The U.S. Senate has agreed that Amtrak must allow guns to be carried in checked baggage.
It might be a Second Amendment thing but it’s mostly an unfunded mandate.
Amtrak banned firearms from its trains in the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Senator Roger Wicker of Mississippi, the sponsor of the Amtrak gun language added to the transportation and housing appropriations measure currently before Congress, argued that all domestic airlines permit firearms in checked luggage and Amtrak should do the same.
The guns on the rails amendment received bipartisan support, but isn’t included in the House version so there is still time to take sides.
Amtrak, cash strapped and short on both political and popular support, is protesting that setting up a gun check-in as required will be prohibitively expensive and time-consuming.
On the Senate floor this week Wicker said Amtrak was preventing free exerccise of the Second Amendment by denying the right to carry firearms in locked, hard-side cases in checked baggage.
The more pure Second Amendment claim would be that passengers should be allowed to fire at railroad crossing signs from moving trains. Otherwise, what’s a free state all about?