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Thread: New VRE Firearms Policy hits the press!

  1. #1
    Regular Member TFred's Avatar
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    We've had several threads here about carrying on VRE, and it looks like they have set a new policy. I bet this gets national attention.

    TFred

    Firearms OK on VRE

    Virginia Railway Express passengers can now carry firearms on the train--at least in Virginia

    Date published: 9/19/2009
    By KELLY HANNON

    WOODBRIDGE
    --Virginia law required the Virginia Railway Express Operations Board to yesterday reverse a policy that banned passengers from carrying firearms on trains.

    Passengers will now be allowed to openly carry firearms on VRE trains in Virginia, and carry concealed weapons if they have a permit to do so.

    "People can carry firearms, therefore you can carry them on the train," said Dale Zehner, VRE's chief executive officer.

    However, Virginia law would not apply once VRE trains cross the Potomac River into Washington.

    When riders contact Zehner about carrying firearms onto trains, he reminds them that they must comply with D.C. laws if they ride into the city.

    "It's interesting, a lot of them don't know that," Zehner said.

    Passengers contacted VRE staff to inform them that the firearms ban violated Virginia law, Zehner said, speaking to Operations Board members yesterday at a meeting in Woodbridge. Subsequently, VRE staff recommended the board change the policy to comply with state law.

    Only D.C. residents can register a handgun in Washington, however, and the city does not issue carry permits, said Quintin Peterson, Metropolitan Police Department spokesman. So VRE passengers would not be allowed to carry firearms on the train once the train is in Washington, Peterson said.

    Operations Board members voted to change the policy, although members expressed mixed opinions.

    Operations Board Chairman Chris Zimmerman, an Arlington County supervisor, said he's concerned that the change will send the wrong message, encouraging passengers to bring guns onto the train and possibly get into legal trouble in Washington.

    "I think encouraging people to bring guns onto loaded trains is a stupid idea," Zimmerman said.

    Stafford County Supervisor and Operations Board Vice Chairman Paul Milde said he disagreed with Zimmerman "100 percent on this."

    Milde said there's no evidence that allowing passengers to carry firearms will lead to an increase in violence, and that allowing firearms could lead to a decrease. "I don't know that people feel like the government is capable of protecting them in all places at all times," Milde said.

    Kelly Hannon: 540/374-5436
    Email: khannon@freelancestar.com

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    TFred wrote:
    SNIP "I think encouraging people to bring guns onto loaded trains is a stupid idea," Zimmerman said.
    What an idiot. Changing policy to align with state law is "encouraging people to bring guns on trains?"

    Putting up signs that said, "Please carry your gun" or "Gun owners welcome" would be encouraging guns on trains.

    Just changing an illegal policy is not encouragement.

    The"stupid idea" was him deciding to comment.
    I'll make you an offer: I will argue and fight for all of your rights, if you will do the same for me. That is the only way freedom can work. We have to respect all rights, all the time--and strive to win the rights of the other guy as much as for ourselves.

    If I am equal to another, how can I legitimately govern him without his express individual consent?

    There is no human being on earth I hate so much I would actually vote to inflict government upon him.

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    remember, nobody commits a crime under federal law (unless you count DC law) for carrying your gun on AMTRAK, even it is against AMTRAK's non-criminal "rules," which are questionable constitutionally under Lebron v. National R.R. Passenger Corp., 513 U.S. 374 (1995) (holding that where the Government creates a corporation by special law (i.e., AMTRAK) for the furtherance of governmental objectives, and retains for itself permanent authority to appoint a majority of that corporation's directors, the corporation is part of the Government for purposes of the First Amendment).

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    Regular Member Repeater's Avatar
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    It could be interesting to read the board minutes once they are published. We will have to wait a month before that happens.

    In the meantime, before celebrating, be sure to read the amended language from the September meeting agenda:

    06.02.00 REFUSAL OF PASSAGE – Train Service Personnel may refuse a person passage on a VRE train if 1) a passenger displays a firearm in the threat of or commission of a crime. 2) he or she is in possession of explosives; dangerous weapons, such as any dirk, bowie knife, switchblade knife, ballistic knife, machete, razor, slingshot, spring stick, metal knuckles, or blackjack, any flailing instrument consisting of two or more rigid parts connected in such a manner as to allow them to swing freely, which may be known as a nun chahka, nun chuck, nunchaku, shuriken, or fighting chain; any disc, of whatever configuration, having at least two points or pointed blades which is designed to be thrown or propelled and which may be known as a throwing star or oriental dart; flammable material or any other dangerous item or material; 3) he or she is apparently under the influence of drugs or alcohol; 4) his or her conduct or behavior is disorderly and disturbing to other passengers; 5) he or she is incapable of properly caring for himself or herself; or 6) civil actions are pending against him or her by VRE for fare evasion enforcement costs.
    As you can see, Preemption only applies to firearms and to no other kind of weapon; they can see that, too.

  5. #5
    Regular Member TFred's Avatar
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    More coverage of this is starting to hit the press.

    TFred

    http://www.nbcwashington.com/news/lo...-59995577.html

    Firearms Approved on VRE, But Only So Far
    District laws to create confusion
    By MIKE TUNISON
    Updated 12:16 PM EDT, Mon, Sep 21, 2009

    The Virginia Railway Express Operations Board yesterday overturned a policy that banned passengers from carrying firearms and concealed weapons with a permit on the trains.

    The move was required by Virginia law. Problem is, it doesn't supersede D.C.'s regulations on handguns, meaning those who do opt to bring firearms on board the trains cannot carry them into the city.

    For a commuter train whose main purpose is to bring workers into the city, that might render this decision moot for the majority of VRE riders. Unless they happen to be D.C. residents, who are the only ones who can register a gun in the city.

    So what are folks to do if they hear the news and mistakenly board the train all the way into the District? Chuck the guns into the Potomac?

    VRE Operations Board members were less than thrilled with having to make the change, partially because many riders will run afoul of the differing rules across jurisdictions, but also because guns plus big crowds equals disaster*. Chairman Chris Zimmerman, who is also an Arlington County supervisor, said, "I think encouraging people to bring guns onto loaded trains is a stupid idea."

    Voice of reason, folks. Maybe he should tell that to Congress.

    Meanwhile, the VRE has nixed discounts to children and the elderly. Probably just as well to get the frail folks who might not be able to take a bullet off the train with all the guns that might be coming aboard.

    * I would challenge the author to support this statement with facts. The only place where "guns plus big crowds equals disaster" are Gun Free Zones, where "big crowds" cannot defend themselves from deranged murderers!


    And here's what appears to be to be a sarcastic blog on the matter:

    http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/b...-on-the-train/

    Dear VRE: Thanks for Letting Us Bring Our Guns on the Train

    Posted by Erika Niedowski on Sep. 21, 2009, at 4:29 pm

    Dear Virginia Railway Express Operations Board: I don’t live in Virginia, and I don’t take the VRE in to the District each day, but I sure wish I did, because of the enhanced service you have decided to offer: Riders can now carry firearms and concealed weapons on the train!

    There are so many reasons this is a good idea – too many to list here. Mostly, it will make everyone who rides the train feel much safer. And despite what some may say, it’s not really a problem that the firearm a District-bound Virginia resident boards with in, say, Quantico or Manassas cannot be carried legally in D.C. In fact – and I’m sure you’ve already thought of this – it’s a potential revenue-maker for the state: Set up some kind of gun-checking station at the border, charge a few bucks for eight hours’ worth of storage, and tack on a handling fee! Commuters will feel it’s worth it to have their guns for a few stops, and they can conveniently pick them back up after a hard day’s work.

    NBC Washington reported that some members of your board were “less than thrilled with having to make the change” – as required by state law – “partially because many riders will run afoul of the differing rules across jurisdictions, but also because guns plus big crowds equals disaster.”

    For instance, Chris Zimmerman, an Arlington County supervisor, said, “I think encouraging people to bring guns onto loaded trains is a stupid idea.”

    That’s short-sighted and silly. Bringing guns onto loaded trains is a good idea. Here’s to hoping most commuters take advantage of the opportunity. We will all be better for it.

    Comments? Ideas? I’m at eniedowski@washingtoncitypaper.com, and on Twitter.

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    TFred wrote:
    SNIP Bringing guns onto loaded trains is a good idea.
    Just as long as they don't come aboard like this:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v5WsuLnkUT4

    Or this:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2lOSH2QMdqw


    I'll make you an offer: I will argue and fight for all of your rights, if you will do the same for me. That is the only way freedom can work. We have to respect all rights, all the time--and strive to win the rights of the other guy as much as for ourselves.

    If I am equal to another, how can I legitimately govern him without his express individual consent?

    There is no human being on earth I hate so much I would actually vote to inflict government upon him.

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    Regular Member Repeater's Avatar
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    Repeater wrote:
    It could be interesting to read the board minutes once they are published. We will have to wait a month before that happens.

    In the meantime, before celebrating, be sure to read the amended language from the September meeting agenda:

    06.02.00 REFUSAL OF PASSAGE – Train Service Personnel may refuse a person passage on a VRE train if 1) a passenger displays a firearm in the threat of or commission of a crime. 2) he or she is in possession of explosives; dangerous weapons, such as any dirk, bowie knife, switchblade knife, ballistic knife, machete, razor, slingshot, spring stick, metal knuckles, or blackjack, any flailing instrument consisting of two or more rigid parts connected in such a manner as to allow them to swing freely, which may be known as a nun chahka, nun chuck, nunchaku, shuriken, or fighting chain; any disc, of whatever configuration, having at least two points or pointed blades which is designed to be thrown or propelled and which may be known as a throwing star or oriental dart; flammable material or any other dangerous item or material; 3) he or she is apparently under the influence of drugs or alcohol; 4) his or her conduct or behavior is disorderly and disturbing to other passengers; 5) he or she is incapable of properly caring for himself or herself; or 6) civil actions are pending against him or her by VRE for fare evasion enforcement costs.
    As you can see, Preemption only applies to firearms and to no other kind of weapon; they can see that, too.
    From the September Minutes:

    Chairman Zimmerman noted for the record that encouraging people to bring guns onto loaded trains is a stupid idea. He personally would not change the tariff. He worries about the message that is being sent to the public. In response to a question from Mr. Way, Mr. Zehner stated that VRE makes it clear to any rider that asks about firearms, that once the train crosses the river into Washington, D.C., the rider is under D.C. law, which requires people to have permits to carry a firearm. Mr. Milde disagreed with Chairman Zimmerman and stated that there is no evidence that a person carrying a firearm on a train increases the risk of violence. In fact, it could decrease the risk. Ms. Bulova stated that whether carrying firearms on a train is a good idea or not, there is a state law that allows it, so VRE is bringing its policies into consistency with the laws of the Commonwealth.



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    Regular Member The Wolfhound's Avatar
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    The only obvious message anyone with a brain would take from this is that the VRE will follow the law once they have been dragged to it screaming and kicking.
    Appleseed, Virginia State Coordinator
    Are you a Rifleman yet?
    http://appleseedinfo.org

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