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Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Firearms Allowed on Virginia Rail Express

The Fredericksburg Free Lance Star reported Saturday that the Board of the the Virginia Railway Express (VRE) overturned a policy that banned passengers from carrying firearms on the sytem's trains. Passengers that desire to do so will now be allowed to openly carry firearms on VRE trains in Virginia. Concealed firearms will also be allowed for those with a permit to do so. The change in policy was required by state law.

"People can carry firearms, therefore you can carry them on the train," said Dale Zehner, VRE's chief executive officer.

However, Virginia law does not apply once VRE trains cross the Potomac River into Washington. For those not familiar with the VRE, it is the commuter rail system that transports Virginians who work in points north of Fredericksburg as well as Manassas.

In typical fashion for an elected official of the peoples republic of Arlington, Operations Board Chairman Chris Zimmerman, who is also an Arlington County supervisor, did not particularly like the decision.

"I think encouraging people to bring guns onto loaded trains is a stupid idea," Zimmerman said.

To his credit, Stafford County Supervisor and Operations Board Vice Chairman Paul Milde said he disagreed with Zimmerman "100 percent on this."

As Supervisor Milde pointed out, concealed carry permit holders are some of the most law abiding people in the nation and there have been no incidents of law abiding gun owners who choose to open carry having committed any crimes while carrying.

Gun owners riding on the VRE need to be aware that once the train heads north across the Potomac River, DC law takes affect.

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