Soon you can pack your gun in checked baggage on Amtrak trains in the U.S.
The passenger rail line will begin to accept unloaded firearms December 15.
Amtrak changed its checked baggage policy after an act of Congress in December 2009. But not all Amtrak-served stations or trains offer checked baggage service.
If you want to travel with any firearm, you must notify Amtrak 24 hours before the train departs.
Below is a rundown of the new policy:
- Notification that the passenger will be checking firearms/ammunition must be made no later than 24 hours before train departure by calling Amtrak at 800-USA-RAIL. Online reservations for firearms/ammunition are not accepted.
- All firearms and/or ammunition must be checked at least 30 minutes prior to train departure. Some larger stations require that baggage be checked earlier.
- All firearms (rifles, shotguns, handguns, starter pistols) must be unloaded and in an approved, locked hard-sided container not exceeding 62" L x 17" W x 7" D (1575 mm x 432 mm x 178 mm). The passenger must have sole possession of the key or the combination for the lock to the container. The weight of the container may not exceed 50 lb/23 kg.
- Smaller locked, hard-sided containers containing smaller unloaded firearms such as handguns and starter pistols must be securely stored within a suitcase or other item of checked baggage, but the existence of such a firearm must be declared.
- All ammunition carried must be securely packed in the original manufacturer's container; in fiber, wood, or metal boxes; or in other packaging specifically designed to carry small amounts of ammunition. The maximum weight of all ammunition and containers may not exceed 11 lb/5 kg.
- The passenger is responsible for knowing and following all federal, state, and local firearm laws at all jurisdictions to and through which he or she will be travelling.
- All other Amtrak checked baggage policies apply, including limits on the number of pieces of checked baggage, the maximum weight of each piece (50 lb/23 kg).
- Firearms/ammunition may not be carried in carry-on baggage; therefore, checked baggage must be available on all trains and at all stations in the passenger's itinerary.
- At the time of check-in, passengers will be required to complete and sign a two-part Declaration Form.
- BB guns and Compressed Air Guns (to include paintball markers), are to be treated as firearms and must comply with the above firearms policy. Canisters, tanks, or other devices containing propellants must be emptied prior to checking and securely packaged within the contents of the passenger's luggage.
- Notice: Passengers failing to meet the above-mentioned requirements for checking firearms will be denied transportation.