Poll: Should CTA riders be allowed to carry gun onboard?

A top NRA lobbyist says all mass transit riders should be able to carry guns on to trains and buses, according to a Sun-Times report:

The question surfaced during a hearing Tuesday aimed at meeting a federal court demand to draw up legislation permitting Illinoisans to carry concealed weapons. A top NRA lobbyist said he won’t bend on allowing bus and train riders to arm themselves.

“I don’t believe people who need public transportation to get around should be prohibited from exercising their constitutional right,” said lobbyist Todd Vandermyde, who later questioned the contradiction of a motorist being allowed to carry a gun in their vehicle but not a mass transit customer.

“Just because one is one economic status, they get rights. But because someone has to avail themselves of public transportation, they don’t get the right to self-defense? They’re supposed to roam around defenseless? Help me understand how that works,” he asked the Sun-Times.

For the record, leaders of all the major transit agencies and the Regional Transportation Authority wrote to House Speaker Michael Madigan, calling concealed carry on mass transit a bad idea that could lead to “catastrophic” results.

What do you think? Take this quick poll and let us know.

And speaking of the CTA and safety, ABC 7 Chicago will run a segment on that very subject on its 10 p.m. Thursday newscast. They asked your CTA Tattler for his thoughts on the subject. Tune in.


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  • The criminals already are carrying guns, knives or other weapons, as are an unknown number of those that ride at night who figure that they will get away with using it if necessary to protect themselves.

  • In reply to ScooterLibbby:


  • *IF* they pass a law that says you are allowed to carry concealed weapons everywhere except public transportation, that will send the message to the bad guys that if they want to find an easy victim, they just need to hop a train.

    If concealed carry becomes the law of the land, why would the CTA be any different than State Street? Why should one be exempt and not the other. And it's not like you can take off your gun as you board the bus and then pick it up when you leave. If a woman who lives in a bad neighborhood needs to walk a few blocks to get home, why does the woman who took the CTA have less right to protect herself than the woman who get a ride in a private car?

    I'm not really in favor of the Wild West, but unless we institute weapons screening for bus riders, the bad guys are going to carry weapons on the bus. Why should the people who respect the law and ride the CTA be served up to them on shiny platters?

  • Ok Mr. Liberal, how do you propose to enforce such a ban?

  • I don't think this is so much a question of whether it should be allowed on the CTA, but in Illinois in general. The questions are linked and you can't have the former and not the latter.

  • I'm far more concerned with the crazy people who think they're Clint Eastwood whipping out their guns to shoot the smelly homeless guy than I am with criminals on the trains.

  • In reply to Cheryl:

    Then you're in luck -- concealed carry holders are about 14 times less likely to commit a crime, and 5 times less likely to commit a violent crime.

  • Because that happens in the other 49 states where people are already carrying firearms?

  • The point here is not about using or needing a firearm on CTA (although I certainly don't think it's inconceivable that a good person might need defense there)... The point is that CTA is a mode of transportation, the one and ONLY mode of transportation, for many people.

    If you ban firearms on CTA, you're effectively telling a large part of the Chicago population, those predominantly of a lower socio-economic status, that they are not allowed to defend themselves anywhere except in their home or walking distance from their home.

    Whereas those with vehicles can defend themselves anywhere.

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    Simple answer is No.

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    Good question That's a big NO that's what you pay your tax for it's already like the wild wild west you pay your money to ride CTA to be safe now is the time to make a stand this is what your alderman are in office for make them do there jobs stand tall speak out at city hall CTA raise fair every year it's time for a new rail severs to step in to Chicago or you the people can Boycott CTA,

  • Tough call. Never liked guns but I had second thoughts last night (rush hour, mind you) when the crazy guy started ranting and said if he had a gun he'd kill everyone on the train. I've lived here so long I rarely feel fear but that was something else in light of all the recent stories....

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    I'm not necessarily against being able to carry a gun. But thinking about how many crazy people I see already on the CTA....it makes me question that it's a good idea. I don't know....getting on the train when we're all smushed in like sardines knowing that maybe 50% of those people have a weapon on them...that kinda makes me uneasy. But then on the other hand maybe it would reduce the crime if some kind of law was passed and the criminals knew that people were allowed to carry guns. Or maybe that would just force them into carrying guns. This is definitely a tough call.

  • In reply to Alexandra Hollon:

    Think about it this way -- how many illegal guns are already on the train that you don't know about?

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    In reply to Alexandra Hollon:

    Average number of residents in other states that have carry permits is about 6%. The criminals are already carrying guns on the trains and buses. There is no doubt that the criminal knowing there could be someone armed on the train would be a strong deterrent to crime.
    Look up Colin Ferguson and tell me if you were on his train you wouldn't hope that someone else could stop him.

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