Thanks to a Senate vote on Wednesday, Amtrak is a step closer to becoming the nation’s gun-friendly travel alternative. The proposal was approved by a vote of 68 to 30 and would allow passengers to take firearms with them on trains – as long as they declare that they are doing so. The firearms also have to be unloaded and locked in a container.
Of course, Amtrak is, so to speak, being held at gunpoint on this bill. If it does not change its gun policy, the railroad would lose its $1.6 billion government subsidy, thanks to some wheeling and dealing by Mississippi’s Senator Roger Wicker.
The current policy, which prohibits travel with weapons, was implemented following the terror attacks on Madrid‘s passenger trains in 2004. Wicker cites the importance of second amendment rights in pushing for the change in policy.
Opponents of the bill say that it would be too costly to allow firearms on trains, particularly since Amtrak doesn’t have the security measures and equipment in place to manage the change. Putting it into place would be too expensive.
A House version of the bill, which passed, doesn’t include the gun measures, and the two proposals have yet to be reconciled.