**Guns soon could be checked in on Amtrak **
December 9, 2009
By S.A. Miller
Gun-toting Amtrak passengers are one giant step closer to being allowed to travel with firearms in their checked luggage, as lawmakers included a measure to lift a railroad gun ban in a catch-all spending bill for fiscal 2010.
The omnibus spending bill, which combines six annual appropriations bills for the fiscal year that began Oct. 1, is considered must-pass legislation, and that makes the new Amtrak gun rule as close to a sure bet as there is on Capitol Hill.
Travelers with firearms have long faced disparate treatment on trains and airplanes. Airline passengers can transport firearms in checked baggage, but Amtrak currently prohibits guns anywhere on its trains.
This is an important victory for sportsmen and gun owners across the country, and it affirms congressional support of the Second Amendment, said Sen. Roger Wicker, Mississippi Republican, whose earlier efforts to lift the Amtrak gun ban paved the way for the measure’s inclusion in the year-end spending bill.
Airline passengers in our country are allowed to transport firearms in secure, checked baggage when declared during the check-in process," Mr. Wicker said. "Law-abiding gun owners who choose to travel on Americans taxpayer-subsidized rail line should be given the same right…