With news of Amtrak’s new firearm policy to take effect Dec. 15, The Sacramento Press wanted to get an idea of what travelers think about the decision.
First-time Amtrak traveler Tina Stephens simply doesn’t see the need for such a policy.
“I don’t see any reason why anybody would need a firearm on the train anyway,” Stephens said. “I see no need for people to carry one if the people who work for Amtrak don’t have to carry them. That just opens yourself up for a lot of problems.”
Christina Miller of Redding also has mixed feelings about the policy.
“I don’t see a problem with it, but then again the terrorist thing is kind of scary,” Miller said. “If I were a hunter and I was traveling, I would want to be able to travel with what I need to hunt. But I’m not sure how I feel about that.”
Mike Goedert of Iowa sees no problem with it.
“I guess I don’t have any problem with it as long as they separate it from the individual who brings it aboard, I guess that would be fine,” Goedert said. “It’s just like any other apparel you would bring like a knife or something that you can stick in your luggage and they let you bring that aboard, so I guess it’s allright.”
Sharon, a frequent Amtrak traveler, isn’t comfortable with the idea.
“I think it’s really unusual. I think that it will cause everyone to be searched more, and I’m not comfortable with it,” she said. “As a frequent traveler, I have wondered why we haven’t had more awareness of baggage, and I think that this could cause a big problem.”
On the other hand, Spencer Schilling, 23, is just starting to travel on Amtrak a lot and approves of the policy as long as it’s done right.
“It sounds fine to me as long as they’re authorized to have the gun in the first place,” Schilling said. “As long as they’re legally allowed to and it’s locked on-board, then it’s fine with me.”
Sacramentan Annie Lee said she thinks it sounds OK in theory, but could be dangerous in practice.
“I just think that if they’re going to be vigilant about checking it, and they’re going to make sure that the arms are going to be locked, then that should be OK,” Lee said. “My only concern is then other people may try to abuse this law and take it further. Once you open the door to allow firearms, people may start to allow firearms on that are not locked or unloaded. There’s always going to be loopholes people are going to try to get in between.”
Margarita Garcia, however, said she doesn’t think the new policy is a good idea under any circumstance.
“I don’t think its a good idea because there’s a lot of kids, and even if they’re locked away and stuff, you never know. There’s a lot of crazy people out there, and you just never know.”
What do you think about Amtrak’s new policy?