An obscure provision tucked into a transportation funding bill last year has now been interpreted as a permanent right for passengers to carry guns aboard Amtrak, the federally funded passenger train service. The Government Accountability Office earlier this month informed a senator of Mississippi that language he inserted into the 2010 transportation appropriation bill will be ongoing and not expire September 30. The language allows Amtrak passengers to have guns in their checked baggage, something not allowed since the September 11 terrorist attacks. An Amtrak spokesman said June 15 the railroad has just submitted to Congress its plan for implementing the language including tightening security, changing its reservation system so that passengers can notify Amtrak when they intend to travel with a gun, adding new signage for area where guns are stored, and implementing education programs for the public and law-enforcement agencies.

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