Amtrak's recent announcement that it would allow passengers to bring unloaded guns on trains that offered checked baggage service must have struck many in the traveling public as odd.
After all, the announcement comes soon after another federal agency began conducting full-body scans and intrusive pat-down searches at many of the nation's airports.
Pushed by the National Rifle Association, the new Amtrak gun rules match those already in place for airliners. They allow unloaded guns packed in hard-sided containers to be stored in lockers.
Train passengers planning to check their guns must give Amtrak 24-hour notice. For law-abiding travelers who want to transport their guns legally, the new rules are fair and reasonable, but let's be real here – they are no deterrent to determined criminals.
Millions of riders board trains and subways loaded with bags and backpacks. They don't pass through metal detectors and are not subject to pat-down searches or bomb-sniffing dogs.
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