Amtrak Allows Guns On Board

By Beth Germano, WBZ-TV

BOSTON (CBS) — Amtrak is reversing a decade-long ban to allow firearms to be brought on board some of its trains.

Starting December 15 unloaded weapons will be allowed in checked baggage aligning Amtrak’s firearms policy with the nation’s air travel.

WBZ-TV’s Beth Germano reports.

But at Boston’s South Station, the change is making some uneasy.

“It will definitely bring down the safety of trains,” said passenger Sean Daly.

Amtrak has issued strict guidelines for the weapons transport. Passengers must give 24 hours notice if they are checking a firearm. It must be in a locked, hard-sided container. Rifles and shotguns would be placed in secure cabinets. And ammunition must be stored in the original manufacturer’s container.

“If it’s checked baggage, that’s okay. That’s a fine security measure,” said one passenger.

At South Station the trains that fall under the guidelines are actually few, since only the Longshore Limited line to Chicago has checked baggage.

Unloaded weapons would not be allowed on Acela or Northeast Regional trains. But some are questioning the need on public transportation.

“Just knowing there are weapons on board. If you’re not police or military I don’t know why anyone would carry them,” said a passenger.

Many say it’s today’s climate that makes them uneasy, even with security precautions. This new policy is making them think again.

“You do see security around, but nothing is ever foolproof.”

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