Published on Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Bring your guns to…Amtrak

The US Congress has ordered the reversal of a gun ban that had been in place on the government-owned railroad for nearly a decade.

Starting Dec.15, gun owners will need to let Amtrak know 24 hours in advance of their intention to bring firearms onboard. Unloaded guns will need to be packed in hard-sided containers. These will be placed in special storage lockers -- guns will not be allowed on trains that don't have checked baggage service.

Amtrak says gun storage lockers are being added to rail cars. But officials say they don't know how many people will want to bring firearms on trains.

The National Rifle Association and U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Mississippi pushed for the policy change, said wire services.

"We worked hard for this," said NRA spokesman Andrew Arulanandam. "It is reasonable for law-abiding people who wish to travel with firearms to be able to do so."

A Transportation Security Administration (TSA) spokesman told the Sacramento Bee the change is fine as long as security rules are enforced. "It's deemed safe and appropriate," said TSA spokesman Nico Melendez.

By David Wilkening

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