Senate OKs Passenger Guns on Amtrak

Refusal to allow firearms would cost system fed funds under bill
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 17, 2009 4:38 AM CDT
Conductor Clarence Armstrong signals for the doors to close on a Washington-bound Amtrak train leaving Penn Station in Baltimore.    (AP Photo/Rob Carr, File)
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(Newser) – Amtrak passengers would be allowed to carry unloaded guns in locked containers in their checked baggage under a measure passed by the Senate yesterday, reports the New York Times. The rail corporation banned guns from checked baggage after the 9/11 attacks. The measure won the backing of all Senate Republicans and 27 Democrats, despite Amtrak's objection that it doesn't have the same ability to screen for firearms that airlines do.

"Americans should not have their Second Amendment rights restricted for any reason, particularly if they choose to travel on America’s federally subsidized rail line,” said the provision's sponsor, Mississippi Republican Roger Wicker. The measure, an amendment to a transportation bill, would cut off Amtrak's $1.6 billion in federal funds if it fails to comply.