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Pro-Gun Group: Senator Shows ‘Bigotry’ by Opposing Firearms on Amtrak

Thirty Democratic senators voted against yesterday's successful GOP bid to allow guns and ammunition in checked baggage on Amtrak -- but only one of the 30 is on the receiving end of a strongly worded attack today by gun-rights advocates.

2922934877_7c2c3db625.jpgSen. Patty Murray (D-WA) (Photo: Seattle Transit Blog)

The Citizens' Committee to Keep and Bear Arms (CCKBA), a pro-gun group founded 38 years ago and now headquartered in Washington state, accused its home-state senator Patty Murray (D) of "bigotry" for opposing the Amtrak amendment offered by Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS).

CCKBA chairman Alan Gottlieb said in his statement:

Patty Murray evidently has a short memory span. Has she already forgotten what happened to her friend, SeattleMayor Greg Nickels, in the primary because of his extremist anti-gunphilosophy? Surely she knows about Tuesday's primary election results in NewYork City, where anti-gunner Richard Aborn came in last in a three-way racefor Manhattan prosecutor by running on his gun control record. ...

Amtrak has been losing money for years. Maybe it's because American gun owners won't travel with a carrier that treats them likeoutcasts. Maybe gun owners will return that sentiment when Murray runs forre-election next year.

The Washington state connection is not the only reason for Murray to attract the CCKBA's ire. The senator chairs the panel that crafted the 2010 U.S. DOT spending bill which now contains the guns-on-Amtrak provision, meaning that she could potentially pull it during conference talks with the House later this year.

And with Amtrak pleading for more "time and funding to properly address" the new gun-carrying requirement, there seems to be a sufficient rationale for removing Wicker's amendment from the final version of the bill.

Pro-gun advocates such as Gottlieb argued yesterday that since airlines are already required to transport guns that are unloaded and locked in checked baggage, but Amtrak chairman Thomas Carper pointed out yesterday that his train system has more easily accessible baggage storage and currently lacks a uniform system for bag screening.

The final decision on the amendment does not rest with Murray alone; still, the CCKBA's approach to the senator, who remains popular in her home state despite a recent approval-ratings dip, has the potential to backfire.

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