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Amtrak Raises Objections to Measure Allowing Guns on Trains

Amtrak is raising serious objections to a proposal that would allow passengers to stow unloaded guns in their checked baggage, saying the train operator cannot screen passengers' bags the same way airlines do. 

The Senate passed a measure last month that would allow passengers to declare and check a weapon on the trains, something airline passengers can do now, provided the weapon is unloaded and in a hard and locked case. 

But Amtrak and some House members are against the idea. The House did not include the provision in their version of the bill approved by the Senate.

"That could jeopardize the operations of Amtrak because ... we don't have the monies to invest in the protocol necessary to guarantee that these weapons won't be used against the traveling public," said Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss. 

Amtrak Police Chief John O'Connor said it's possible the system's random bag inspections could catch someone with an illegal weapon, but that Amtrak does not even have baggage cars on every train. 

He said he does not want any weapons, checked or unchecked, on his trains. 

But supporters see the measure as way to keep Second Amendment rights from being restricted. 

Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., said it's inappropriate for Amtrak to draw the line at this proposal since the system doesn't do much screening of passengers anyway. 

"There is no screening now as there is at airports," he said. "Someone wishing to do ill could bring a firearm on a train right now." 

He said that anyone "up to no good" would probably not store their firearm in checked baggage in the first place. 

Fox News' Brian Wilson contributed to this report. 

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