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Public Statements

The Appropriations Package And Amtrak

Location: Washington D.C.

* Mr. THOMPSON of Mississippi. Madam Speaker, today, the House will consider the end of year appropriations package. In that package, is a one-page provision that risk undermining nearly a decade of rail security efforts by Amtrak. It requires Amtrak to allow passengers at stations that accept checked baggage to check their guns.

* There are those who argue that this is a reasonable provision which would simply grant rail travelers the same opportunities as aviation travelers. These people fundamentally miss the point.

* The challenges of securing rail are very different than securing aviation. Airports are controlled environments with screeners, checkpoints and multiple law enforcement agencies, rail stations are not. Airline passengers are watch listed, rail passengers are not. Guns that are checked on planes are stored away from passengers. Under this provision, guns could be ``checked'' in the same car as the passenger. This provision is bad security of policy and puts Amtrak passengers and staff and anyone else in rail stations at risk.

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