Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 35

Thread: Amtrak and Firearms In Checked Baggage

  1. #1
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Chesterfield, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    24

    Post imported post

    I don't know how many of you ever use Amtrak, but Senator Wicker of Mississippi introduced an amend to the federal budget to require Amtrak to accept firearms in checked baggage. As I understand it Amtrak would have to make the change as a precondition of receiving federal funds. Apparently this amendment has cleared the Senate.

    I found out about this through a rail forum The National Association of Rail Passengers is asking their membership to contact their legislators to oppose this change.

    Here is the text that NARP sent to its membership. (The NARP letter was written prior to Senate passage)

    To NARP Members, April 2, 2009--

    First of all, I would like to say up front that I understand that NARP has a diverse membership that has a wide range of opinions on issues not related to trains, such as firearms. The issue of firearms transportation is controversial and many of our members likely oppose Amtrak's policy of not transporting firearms in checked baggage. However, we as an Association always oppose Congressional micromanagement of Amtrak, and that's what this is. Thank you in advance for taking action on this issue.

    Today, Senator Roger Wicker (R-MS) will offer an amendment to the Fiscal 2010 Budget Resolution that would force Amtrak to restore the transportation of firearms in checked baggage. Amtrak used to transport firearms in checked baggage, but ended this practice as ended after the September 11 terrorist attacks.

    Please contact your Senators immediately and urge them to oppose the Wicker amendment. This is likely to be voted on today, starting sometime around noon Eastern Daylight Time. As such, phone calls are needed, or e-mails only if you have established a relationship with a Senate staff member.

    You can call the Senate switchboard at 202-224-3121, or go to the Senate's website and choose your state from the drop-down menu at the top right to get the direct number to your Senators' offices. A sample message is provided in the left column of this e-mail.

    Thank you for taking action on this issue.

    David Johnson
    Vice President

    We need to contact our federal legislators to make sure they keep this in the budget bill.



  2. #2
    Campaign Veteran Nelson_Muntz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Manassas, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    697

    Post imported post

    Or just OC/CC or put in your carry on baggage. No AMTRACK rules about those.

  3. #3
    Regular Member Deanimator's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Rocky River, OH, U.S.A.
    Posts
    2,086

    Post imported post

    Nelson_Muntz wrote:
    Or just OC/CC or put in your carry on baggage. No AMTRACK rules about those.
    Are you sure about that? I ride Amtrak every Christmas and I could have sworn that they forbid ANY firearms. That's not to say they'd KNOW, since they have virtually no security.
    --- Gun control: The theory that 110lb. women have the "right" to fistfight with 210lb. rapists.

  4. #4
    Campaign Veteran Nelson_Muntz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Manassas, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    697

    Post imported post

    Yes sir. We've had threads on this before, and included the verbiage on the rule from the AMTRACK website. It does not mention carry on your person or mention carry on baggage. It does mention checked baggage. If it's not in their 'rules', how can they enforce what's not there?

  5. #5
    Regular Member Riana's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Fairfax County, VA
    Posts
    943

    Post imported post

    Nelson_Muntz wrote:
    Or just OC/CC or put in your carry on baggage. No AMTRACK rules about those.
    Actually, there are rules about that (emphasis added mine).

    From Amtrak's website::
    Prohibited Items

    The following kinds of items are prohibited as both checked and carry-on baggage:

    • Any type of gun, firearm, ammunition, explosives, or weapon.
    • Incendiaries, including flammable gases, liquids and fuels.
    • Large, sharp objects such as axes, ice picks and swords.
    • Corrosive or dangerous chemicals or materials, such as liquid bleach, tear gas, mace, radioactive and harmful bacteriological materials.
    • Batteries with acid that can spill or leak (except those batteries used in motorized wheelchairs or similar devices for mobility-impaired passengers).
    • Club-like items, such as billy clubs and nightsticks.
    • Fragile and/or valuable items, including but not limited to electronic equipment. (Laptop computers and handheld devices may be carried onboard; however, Amtrak accepts no liability for damage.)
    • Animals (except service animals).
    • Oversized and/or overweight items.
    Please note: This is not an exhaustive list. Any item similar to those listed, even if not specifically mentioned here, is prohibited from being carried onboard or checked as baggage.
    Now I suppose one could argue that this does not cover carry on your person. I know I'm not volunteering to be the test case on that, though.

  6. #6
    Campaign Veteran
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    El Paso, TX
    Posts
    1,877

    Post imported post

    Soundslike rail travel is just likeBUS travel: Do so at your own risk because you are NOT allowed guns on board (of course, criminals are exempt).

    So that guy on the Greyhound bus who was stabbed and then eaten (yes:shock: ) by a fellow passenger had no way to defend himself...neither did anyone else on the bus including the driver.

    G*d damn laws -- and damn politicians who sponsor/pass them -- that put most of us in mortal danger when using public transportation.

    -- John D.
    (formerly of Colorado Springs, CO)

  7. #7
    Campaign Veteran Nelson_Muntz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Manassas, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    697

    Post imported post

    You're correct Riana. In fact I looked up my own post that did describe those rules from last November. http://opencarry.mywowbb.com/view_to...hlight=AMTRACK

  8. #8
    Founder's Club Member - Moderator longwatch's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Northern Fauquier Co, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    4,297

    Post imported post

    I think federal code prohibits carry on interstate common carriers, at least they have the power to regulate it.
    http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/18...2----000-.html
    (e) It shall be unlawful for any person knowingly to deliver or cause to be delivered to any common or contract carrier for transportation or shipment in interstate or foreign commerce, to persons other than licensed importers, licensed manufacturers, licensed dealers, or licensed collectors, any package or other container in which there is any firearm or ammunition without written notice to the carrier that such firearm or ammunition is being transported or shipped; except that any passenger who owns or legally possesses a firearm or ammunition being transported aboard any common or contract carrier for movement with the passenger in interstate or foreign commerce may deliver said firearm or ammunition into the custody of the pilot, captain, conductor or operator of such common or contract carrier for the duration of the trip without violating any of the provisions of this chapter. No common or contract carrier shall require or cause any label, tag, or other written notice to be placed on the outside of any package, luggage, or other container that such package, luggage, or other container contains a firearm.

  9. #9
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Granite State of Mind
    Posts
    4,510

    Post imported post

    Nelson_Muntz wrote:
    If it's not in their 'rules', how can they enforce what's not there?
    BWAAHAHAHAHA! Hoo, boy, that's a good one!

    "At the point of a policeman's gun" is the answer, just like everything else is enforced.

    If NARP doesn't want Congressional "micromanagement", they should wean AMTRAK from the federal teat and operate as a private corporation. As it stands, AMTRAK is a government corporation exactly like the USPS and UNICOR; trying to tell Congress to keep their hands off is like Sam's Club telling Bentonville to mind their own business because they're not Wal-Mart.


  10. #10
    Regular Member TFred's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Most historic town in, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    7,705

    Post imported post

    Try to keep a straight face here...

    Maybe it's possible that they don't want guns in either checked or carry-on bags because they are often unattended, and therefore subject to theft. No mention of personal carry since the gun would be attended at all times and less subject to theft.

    Ok, you can laugh now...

    TFred


  11. #11
    Campaign Veteran Nelson_Muntz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Manassas, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    697

    Post imported post

    It'll all be moot in 6-12 mos anyway.

  12. #12
    Regular Member david.ross's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Pittsburgh, PA, USA
    Posts
    1,241

    Post imported post

    I'll ask my state reps to support the bill even though I live in Alaska.

    Here is David Johnson's contact info in case anyone wants to tell him they carry on the train and to not be foolish.

    David Johnson, +1-202-408-8362, djohnson@narprail.org
    Gays are prominent members of firearm rights, we do more via the courts, don't like it? Leave.
    Religious bigots against same sex marriage are not different than white supremacists.
    I expel anti-gay people off my teams. Tolerance is key to team cohesion and team building.

  13. #13
    Regular Member david.ross's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Pittsburgh, PA, USA
    Posts
    1,241

    Post imported post

    1228 wrote:
    Here is the text that NARP sent to its membership. (The NARP letter was written prior to Senate passage)
    So does this mean the bill was voted on already or is introduced?
    Gays are prominent members of firearm rights, we do more via the courts, don't like it? Leave.
    Religious bigots against same sex marriage are not different than white supremacists.
    I expel anti-gay people off my teams. Tolerance is key to team cohesion and team building.

  14. #14
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Chesterfield, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    24

    Post imported post

    When the Budget bill was going through the Senate, the Amtrak amendment was successfully put in and approved by the Senate. However, with a Budget Bill, it will go back to the House and possibly a Conference Committee to iron out differences between the House and Senate. Each of these actions gives the anti's one more opportunity to remove the amendment.

  15. #15
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Buffalo/Sodus New York, , USA
    Posts
    27

    Post imported post

    There rules don't say anything about carry on the person. I'm not gonna say I cc every time I take the train and I take the train about 10 times a year.

  16. #16
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Centennial, Colorado, USA
    Posts
    1,412

    Post imported post

    Take it for what it's worth, but the employees I asked said (in so many words) "no firearms on the train, period". However, I've never seen any kind of security that would stop you from taking a concealed gun with you. I didn't check anything, but I can't imagine they'd go through more effort on checked baggage than for people/carry on.

  17. #17
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    4 hours south of HankT, ,
    Posts
    5,121

    Post imported post

    The problem with carrying concealed, even if Amtrak was okay with it (I wouldn't bet the farm on that), is that the train runs through many states and areas where you cannot carry. Because of its central location, Chicago is the major rail hub of the nation, and most Amtrak trains connect there. And most train stations are in big cities, like NY and DC.

    So even if you think are getting around Amtrak's rules (yeah, good luck with that), you will at some time during your trip violate a state or city law, unless you are for some strange reason only riding a short distance.

    Personally, I think Amtrak's rule should, at a minimum, allow cased/unloaded transport in carry-on luggage, since many small town rail stops do not have checked baggage service, and are merely concrete platforms next to a parking lot.

    As a frequent Amtrak rider myself, I always carry all my luggage with me, even on long-distance rides, since there is ample room in a sleeper berth for me and two small bags.

  18. #18
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    4 hours south of HankT, ,
    Posts
    5,121

    Post imported post

    FogRider wrote:
    Take it for what it's worth, but the employees I asked said (in so many words) "no firearms on the train, period". However, I've never seen any kind of security that would stop you from taking a concealed gun with you. I didn't check anything, but I can't imagine they'd go through more effort on checked baggage than for people/carry on.
    True, but that is only because the TSA doesn't have enough money yet. Amtrak announced a year ago that they would start random searches of carry-on luggage with JBTs and dog-sniffers in places like DC's Union Station, similar to NY City's subway SWAT jackies. I have never seen it happen, though, it's mostly talk and window dressing at this point. If TSA or Amtrak police ever get enough money, though, this will change. In the meantime, you are taking an awful risk to violate both DC's and Amtrak gun ban.

    In any case, searching luggage for bombs or guns does exactly ZERO for rail transport security, considering that the most vulnerable part of any railroad is the railroad tracks out in the middle of thousands of miles of wilderness. Anyone who has ever seen a train robbery in an old western movie knows this.

  19. #19
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Centennial, Colorado, USA
    Posts
    1,412

    Post imported post

    Tomahawk wrote:
    True, but that is only because the TSA doesn't have enough money yet. Amtrak announced a year ago that they would start random searches of carry-on luggage with JBTs and dog-sniffers in places like DC's Union Station, similar to NY City's subway SWAT jackies. I have never seen it happen, though, it's mostly talk and window dressing at this point. If TSA or Amtrak police ever get enough money, though, this will change. In the meantime, you are taking an awful risk to violate both DC's and Amtrak gun ban.

    In any case, searching luggage for bombs or guns does exactly ZERO for rail transport security, considering that the most vulnerable part of any railroad is the railroad tracks out in the middle of thousands of miles of wilderness. Anyone who has ever seen a train robbery in an old western movie knows this.
    Please don't get me wrong, I wasn't suggesting anyone try it. Like you said in your other post, you're probably going to be breaking some state laws along with Amtrak's rules. I was just pointing out that in my experience their security is laughable at best, and non-existent at worst.

  20. #20
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    4 hours south of HankT, ,
    Posts
    5,121

    Post imported post

    FogRider wrote:
    I was just pointing out that in my experience their security is laughable at best, and non-existent at worst.
    Their lack of security is the only reason I continue to use Amtrak. It's more expensive and takes a hell of a lot longer than air travel, but it's very comfortable, the train crew and station staff actually treat you like a paying human customer, and there are no costumed tax-feeders scanning, sniffing, X-raying, or otherwise rifling through my belongings or my person, or threatening to put me on a no-fly list for looking at them wrong or asking the wrong question.

    I hate Amtrak's gun ban, and I hate their government subsidies, but the fact that I can travel and keep my dignity overrides these shortcomings.

    Oh, for the day when we can travel in peace and dignity in any method we wish to pay for...

  21. #21
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Centennial, Colorado, USA
    Posts
    1,412

    Post imported post

    For the trip I take (between Denver and Lincoln), it tends to actually be cheaper than flying. It takes longer (about eight hours), but the allowable size of your carryon means I can bring a blanket and pillow and sleep on the way. It also helps that the schedule means it's a night trip both directions. That, and there's just something fun about a train ride. I bring my laptop and watch movies for a while, then head down to the dining car for a beer or two and some conversation.

  22. #22
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    4 hours south of HankT, ,
    Posts
    5,121

    Post imported post

    FogRider wrote:
    For the trip I take (between Denver and Lincoln), it tends to actually be cheaper than flying. It takes longer (about eight hours), but the allowable size of your carryon means I can bring a blanket and pillow and sleep on the way. It also helps that the schedule means it's a night trip both directions. That, and there's just something fun about a train ride. I bring my laptop and watch movies for a while, then head down to the dining car for a beer or two and some conversation.
    Yup. Alcohol and sleeping and relaxing and scenery all go well with rail travel.

  23. #23
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Provo, Utah, USA
    Posts
    1,076

    Post imported post

    Tomahawk wrote:
    I hate Amtrak's gun ban, and I hate their government subsidies
    As much as I hate the subsidies I have to say that if air travel had to pay all of its own costs, it would cost at least double what it does. If Amtrak was subsidized at the same passenger mile rate as the airlines, we could have coast to coast high speed trains.

    That said, I love to travel by train for many of the same reasons: comfort, lack of being violated, relaxation and seeing the scenery.

  24. #24
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    4 hours south of HankT, ,
    Posts
    5,121

    Post imported post

    Only problem with true high-speed trains is that you can't see the scenery. Riding through the Rocky Mtns. on the California Zephyr as it winds around mountains and through tunnels is a great ride. But, yeah, it'd be nice to not take 3.5 days to cross the continent. And the government subsidizes automobile travel, too, in the form of highways.

  25. #25
    Moderator / Administrator
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Fairfax County, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    8,711

    Post imported post

    longwatch wrote:
    I think federal code prohibits carry on interstate common carriers, at least they have the power to regulate it.
    http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/18...2----000-.html
    (e) It shall be unlawful for any person knowingly to deliver or cause to be delivered to any common or contract carrier for transportation or shipment in interstate or foreign commerce, to persons other than licensed importers, licensed manufacturers, licensed dealers, or licensed collectors, any package or other container in which there is any firearm or ammunition without written notice to the carrier that such firearm or ammunition is being transported or shipped; except that any passenger who owns or legally possesses a firearm or ammunition being transported aboard any common or contract carrier for movement with the passenger in interstate or foreign commerce may deliver said firearm or ammunition into the custody of the pilot, captain, conductor or operator of such common or contract carrier for the duration of the trip without violating any of the provisions of this chapter. No common or contract carrier shall require or cause any label, tag, or other written notice to be placed on the outside of any package, luggage, or other container that such package, luggage, or other container contains a firearm.
    Thi sstatute does not forbid gun carry on AMTRAK or any other means of public transportation - it is an anti-gun running statute. There is no federal law probiting gun carry on AMTRAK, Greyhond, etc.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •