Saturday, October 17, 2009

Guns on Trains

On The Hill site the Congress Blog reports on the legislation proposed to allow passengers on Amtrak to transport weapons in sealed checked baggage. Our frequent commenter, Il Principe has given his unequivocal endorsement of this proposal.

Currently, sportsmen who choose to travel by rail for a hunting trip are left in an impossible situation because of Amtrak prohibitions against checking an unloaded gun with their luggage. Conversely, these same gun owners are legally allowed to check guns in their luggage on our nation’s airlines. Why should federally-subsidized passenger rail lines be different from U.S. airlines? The Amtrak Secure Transportation of Firearms Act would require Amtrak to enact regulations similar to those the U.S. airline industry uses to regulate firearm transport on airplanes. The requirements would apply for any year that Amtrak receives a federal subsidy.

I agree that it's quite ridiculous for Amtrak to prohibit what is allowed on the airlines. What's your opinion? Do you think there might be a concern among the opposition of this bill that on trains the checked luggage is not as securely separated from the passengers as on an airliner? To me that makes sense, but overall I could support this bill myself.

Do you think this legislation might lead to the conductors and brakemen wanting to work armed? Remember the case of the airline pilot who allowed his weapon to discharge during a flight?

Do you think the major gun control groups tend to oppose any and every law which has to do with guns? Do they lose credibility for doing that? I would think so, but perhaps they're really concerned about that access question on the trains and about the increased possibility of accidents if the train workers do what the pilots did.

What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.


  1. Even the Brady Campaign isn't protesting this one.

  2. I carry a loaded gun on a train every day.

    Will continue to do so every day.

    As a matter of fact I won't set foot on a train unless I have a loaded gun.

    Remember this?

  3. perhaps they're really concerned about that access question on the trains and about the increased possibility of accidents if the train workers do what the pilots did.

    Was there a second incident? I only remember one pilot having a problem. The real cause was dealing with absolutely idiotic regulations that required way too much gun handling. A sensible procedure would have been to holster the gun before the flight and leave it holstered until the flight is over.

    This is an example of "accepting inconvenience" in the name of safety--the bureaucrats in charge of the armed pilot program did not like it, and made it as inconvenient as possible to minimize participation. Had the regulations been written by someone sensible, with advice from someone who knew about guns, more pilots would have participated, but with less chance of accident.

  4. Thanks for the video, Weer'd. I wonder how many lifetimes you'll have to live before your gun protects you from a hammer attack. Do you think that's a rational justification?

  5. The very next day after your little quip:

    Thankfully I wasn't on the train that day. Wife wanted to get to work early so I decided to drive us both in.

  6. I don't blame you, Mike. I wouldn't touch that story either if I were you!