of pieces of checked baggage, the maximum weight of each piece (50 lb/23 kg).
    • Firearms/ammunition may not be carried in carry-on baggage; therefore, checked baggage must be available on all trains and at all stations in the passenger's itinerary.
    • At the time of check-in, passengers will be required to complete and sign a two-part Declaration Form.
    • BB guns and Compressed Air Guns (to include paintball markers), are to be treated as firearms and must comply with the above firearms policy. Canisters, tanks, or other devices containing propellants must be emptied prior to checking and securely packaged within the contents of the passenger's luggage.

    Passengers failing to meet the above-mentioned requirements for checking firearms will be denied transportation.
    Last edited by O2HeN2; 03-12-2012 at 12:08 PM.
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  8. #8
    Regular Member O2HeN2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Herr Heckler Koch View Post
    Why would AMTRAK not be able to prohibit what it will just like any other private entity?
    Maybe because it's not?

    The National Railroad Passenger Corporation, doing business as Amtrak (reporting mark AMTK), is a government-owned corporation that was organized on May 1, 1971.

    O2
    When seconds count, the police are mere minutes away...
    They'll never take your "hunting rifle", they'll call it a "sniper rifle" first.
    Zero failures comes at infinite cost.

  9. #9
    Herr Heckler Koch
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    Well thanks for the Wikipedia citation to a class of government owned corporations of which AMTRAK is a federal government chartered and owned corporation that inter alii have a separate legal personality from the federal government, providing the highest level of political independence. What that may have to do with AMTRAK's regulatory powers is yet to be seen.

    Thanks. (You might increase your O2 PP while at atmospheric pressure and trying to engage in congress.)

  10. #10
    Regular Member MKEgal's Avatar
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    All firearms (rifles, shotguns, handguns, starter pistols) must be unloaded and in an approved, locked hard-sided container... The passenger must have sole possession of the key or the combination for the lock to the container.
    DO NOT use a TSA-friendly suitcase lock on your firearm case!
    DO NOT give the TSA-hole your key or combination!
    Either way, you're breaking Federal law.
    There's an entry about this in my OCDO blog, with cites & a link to the Federal law. Print out the citation, the URL, keep a copy on you, keep a copy in your luggage, keep a copy attached to your pistol case.

    Title 49, section 1540.111(c)(2)(4)
    (c) A passenger may not transport...
    (2) Any unloaded firearm(s) unless
    (iv) The container in which it is carried is locked, and only the passenger retains the key or combination.

    All ammunition carried must be securely packed in the original manufacturer's container; in fiber, wood, or metal boxes; or in other packaging specifically designed to carry small amounts of ammunition.
    A magazine is such a container. Or I can make you a little pouch out of heavy fabric.

    The passenger is responsible for knowing and following all federal, state, and local firearm laws at all jurisdictions to and through which he or she will be travelling.
    Which is impossible, and I'll bet that even the Amtrak personnel don't know all those laws. I'll bet they don't even know the most basic law about the passenger being the ONLY one with the key or combination.
    The only one you need to know is the traveler's protection act, and even that doesn't apply because you aren't in possession of your gun.

    And what assurance do we have that the people handling our luggage aren't prohibited?
    The original agent, at least, knows there's a gun. Even if others tried to plead ignorance, that doesn't excuse the crime.
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  11. #11
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    AMTAK is a govenmental entity constrained by the constitution.

    It is not a federal crime to carry guns on AMTRAK trains.

  12. #12
    Herr Heckler Koch
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike View Post
    AMTAK is a govenmental entity constrained by the constitution.

    It is not a federal crime to carry guns on AMTRAK trains.
    What sort of crime is it and what might be the charge, please?

    I noted, while researching this general topic, that AMTRAK has its own police force. Presumably they would recommend a charge to a District of Columbia prosecuting attorney.

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