Amtrak Classifies Paintball Markers as Firearms in U.S

As of tomorrow the 15th December U.S Railroad operator Amtrak allows unloaded firearms¬† to be transported on train if pre checked and given at least 24h notice to Amtrak before departure. Requiring firearms to be transported in locked hard-boxes and pre checked sounds reasonable but now both paintball markers and airsoft markers get the same treatment and classification. Sure Amtrak doesn’t have luggage checks when you board so you can carry your gear if you want but what happens if an official decides to check your bag and follow the issue to the letter?

Once again we see how paintball equipment gets thrown in the same bunch as firearms. Even if Amtrak won’t pursue its customers with paintball markers its something that can easily carry ow-er to other similar circumstances and regulations.

You can find full Amtrak press release here or keep reading below.


  • Notification that the passenger will be checking firearms/ammunition must be made no later than 24 hours before train departure by calling Amtrak at 800-USA-RAIL. Online reservations for firearms/ammunition are not accepted.
  • All firearms and/or ammunition must be checked at least 30 minutes prior to train departure. Some larger stations require that baggage be checked earlier.
  • All firearms (rifles, shotguns, handguns, starter pistols) must be unloaded and in an approved, locked hard-sided container not exceeding 62″ L x 17″ W x 7″ D (1575 mm x 432 mm x 178 mm). The passenger must have sole possession of the key or the combination for the lock to the container. The weight of the container may not exceed 50 lb/23 kg.
  • Smaller locked, hard-sided containers containing smaller unloaded firearms such as handguns and starter pistols must be securely stored within a suitcase or other item of checked baggage, but the existence of such a firearm must be declared.
  • All ammunition carried must be securely packed in the original manufacturer’s container; in fiber, wood, or metal boxes; or in other packaging specifically designed to carry small amounts of ammunition. The maximum weight of all ammunition and containers may not exceed 11 lb/5 kg.
  • The passenger is responsible for knowing and following all federal, state, and local firearm laws at all jurisdictions to and through which he or she will be travelling.
  • All other Amtrak checked baggage policies apply, including limits on the number of pieces of checked baggage, the maximum weight of each piece (50 lb/23 kg).
  • Firearms/ammunition may not be carried in carry-on baggage; therefore, checked baggage must be available on all trains and at all stations in the passenger’s itinerary.
  • At the time of check-in, passengers will be required to complete and sign a two-part Declaration Form.
  • BB guns and Compressed Air Guns (to include paintball markers), are to be treated as firearms and must comply with the above firearms policy. Canisters, tanks, or other devices containing propellants must be emptied prior to checking and securely packaged within the contents of the passenger’s luggage.
  • Notice: Passengers failing to meet the above-mentioned requirements for checking firearms will be denied transportation.

Comments 2

  1. I don’t think it’s all that bad considering that previously there was a complete ban on firearms. I’m quite sure that this will actually be helpful for the individual player traveling by train, as now there is a set and specified way of handling markers. I can well imagine the hassle of explaining the difference between a PB marker and a firearm when the ban was in place. Even though being officially in the same category as actual guns is not desirable in the broad perspective, this ruling may actually make life easier for the baller on the platform.

  2. It may actually help… but It would’ve been more helpful if AmTrak had thought this once and once again. We can carry our stuff easily around the globe by planes and no one wants to know beforehand if we are or are not getting on the plane with our gear. Ok, air travel requires us to keep our guns and tanks in the cargo hold and we have no access to that stuff during the flight.. but still. Are paintball guns and paintball players really a problem or even a pitfall at US railroads? Doubt it big time.

    In Finland we still get to travel with our markers and there is no fuss around them if we somehow decide to travel by train. Ok, the costs of traveling that easy are the facts that you’re NEVER on time and and roundtrip from Helsinki to Oulu and back by train costs more than flights from Helsinki to London and back. Go VR (= the traincompany in Finland), go!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.