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NRA-Backed Wicker Amendment Adopted By Senate

Friday, September 18, 2009

During consideration of H.R. 3288 (FY 2010 Transportation--Housing and Urban Development appropriations bill), Senator Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) offered NRA-backed Amendment 2366 to reform policies regarding the transportation of firearms on Amtrak trains.  Currently, passengers who choose to travel by passenger rail in the United States cannot transport a firearm in checked baggage as they can on airlines.

Known as the Wicker Amendment, this measure was adopted by the Senate on Wednesday, September 16, by a vote of 68-30, and would allow law-abiding Amtrak passengers the ability to securely transport firearms in their checked baggage while traveling by Amtrak train. 

Wicker offered a similar amendment to a budget resolution on April 2.  That NRA-supported amendment was adopted by the Senate by a 63-35 vote. Unfortunately, the amendment did not survive the conference committee and was not included in the final budget resolution.

“Americans should not have their Second Amendment rights restricted for any reason, particularly if they choose to travel on America's federally subsidized rail line,” said Wicker.

Wicker’s appropriations amendment would cut more than $1.5 billion in taxpayer funding to Amtrak if the railroad does not change its policy to allow passengers to securely transport firearms in checked baggage.  The policy change would also broaden gun owners’ choices in choosing how to travel, and benefit Amtrak by encouraging more business from shooters and hunters.

“Sportsmen who would like to use an Amtrak train for hunting trips cannot do so because they are not allowed to bring a firearm in checked luggage, something that is done every day at airports across our country,” Wicker said during floor debate.

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Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.