NRA spokesman Arulanandam also said the bill would only restore the status quo pre 9/11, and that the firearms ban was unfair to passengers who don't travel by air. "A good example would be people who travel Amtrak and head to Florida for the winter. They will be living there for a relatively long time, and if they want to transport a lawful firearm they should have the opportunity."
Asked if it was appropriate for firearms to be barred after 9/11, Arulanandam said, "That's not a question I can answer at this point in time. That's a question that should be posed to other folks."
Arulanandam noted, however, that explosives and not guns were used in the Madrid and London terror attacks. "It is important to remember that September 11 was perpetrated by people with box cutters."
The final version of the funding bill would permit passengers to carry "an unloaded firearm or starter pistol" in a hard-sided, locked bag that would be checked at those Amtrak stations that accept checked baggage.
The bill gives Amtrak 180 days from the passage of the bill to devise "proposed guidance and procedures necessary to implement a new checked firearms program," and a year to implement the program.