After all the howling earlier this week over at the New York Times Editorial Board about Senate passage of the Wicker Amendment, its refreshing to learn that the Board of Directors of the Virginia Rail Express (VRE) voted yesterday to let train riders carry guns. While the Wicker Amendment passed by the Senate this week requires AMTRAK to let train riders check their unloaded guns in cases onto trains as is done by the airlines, the VRE Board passed a resolution just two days later (September 18, 2009) to let riders carry loaded guns.
The new official policy just conforms VRE regulations to Virginia law which is like that of most states, requiring a permit to conceal handguns, and requiring that those open carrying handguns be at least 18 years of age (no permit required). But citizen carry of loaded guns on trains in the DC Metro areas is not really new news.
The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA, pronounced "wamata) has consistently confirmed that WMATA only enforces state or DC gun laws on its trains, so in Virginia the train carry rules are as stated above, and in Maryland, one needs a carry permit for both open and concealed carry. And in fact, almost every state follows either Virginia or Maryland style carry laws on trains. [formatting and links omitted] ...