Amtrak--Permanence of the 2010 Consolidated Appropriations Act Provision on Firearm Storage and Carriage on Trains
B-319414: Jun 9, 2010
A provision in the 2010 Consolidated Appropriations Act requiring Amtrak to develop and implement a checked firearms program for travelers on Amtrak trains is permanent law. Provisions in appropriations acts are presumed effective only for the covered fiscal year unless Congress makes clear that they are permanent. Here, the provision contains prospective language that indicates Congress intended the provision to be effective beyond the end of the fiscal year. Other factors indicating congressional intent that the provision be permanent include the fact that the provision is of a general nature, bearing no relation to the object of the appropriation; the provision is not a restriction on the use of appropriations but rather a substantive provision standing alone; considering the provision not permanent would render it ineffective and produce an absurd result; and the codifiers included the provision in the United States Code.