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Thread: Amtrak Station

  1. #1
    Regular Member
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    Feb 2008
    , Virginia, USA

    Amtrak Station

    Can I carry in the station? What about the parking lot? I am accompanying my girlfriend to the NN Amtrak station tonight to pick up a friend coming in from DC, trying to figure out if I can carry.

  2. #2
    Accomplished Advocate peter nap's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    , ,
    Just a guess, no...because of all the High Alert BS.
    Just so you understand though, Railroads are allowed to have their own private police department and they used to be called Railroad Dicks....for a reason and it wasn't Dick Tracey!

  3. #3
    Regular Member
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    Feb 2008
    , Virginia, USA
    That would be my guess as well, but I wish I knew for sure, especially for the parking lot. If I can carry there I just won't go inside.

  4. #4
    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    North Chesterfield VA
    Firearms in checked baggage must be declared at least 24 hours ahead of time.

    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.
      Passengers wanting to inquire about or begin the firearms reservation process should use the Contact Us page to select "Checked Firearms Program" as the subject and follow guidance.
    They have nothing about carrying at the station itself. Note the paragraph I underlined - more strict than any standard applied to the cops anywhere.

    See also Terms of Carriage - they can put you off at any inhabited spot along the line if they do not like you.

    stay safe.
    "He'll regret it to his dying day....if ever he lives that long."----The Quiet Man

    Because stupidity isn't a race, and everybody can win.

    "No matter how much contempt you have for the media in all this, you don't have enough"

  5. #5
    Founder's Club Member - Moderator ed's Avatar
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    Mar 2008
    Loudoun County - Dulles Airport, Virginia, USA
    Interesting find from another forum via Google:

    Here's the letter to Amtrak - I had trouble with formatting and can't upload a PDF or a TIFF - so here is plain text

    TELEPHONE (610) 279-4200
    FAX (610) 279-4306

    July 9, 2008

    Captain Maureen Powers Amtrak Police
    30th Street Station 2955 Market Street
    Philadelphia, PA 19104
    RE: LPRGCFRANK. Incident: 07/02/08
    Dear Captain Powers:
    Please be advised that the undersigned represents LPRGCFRANK who was involved in an incident with a number of your officers on Wednesday, July 2, 2008. LPRGCFRANK had taken the 12:11 R1 train from the C/D Terminal at the Philadelphia Airport to 30th Street Station. As is his legal right and custom, he was openly carrying his firearm in a holster on his right hip. Since he is licensed to carry firearms by the Sheriff of Delaware County, he is legally allowed to carry the firearm open in any legal activity in the City and County of Philadelphia pursuant to 18 Pa. C.S. Section 6108.
    Evidently, a conductor initially attempted to prevent
    LPRGCFRANK from entering the train at the airport as the conductor did not appear to appreciate LPRGCFRANK's carrying of the firearm. The conductor requested that LPRGCFRANK either unload or decock his 1911 firearm. Understandably, LPRGCFRANK declined this unreasonable request as it would have made the firearm useless and would have also created an unsafe condition.
    When LPRGCFRANK arrived at 30th Street Station, he was met by three Amtrak police officers, Sgt. Cameron, Officer Gilli and Officer Zwantz. Sgt. Cameron advised LPRGCFRANK that a conductor had reported a man with a gun on the train and that they were investigating the report. LPRGCFRANK willingly went with the officers to the other side of the platform.
    Sgt. Cameron explained to LPRGCFRANK that for the officers' safety, they were going to disarm LPRGCFRANK even though he was cooperating. LPRGCFRANK, out of concern for everyone's safety, questioned Sgt. Cameron to be sure that Sgt. Cameron knew how to safely handle and unload a 1911 pistol. Sgt. Cameron advised

    that he was familiar with same, drew LPRGCFRANK's 1911 from his holster and placed it in his own pocket. The Sergeant then asked LPRGCFRANK if he had any other firearms and LPRGCFRANK advised that of course he did and that he was carrying a J-frame revolver in his left pocket. The Sergeant then drew the revolver from LPRGCFRANK's pocket with LPRGCFRANK's permission and handed it to Officer Zwantz who emptied the cylinder of the rounds and put the rounds and the firearm in his own pocket. LPRGCFRANK indicated that he had no other firearms.
    Sgt. Cameron informed LPRGCFRANK that 30th Street Station is exclusively the domain of Amtrak and that no openly carried firearms are allowed and that nobody is allowed to have a firearm on a Septa train except for the police.
    LPRGCFRANK, correctly disagreed as he has a valid license to carry a firearm and is permitted to openly carry a firearm and is permitted to openly carry a firearm in Philadelphia. LPRGCFRANK provided his license to carry firearm issued by the Sheriff of Delaware County and his Pennsylvania driver's license to Officer Zwantz. LPRGCFRANK offered to provide the phone number of Patrick Link, Esquire, an Assistant District Attorney for the
    Philadelphia Gun Violence Task Force so that the officers could verify that he was within his rights. Sgt. Cameron declined.
    Sgt. Cameron insisted that he was correct and that nobody but police could carry a firearm at 30th Street Station or on a Septa train although he could not cite any statute or code, since there are not any that allow Septa or Amtrak police to make their own rules.
    Officer Zwantz demanded to know where LPRGCFRANK was going and LPRGCFRANK replied that he was going home. The officers continued to question LPRGCFRANK who at this point decided he was going to answer no more questions, especially after Sgt. Cameron accused LPRGCFRANK of making a scene and Officer Zwantz asked LPRGCFRANK if he was on drugs.
    Officer Zwantz contacted the Delaware County Sheriff's Office who he said advised him that the license to carry was valid (which it is) and tried to tell LPRGCFRANK that the gun must be concealed (which it does not).
    Sgt. Cameron then attempted to inform LPRGCFRANK that the license to carry firearms was somehow invalid as it was only for target shooting and therefore the firearm had to be unloaded or LPRGCFRANK had to be on his way to or from a range. This is not correct.

    UUpon further review of LPRGCFRANK's license, Sgt. Cameron wanted to know if LPRGCFRANK had a Philadelphia license and LPRGCFRANK had to explain to the sergeant that a license to carry firearms is good any where in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
    Sgt. Cameron also informed my client that he cannot carry openly or concealed on Amtrak, a fact of which my client is aware. That is why he does not ride Amtrak.
    Sgt. Cameron then threatened my client with arrest for "disturbing the peace" if he carries openly at 30th Street Station again. As I am sure that you are aware, there is no such crime in Pennsylvania and I suspect the sergeant was threatening my client with an arrest for Disorderly Conduct. In addition, Sgt. Cameron has threatened to contact the Delaware County Sheriff in an effort to have my client's license to carry firearms revoked.
    Apparently, after finally determining that my client was breaking no laws, Officer Zwantz returned my client's unloaded revolver to him at which time my client reloaded same and put it back into his pocket. The Sergeant also returned my client's loaded 1911 to him and my client then put it back in his holster.
    Sgt. Cameron demanded that my client put the 1911 in his bag and LPRGCFRANK refused. He then demanded that the gun be placed where it could not be seen and my client ceded to the Sergeant's demands, took out his spare pocket holster and put the 1911 in his pocket.
    Sgt. Cameron provided your name so that we could contact you.
    It is our belief that Sgt. Cameron and the officers are either uninformed or misinformed as to the firearm laws in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Specifically, they seem to not understand that a license to carry firearms is not a concealed carry permit, but rather it is a license to carry firearms statewide. Moreover, cities, towns and municipalities are prohibited from enacting laws prohibiting concealed or open carry or any other firearm laws pursuant to the Pennsylvania Preemption Statute.
    Sgt. Cameron clearly exceeded his authority by threatening my client with future arrest for "disturbing the peace" should he openly carry in an Amtrak jurisdiction again. As I explained earlier, there is no such offense in Pennsylvania but rather we

    believe that the Sergeant was threatening my client with an arrest for disorderly conduct but as I am sure that you are aware, open carry of a firearm, in a holster does not meet any of the statutory definitions of disorderly conduct. See 18 Pa. C.S. Section 5503 and Commonwealth vs. Hawkins, 692 A.2d. 1068, n4 (1996).
    Sgt. Cameron's threat to contact the Delaware County Sheriff to attempt to have my client's license to carry firearms revoked is also inappropriate in that there is no requirement in Pennsylvania state law that a firearm be carried concealed.
    I am enclosing for your perusal a training memo that several law enforcement departments in the Commonwealth have used to educate their officers on firearm laws and in particular open carry of firearms. I am also enclosing a Pennsylvania Gun Rights flyer that also outlines the law.
    We expect that Amtrak police that work in Philadelphia be appropriately trained on Pennsylvania law so that LPRGCFRANK and other law abiding citizens that carry firearms either openly or concealed, do not have a repeat of this type of encounter. We further expect that Sgt. Cameron apologize for threatening arrest despite my client engaging in no illegal activity.
    I look forward to your response as to how and when you will provide this training as my client travels often and will continue to be passing through 30th Street Station routinely openly carrying a firearm. LPRGCFRANK does not want a repeat of this oppressive behavior by Amtrak police.
    I look forward to hearing from you promptly.

    cc: Patrick Link, Esquire, Assistant District Attorney
    Sheriff Joseph F. McGinn
    Chief R. Evans, SEPTA Transit Police
    Nicholas J. Staffieri, Esquire
    Eleanor D. Acheson, Esquire

    from post #129

    2955 Market Street. Box I53S004 Philadelphia. PA 19104 Tel: 215.349-3310
    A M T R AK
    July 28, 2008

    Mr. Michael Gottlieb, Esquire Vangrossi and Recchuiti
    319 Swede Street
    Norristown, PA 19401


    Dear Mr. Gottlieb,
    This letter is in response to your recent correspondence to Captain Maureen Powers of the Amtrak Police Department concerning the above individual. It has been referred to my office for response on behalf of the Amtrak Police Department.

    First, I want to thank you for the materials on the Pennsylvania Uniform Firearms Act. I have asked Captain Powers to forward them to the Amtrak Police Department Training Unit for review and evaluation of future use. Amtrak certainly agrees that Pennsylvania has a so-called "open carry" statute and that the licensing law does not require a person to carry a firearm concealed, including on the public streets and public property of Philadelphia. You should know, however, that all Amtrak Police Officers assigned to work in Pennsylvania are state certified police officers by the Municipal Police Officers Training and Education Commission (MPOTEC).

    Second, the July 2, 2008 incident has been reviewed with Sergeant Cameron and Police Officer Zwanetz. While there is certainly concurrence on several facts, the officer's version of events is different than the account proffered by you in their response to a "man with a gun" on a SEPTA Train service call.

    Third, Amtrak is a private corporation organized under the laws of the District of Columbia. By federal statute, it is not a department, agency or instrumentality of the United States. See 49 USC 24301 (a). Obviously, it is not a political subdivision or governmental entity of or within the state of Pennsylvania.

    Fourth, as a result of Amtrak's status as a private corporation, I do not see how sections 6109 and 6120 of the Pennsylvania Uniform Firearms Act apply to Amtrak. It is not a public street nor is it public property. As your client concedes, he is aware that Amtrak prohibits carriage of firearm on Amtrak property since "that is why he does not ride Amtrak." As such, Amtrak is unaware of any laws that prevent Amtrak from establishing such policies on Amtrak-owned private property.

    Fifth, Sergeant Cameron correctly notified your client that carrying a firearm on Amtrak-owned private property is prohibited. This includes Amtrak stations, such as 30th' Street Station. Such regulations are posted at 30th Street Station under Amtrak's Station Rules of Conduct.

    Since your client has been directly notified of Amtrak's policy, it expects him to comply with the lawful provisions of a private property owner.

    Thank you for your attention in this matter.

    David J. Domzalski, Esquire Associate General Counsel Director, Legal Services Amtrak Police Department
    cc: John J. O'Connor, Amtrak Chief of Police
    Maureen Powers, Captain Amtrak
    Byl Herrmann, Managing Deputy General Counsel
    Jon Meyer, Special Deputy General Counsel, Security and Special Operations
    Richard Evans, Chief of Police, SEPTA
    Patrick Link, Assistant District Attorney, Philadelphia Gun Violence Task Force
    Daniel Snyder, Deputy Sheriff, Delaware, County Sheriff Department
    Carry On.


    VirginiaOpenCarry.Org (Coins, Shirts and Patches)
    - - - -
    For VA Open Carry Cards send a S.A.2S.E. to: Ed's OC cards, Box 16143, Wash DC 20041-6143 (they are free but some folks enclose a couple bucks too)

  6. #6
    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    North Chesterfield VA
    Very interesting find, Ed. If I recall SEPTA is not an AMTRAK entity but a Pennsylvania interurban (or possibly only intraurban) common carrier. How AMTRAK came to provide personnel to operate the run mystifies me. It also illustrates the difficulty in separating one entity from another when A (SEPTA) operates a public utility using some of the property (rails) of B (AMTRAK).

    stay safe.
    "He'll regret it to his dying day....if ever he lives that long."----The Quiet Man

    Because stupidity isn't a race, and everybody can win.

    "No matter how much contempt you have for the media in all this, you don't have enough"

  7. #7
    Activist Member nuc65's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Lynchburg, Virginia, USA
    I have gone to the Lynchburg AMTRAK station a couple times to pick up a friend and OC has not been an issue.
    When I carry a gun, I don't do so because I am looking for a fight, but because I'm looking to be left alone. The gun at my side means that I cannot be forced, only persuaded. I don't carry it because I'm afraid, but because it enables me to be unafraid. It doesn't limit the actions of those who would interact with me through reason, only the actions of those who would do so by force.

    excerpt By Marko Kloos (

  8. #8
    Regular Member TFred's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Most historic town in, Virginia, USA
    Are these Amtrak policies still in place? What happens for the citizen who wants to open carry on the VRE, and boards the VRE at a station that is co-used by Amtrak? Amtrak and VRE both use the same station in Fredericksburg, but I don't know who owns the station itself. VRE is clearly subject to 15.2-915 and cannot prohibit the legal carry of firearms.

    According to the city's GIS site, the city owns the adjacent sidewalks and parking lot, but there is no owner listed for the tracks or the actual platform immediately adjacent to the tracks.

    Tax map. The tracks run through the middle blank section of the map, with parcel 200 on the left, and parcel P2 on the right. The gray shapes are the station platform, but no ownership is provided for either side of the platform, or the tracks themselves.

    I seem to recall that CSX might own the station and the tracks. Since they are a freight company, I wonder if they even have a carry policy?


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