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Amtrak, firearms and checked baggage...
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   Author  Topic: Amtrak, firearms and checked baggage...  (Read 234 times)
rmgill
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Posts: 84
Amtrak, firearms and checked baggage...
 
« on: Dec 2nd, 2010, 3:41pm »
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So, starting Dec 15, passengers will be able to check firearms in baggage on AMTRAK trains with baggage service. This will put AMTRAK in line with airlines and their required compliance with the FARs following the FOPA of 1986.  
 
However, this is restricted to stations that have baggage service. What's confusing is that I've seen non baggage stations have passengers get handed bags from the baggage car. Given how the Conductor is usually the one handling/overseeing these stops at tiny stations, what's the functional reason they're not allowing firearms/baggage check at stations like this? The conductor can even take money for tickets.  
 
Seems like it would be trivial to board/exit at such a stop and have the conductor and an appointed employee unlock the cage and retrieve the bag in question.  
 


« Last Edit: Dec 2nd, 2010, 3:46pm by rmgill » Logged
NYC_Subway_Fan
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Re: Amtrak, firearms and checked baggage...
 
« Reply #1 on: Dec 2nd, 2010, 5:48pm »
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on Dec 2nd, 2010, 3:41pm, rmgill wrote:       (Click here for original message)
However, this is restricted to stations that have baggage service. What's confusing is that I've seen non baggage stations have passengers get handed bags from the baggage car. Given how the Conductor is usually the one handling/overseeing these stops at tiny stations, what's the functional reason they're not allowing firearms/baggage check at stations like this? The conductor can even take money for tickets.  
 
Seems like it would be trivial to board/exit at such a stop and have the conductor and an appointed employee unlock the cage and retrieve the bag in question.  

 
My guess, and I stress that it is a guess, is that Amtrak doesn't want to delay the train while the conductor checks to ensure that the gun isn't loaded and that it is safely locked inside the case.
 
Now some argument could be made for allowing one to check a gun to a station without baggage claim as that wouldn't cause additional problems for the conductor, but then what do you do on your return when you can't check the gun.
 
I suppose that there is also the idea that a station with checked baggage is already given more time at the station than a station with no checked baggage is given.


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Alan,

Take care and take trains!
George_Harris
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Re: Amtrak, firearms and checked baggage...
 
« Reply #2 on: Dec 2nd, 2010, 9:05pm »
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This whole thing simply bugs the fire out of me.  It is simply nonsense.  Carrying guns in baggage should never have been prohibited to begin with.
 
The only thing you can possibly accomplish is to inconvenience people or make a law abiding person do something criminal if he wants to move a gun from place to place.
 
THE CRIMINALS DON'T CARE WHAT THE RULES ARE.  If they want to stick a gun in their checked baggage or carry on or in their back pocket, the laws will make no difference at all.  They will simply do it.


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ClydeDET
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Re: Amtrak, firearms and checked baggage...
 
« Reply #3 on: Dec 3rd, 2010, 5:42pm »
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Mght or might not be surprised at who might have a Roscoe with him on a train....

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rmgill
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Posts: 84
Re: Amtrak, firearms and checked baggage...
 
« Reply #4 on: Dec 4th, 2010, 4:31am »
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I did have a rather "charming" conversation with a staffer for the House Homeland Security Committee. She was opining how it was such a threat to AMTRAK because passengers intent on doing harm could get to the baggage car and somehow get the guns. I pointed out how passengers intent on doing harm could just simply bring a firearm or 4 on the train in their bags. OR people could not even board the train at a station but rather board by force after stopping the train (see also Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid). Or they could just park something big and heavy on a crossing. Or any number of things.  
 
She didn't get the point at all surprisingly.  
 
Oddly enough she tried to say that there were combined baggage/passenger cars on Amtrak, which confused me.


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George_Harris
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Re: Amtrak, firearms and checked baggage...
 
« Reply #5 on: Dec 4th, 2010, 2:05pm »
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on Dec 4th, 2010, 4:31am, rmgill wrote:       (Click here for original message)
She didn't get the point at all surprisingly.  
 
Oddly enough she tried to say that there were combined baggage/passenger cars on Amtrak, which confused me.

No surprise at all.  You find that when you deal with these security fanatic / anti-gun people you have entered a logic-free zone.  Similar to the Twilight Zone except even crazier.


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Norm_Anderson
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Re: Amtrak, firearms and checked baggage...
 
« Reply #6 on: Dec 4th, 2010, 3:19pm »
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on Dec 4th, 2010, 4:31am, rmgill wrote:       (Click here for original message)

 
Oddly enough she tried to say that there were combined baggage/passenger cars on Amtrak, which confused me.  
 

 
 
Perhaps she was thinking of Superliner "Coach/Baggage" cars?  I doubt very strongly that the baggage compartments on these cars can be accessed from inside the car.  I doubt whether the staffer knew, either.
 
But yes or no, this should in no way obscure George's central point, which hits the center of the bulls-eye.  Utopian policies are irrational and illogical, because they are founded on false premises.  Utopians don't just misunderstand behavior, they misunderstand human nature.  We saw this on full display following the 9/11 attacks, when the deafening mantra was "Why do they hate us??"  As though the terror attacks were little more than a glorified tantrum by people "lashing out" because they felt powerless.
 
This same misunderstanding holds true on the microcosmic level as well.  Criminals commit their unlawful acts, not as a "cry for help," but because they believe they don't need to obey other people's stupid rules.  The problem is not low self esteem-- it's too much self esteem.
 
In cities where handguns have been banned, it's a sure bet that the thugs are still well-armed.  How often have we read of FBI raids where they've even recovered RPGs, fully-automatic weapons, and armor-piercing rounds?  (I'm half-expecting a report someday that they've found a Taepodong squirreled away behind some guy's barn.)  The notion that If we just pass an ordinance, we'll all be safer, is a dangerous conceit.
 
 
Getting down off my soapbox now,
 
Norm


« Last Edit: Dec 4th, 2010, 3:22pm by Norm_Anderson » Logged
George_Harris
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Re: Amtrak, firearms and checked baggage...
 
« Reply #7 on: Dec 5th, 2010, 12:15am »
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Beautifully stated, Norm.

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HwyHaulier
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Re: Amtrak, firearms and checked baggage...
 
« Reply #8 on: Dec 5th, 2010, 11:32am »
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Norm -  
 
Yep! I'm on board with your rationale... I am of this fantasy that it would all be a better world if the over educated could  
ever think outside the box of fixes for Five Boros - New York issues. Don't work in American Falls, ID (et. al.)!  
(Good Heavens! Major Metro Areas are dreadful and beyond any rational management! Always: Send money!)
 
As part of my selfless, outreach program, may I say to rmgill: Try to avoid encounters with morons. (In DC, of course,  
that leaves a very short list of those with whom one may discuss even the time of day!)
 
..........................Vern.......................


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Ticket Agent serving...Pacific Stage Lines...Washington State System...Mt. Hood Stages...Pickwick Stages...Transcontinental & Western Air Lines.... Admitted Gold Bug..... Observant Orthodox Mossback..... H.M.R.A.O. Curmudgeons......
photoman475
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Re: Amtrak, firearms and checked baggage...
 
« Reply #9 on: Dec 5th, 2010, 1:03pm »
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An interesting policy and doomed to failure for precisely all the previous stated reasons.
 
And up her in North Dakota, Montana and northwesten Minnesota, hunting is such a big part of the area's culture-and tourism-that I don't see HOW anything like it can be enforced on the Empire Builder.


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Hyrailer
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Re: Amtrak, firearms and checked baggage...
 
« Reply #10 on: Dec 7th, 2010, 12:07am »
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I think everybody should be able to carry a handgun. I carry mine all the time. Yes! I do it legally, and so does my wife. Pa has agreements with 24 other states that will honor its conceiled weapons permit law. I don't think I should have to check it to ride AMTRAK.

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ClydeDET
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Re: Amtrak, firearms and checked baggage...
 
« Reply #11 on: Dec 7th, 2010, 9:46pm »
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on Dec 7th, 2010, 12:07am, DaveK wrote:       (Click here for original message)
I think everybody should be able to carry a handgun. I carry mine all the time. Yes! I do it legally, and so does my wife. Pa has agreements with 24 other states that will honor its conceiled weapons permit law. I don't think I should have to check it to ride AMTRAK.

 
What they don't know, won't hurt you....
 
Ain't none of AMTRAK's bidness whether I am heeled or not.


« Last Edit: Dec 7th, 2010, 9:47pm by ClydeDET » Logged
rmgill
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Re: Amtrak, firearms and checked baggage...
 
« Reply #12 on: Dec 9th, 2010, 5:58pm »
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Problem is, I think carrying there, illegally, is a federal felony. Getting caught after a shooting could be a REAL problem. Basically the same as carrying on an airplane illegally.  
 
I wonder if one could make an argument that the Sleeper Compartment makes for an exception like a hotel room or some such. You are in fact renting that room as a private space.....hmmm...


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ClydeDET
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Re: Amtrak, firearms and checked baggage...
 
« Reply #13 on: Dec 9th, 2010, 8:03pm »
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Rather be tried by 12 than carried by six. The rented accommodation if you are in a sleeper claim might well fly.

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Les_Shepherd
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Re: Amtrak, firearms and checked baggage...
 
« Reply #14 on: Dec 12th, 2010, 5:10am »
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I have read this thread several times and each time it leaves me dismayed. Several posts are simply the rationalisation of a situation to fit with their own beliefs and perceived situations.
 
During my visit in 1976 while in Denver a loaded firearm in checked baggage discharged at Denver airport killing a baggage handler. I am certain that this has not been an isloated case over the years.
 
The issue with Amtrak; and Greyhound; and the airlines; is an Occupational Health and Safety one (OH&S). All workers have a right and an expectation to return home safely at the end of their working day. This right transcends all others. It is the absolute responsibility of employers to provide safe workplaces and working environments.
 
Nobody wants a firearm to discharge when at train goes over  a rough patch of track; or a bus hits a pothole in the road; or an aircraft hits an airpocket. Any of these can cause a discharge which can be catastrophic.
 
If the Homeland Security people are using this issue for other purposes then they deserve to be condemned.


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ClydeDET
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Re: Amtrak, firearms and checked baggage...
 
« Reply #15 on: Dec 13th, 2010, 9:23am »
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Actually, the 1976 incident in Denver WAS an isolated one. And the rules in transport of firearms in checked baggage requires that the guns be UNLOADED, with ammunition in a different container, apart from the guns. And not dumped loose in the bag, either, though a round of live ammunition NOT chambered in a gun is rather hard to set off, and wouldn't escape even a soft-side bag if it did.
 
Only a damp fool would pack a gun with a round up the spout in a checked bag - and the baggage crew would be far more at risk of falling down and hurting him/her-self when the train hit rough rack than from a discharge of even a loaded gun in a bag.
 
As far as TSA having some agenda other than the stated ne, quite likely and to be strongly condemned. TSA seems to be operated by incompetents and staffed by - words fail me for the average quality, but merely incompetent is inadequate.


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