Amtrak Gives Gun Owners the All Aboard

Come December 15, Amtrak passengers will be allowed to bring their favorite guns and ammunition aboard most Amtrak trains following provisions in last year’s transportation funding bill.  Though there was some horse-trading over the interpretation of the pertinent provision, thought by some to expire later this year, the US Government Accountability Office asserted the legislation to be permanent law.

Accordingly, after the middle of December you will be able to transport guns and ammo onboard Amtrak trains and along most routes as long as you adhere to the following policies (policies that if you think look suspiciously like those you’d have to follow to transport a gun on a plane, you’d be right):

•    Passengers must declare to Amtrak within 24-hours of departure that the firearm will be placed in their checked baggage.
•    The gun must not be loaded and must also be carried in a hard-sided container.
•    The hard-sided container must be locked with only the passenger having the combination or key for the container and checked prior to boarding.

Also look for a number of passenger cars (especially in the Western United States) to be retrofitted with state of the art gun lockers.

The gun/train provision will also cover California though, always the free spirit when it comes to gun control, not all of it.  Overall most of Amtrak’s California lines are covered, including the San Joaquin service connecting Sacramento to Oakland and the Central Valley.  The seemingly incongruous gun ban remains “arresttable” on Capitol Corridor trains connecting Auburn, Sacramento and Davis with the Bay Area—perhaps a foreshadowing some legal showdowns across the country where federal and local laws conflict.  Additionally, the Sacramento Bee reported that California gun rights were instrumental in getting the provision included in the most recent transportation bill.

The lift of a decade long train ban was made possible by activists within the gun advocacy community and politicians friendly to gun rights.  In a statement issued earlier this month, Mississippi Senator Roger Wicker, truly the man responsible for train transport provision in last years transportation, said, “I am glad that Amtrak met its statutorily required deadline and is on track to implement the checked firearms program by December. Soon, train passengers will have the same right as air travelers to securely transport firearms in checked baggage.”

Latest Reviews

  • Four Years Later: IWI Tavor SAR Revisited

    Though IWI's X95, released in 2016, usurps the SAR, my Tavor SAR is still part of the family. For those just now coming across this model, how has it stood up over the years? Let's find out.

    Read More
  • Scope Review: Leupold VX-Freedom FireDot Twilight Hunter

    The budget-friendly line of American-made Leupold VX-Freedom riflescopes found a welcome audience last year, but 2020 sees even more interesting additions to the family, with our hands-down favorite being the illuminated-reticle FireDot line.

    Read More
  • Ruger AR-556: An Outstanding Gateway AR

    It should come as no surprise the Ruger name is synonymous with value, and its’ AR-556 looks to fit this mold as an entry-level AR-15 with a reasonable MSRP. So how does the no-frills Ruger AR-556 perform when put to the test? Read on to find out.

    Read More
  • A Look at the Sig P238, A Year Later

    The Sig Sauer P238 was the first .380 ACP BUG to grace my gun safe, a welcomed addition to the 9mm polymers, .38 SPL revolvers, and .45 ACP 1911s. After more than a year's worth of use, where do I stand on the P238? Let's find out.

    Read More

Loading