Guns Issues Stopping More Than D.C. Voting Rights

By Mike Tunison
|  Monday, Oct 26, 2009  |  Updated 1:46 PM EDT
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Guns Issues Stopping More Than D.C. Vote

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Back in February, an amendment that would ban local officials from regulating gun possession rights stalled the building momentum for a bill that would give the District a voting representative in the House. Since then, the bill has existed in limbo.

It's hardly the only example of a bill being held up in government because the interests of gun rights advocates are being shoehorned into proposed legislation. According to The Hill, a $68.8 billion Senate transportation spending bill has been delayed by an amendment that calls for withholidng $1.5 billion from Amtrak unless the company allows passengers to check handguns with their baggage by an April deadline.

Though the notion to allow checked guns on trains has support in both houses of Congress, Amtrak argues that it needs more time to implement security measures on par with those in airports prior to the March 31 deadline.

 "We don’t think we’ll be able to do that March 31 deadline, and, of course, finding the funding to make all of that happening," said Amtrak spokesman Steve Kulm. Failing to meet that deadline and missing out $1.5 billion in appropriated funds, its entire funding request for 2010, would bring a "cessation of train service nationwide," Amtrak Chairman Thomas Carper wrote to appropriators last month.

Per its current policy, only law enforcement officers can bring firearms onto trains.

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