Amtrak Gun Prohibition Set to Expire

Sen. Wicker Amendment to take Effect Dec. 15


December 2, 2010

 (Springfield, VA)–Legislation authored by Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS) to repeal a gun ban on Amtrak trains will go into effect on December 15, one year after it was signed into law.

GOA spearheaded the victorious campaign to get the Wicker amendment passed in the Senate. It will replace the current policy–guns are banned even in checked bags on Amtrak trains–with a policy similar to airlines. Firearms will soon be allowed in checked bags on the trains so long as they are declared and carried in a prescribed manner.

Sen. Wicker thanked GOA for its work on the amendment. “Gun Owners of America was helpful in spreading the word about the importance of lifting the gun ban on those traveling by rail,” said Sen. Wicker. “This provision protects Americans’ Second Amendment right and is a small but important step in eliminating bias against gun owners.”

The change will be welcome news to gun owners who use Amtrak. “Those who travel by train who wish to bring a firearm to their destination for self-protection will be able to do so,” said GOA lobbyist John Velleco. “It’s also good news for hunters and others who have a need to transport personal firearms while traveling.

“GOA applauds Sen. Wicker’s efforts to prevent a federally subsidized entity from banning firearms.”

On Amtrak, like commercial airlines, firearms will have to be declared, and stored in a locked, hard-sided case, with ammunition stored separately. Amtrak has posted specific rules on its website here.

GOA is also working on loosening concealed carry restrictions nationwide, making it more likely that concealed carry permit holders will eventually be allowed to carry firearms while traveling by train.

“Ultimately, firearms owners make travel safer not only for themselves, but for non-gun owners as well. The best deterrent to a criminal attack is an armed citizen,” Velleco said.