Senate Tells Amtrak ‘No Guns, No Money’ – Political Shenanigans in play!

Senate Tells Amtrak ‘No Guns, No Money' – Political Shenanigans in play!

Washington, DC –-( The US Senate has voted 68-30 in favor of a measure which would deny $1.6 Billion taxpayer dollars for the beleaguered Amtrak passenger train system unless they change their “No Guns” policy.

Since the Madrid commuter train bombing in 2004 Amtrak has maintained a policy of no guns or weapons on their trains – even locked in checked baggage. The amendment passed by the Senate today was sponsored by Senator Roger Wicker (R-MS) says that Amtrak must accept checked baggage containing firearms or starter pistols as long as the passenger declares the firearm at the time of check in and the gun is unloaded and locked in a hard-sided case. The measure also provides for the lawful transport of ammunition in checked baggage.

Opponents raised objections based on the cost of implementing the liberalized regulations, but those arguments rang hollow and the measure passed easily.

Now for the shenanigans:
Even though the amendment passed easily – with a few surprising (and suspicious) votes in favor – this is not a done deal. Since the Senate version of the underlying appropriations bill is now different from the version passed in the House, there must be a Reconciliation Conference to bring the two versions into line. For a conference, both houses select a number of representatives who are supposed to go sit down together and hash out their differences, settling on a final bill they believe will be acceptable in both houses. That version of the bill is then sent to the floors of the House and the Senate where it receives an up or down vote. No amendments are accepted for a reconciled bill. (Read More and see Vote Count)

The Firearms Coalition is a loose-knit coalition of individual Second Amendment activists, clubs and civil rights organizations. Founded by Neal Knox in 1984, the organization provides support to grassroots activists in the form of education, analysis of current issues, and with a historical perspective of the gun rights movement. Visit:

  • 4 thoughts on “Senate Tells Amtrak ‘No Guns, No Money’ – Political Shenanigans in play!

    1. Note that the "privilege" being "allowed" is not carrying, but placing guns in checked baggage.

      Amtrak apparently fears that your gun will crawl out of your luggage and go slithering about the train raising havoc.

      Chris Knox

    2. Interesting. Amtrak exists with government subsidies.

      As such, it should respect the same rights that government is supposed to respect. This is not a private company running on its own income.

    3. Amtrak supporter: Can you provide a legitimate reason why a Civil Right should be restricted on a train? Especially as there are currently no procedures in place for ensuring that criminals may not bring weapons? Rendering myself less capable of defending myself and others does not improve anyones safety, especially on a mode of transportation that has been both crippled and propped up by the government for years, with my tax dollars.

    4. I don't see this as too much of a 2nd Amendment issue. Just because you can't bring a gun on a train, that does not mean you can't own one in the first place. Unless the definition of "keep and bear arms" literally means that right is to be respected at all times under all circumstances, I think that Amtrak's current policy is at least reasonable. That said, the airlines allow firearms to be checked, but as I see it, on trains, it's quite easy to move between the baggage car and the rest of the train, and in most cases there is no separate baggage car; checked bags are kept in cargo holds on coach cars. Amtrak would need to do significant upgrades to its baggage cars and baggage holds, as well as hiring extra Amtrak police, in order to even minimize the security risk.

      The bill SEEMS (and this is just opinion) more like a cheap way to try and kill Amtrak by forcing it to use the funding it just received on these upgrades and staffing concerns. What's worse, this is an unfunded mandate – Amtrak WILL have to do some upgrades and there will be extra costs associated, but those aren't given. Even worse is that Amtrak has only SIX MONTHS to enact this. Hopefully Obama will veto or it will get sturck down by the judiciary as an unfunded mandate.

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