WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) today announced the implementation of a new Amtrak policy, allowing passengers to transport firearms in secure, checked luggage. The Amtrak service begins tomorrow.
“This law provides hunters, sportsmen, and gun owners with more choices for traveling,” said Wicker. “While airlines offer an option to transport a properly stored gun, rail passengers have not had the same opportunity. I applaud Amtrak for its work for nearly a year to ensure firearms can be transported safely. This is a major victory because it reverses a trend we have seen in this Congress to be hostile toward hunters and gun owners. The Administration and the Amtrak board found there was a great deal of bipartisan support for this very reasonable procedure.”
In December 2009, the President signed the Consolidated Appropriations Act (P.L.111-117) into law. A provision in the bill authored by Senator Wicker directs Amtrak to implement the procedures necessary to provide storage and carriage of firearms in checked baggage cars and at Amtrak stations that accept checked baggage within one year of the bill’s enactment.
The law states that if an Amtrak station accepts luggage for a specific route, passengers must be able to lawfully transport firearms and ammunition in secure baggage based on the following guidelines:
• The passenger must declare to Amtrak within 24-hours of departure that the firearm will be placed in his or her checked baggage;
• The firearm must be unloaded and carried in a hard-sided container;
• The hard-sided container must be locked and only the passenger has the combination or key for the container.
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