Senate votes to allow handguns on Amtrak
September 23, 2009 by Special To Personal Liberty
Earlier this month the Senate voted to permit Amtrak passengers to carry handguns in their luggage, and one gun rights proponent has hailed it as a sign that the tide is turning against those who would like more restrictive laws.
John M. Snyder, who is a former National Rifle Association editor and current public affairs director of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, says politicians finally seem to "get the message" that most Americans are opposed to gun control.
"American firearm owners form the cutting edge of the modern freedom movement in the U.S.," he said, quoted by Newsblaze.com.
The measure, which passed with a vote of 68-30, was contained in an amendment proposed by Senator Robin Vicker of Mississippi to a transportation appropriations bill. It will take away $1.5 billion for the government-subsidized passenger railroad if Amtrak fails to begin checking in firearms by next March.
Supporters of the amendment state that sportsmen who want to take the train to hunting trips will finally be able to do so.
Meanwhile, opponents such as Senator Richard Durbin, an Illinois Democrat, counter by saying that the rail system does not have the same baggage screening capabilities as airlines, and the requirement will put undue financial burden on it, and possibly cause it to shut down.
The National Rifle Association’s website cites statistics which suggest that the number of new guns in the U.S. increases by about 4.5 million each year, while total violent crime rate is down 38 percent since 1991.