Harry Houdini made a career escaping from locked boxes. So did David Copperfield and Doug Henning.
And now, add to that list Amtrak passengers packing heat in their luggage?
It may sound absurd. But President Obama signed a bill into law Wednesday that requires passengers who carry firearms aboard Amtrak be locked in boxes for their journey.
It’s a mistake in the law’s wording. But for now, the clerical error is the law of the land.
Earlier this week, Congress sent the president a massive spending bill that funded dozens of federal departments. Tucked into the transportation section of the legislation are safety requirements for Amtrak customers who carry firearms on board the government-backed train system. The bill Congress passed mandates that passengers with firearms declare they have weapons with them in advance and stow them in locked boxes while on the train.
The bill text was correct when the House approved the legislation last week. The Senate followed suit Sunday, but somewhere along the line, the language that referred to putting the guns in locked boxes morphed into stuffing “passengers” into locked boxes.
Aides to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., became aware of the problem Wednesday night as the House voted on its final slate of bills for the year. Pelosi’s staff tried to negotiate with Republican aides to see if they would agree to change the text of the bill without revoting the entire piece of legislation. But it was all for naught as Obama had already signed the measure into law.