Interstate Trucker Gun – CVA Optima V2 .50 Cal. Pistol

by Guy Sagi on March 24, 2013

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CVA Optima

Although designed for primitive-weapons hunting seasons, the Optima V2 may be gaining favor with long-haul truckers.

By Guy J. Sagi

CVA
www.cva.com

The cargo hijacked from tractor trailers each year in the U.S. is valued at more than ½ billion dollars, and the encounters are often violent. Carrying a gun over state lines, especially loaded and ready for action, is a tricky legal problem. In some states and municipalities it is a felony just to possess a loaded firearm in the driver compartment of your vehicle. The old adage, “I’d rather be judged by twelve than carried by six,” may sound great, and you may believe it from your armchair, but on the road in the middle of nowhere, including nowhereland inner cities, the choice may mean life and death, or loss of liberty and livelihood.

One approach, which we discussed in an article called “A Handgun When you Can’t Own a Handgun,” is to carry some sort of non-cartridge black powder firearm. Our focus in the article was the 1858 Remington revolver, but recent booming sales of this CVA Optima V2 we were recently able to test has a lot of people wondering if this little dandy has become a favorite for over the road truckers who want to protect themselves by whatever legal means possible. A muzzleloader doesn’t fall under the Federal definition of a firearm, but beware that in many states an municipalities a non-cartridge firearm is thought of the same way as a cartridge gun. In Las Vegas for example, the law intentionally includes anything capable of launching a “projectile.” New York state specifically addresses non-cartridge firearms, and in Michigan there is no difference between a cartridge and non-cartridge firearm. You even have to buy black powder guns from a gun dealer there. Don’t fool yourself into thinking that you are getting one over on the anti-gun politicians. Before you decide to carry a black powder firearm as your only “legal” option, make sure it is legal.

CVA Optima

Overall length of the Optima is 18 1/4 inches and it tips the scales at 3.7 pounds.

The CVA Optima V2 .50 Cal. Pistol would be pretty hard to deploy from concealment in a car, at 18¼ inches long, 5 7/8 inches tall and 1 3/8 inches wide. Thankfully, truck cabs are a little more generous in regard to space and the 14-inch stainless steel barrel allows it to blend nicely with tire iron collections. It’s also heavy, at 3.7 pounds, sans optic, powder and bullet, so it may not be the right gun for those slight of build.

CVA makes some of the most accurate muzzleloaders on the planet, as we’ve seen before. It starts with that Bergara-made barrel. Bergara begins its manufacturing process by first inspecting and straightening each of the steel cylinders that will become a barrel. Not every company subscribes to this step. If a deviation of .004 inch or more is detected the blank is rejected or straightened. Then the barrel is drilled and honed. The interior has a mirror-like finish after this process, thanks to the diamond-tipped bits that leave no machine marks. A carbide bit now passes through the barrel, which produces the rifling (so-called button rifling) needed to stabilize bullets. The entire process can slightly alter the barrel at the molecular level, which can compromise accuracy. The last step in the Bergara barrel-making process addresses that concern by reheating the barrel to relieve stress. The 14-inch barrel in the Optima has a rifling rate of 1 twist in 28 inches and the Spanish company has a well-earned reputation for producing some of the finest barrels available today.

CVA Optima

The Palm Saver was greatly appreciated during range sessions and it’s shaped so that after being threaded on the ramrod it will not come loose.

This is a thick gun, .816 inch at the muzzle and .997 inch at the back. CVA uses fluting to reduce a little weight, and it’s not overstated with four of the six grooves measuring 5¼ inches in length. The relatively hidden pair underneath are shorter, only 1¾ inches long.

A Bullet Guiding Muzzle helps ease loading chores on CVA muzzleloaders by effectively holding the bullet fully upright during initial ramrod operation with something of a “throat” for the bullet. This keeps it straight at the start of seating, so as you apply heavier pressure the bullet doesn’t get cockeyed. If you’ve ever started to apply pressure to a bullet on a muzzleloader and had it teeter off center, you know well the frustration this system helps avoid.

CVA Optima

This brass rod must be attached to the ramrod for loading the Optima.

The throat is a great idea someone should have figured out a long time ago. CVA stops the barrel’s rifling slightly before it reaches the muzzle end. But, the hole at the muzzle is .520 inch wide, and the smooth sides for the ¼ inch before rifling begins allow the bullet to remain secure until a ramrod is applied.

The Optima has a 4¾ inch DuraSight Z-2 Scope Rail atop its receiver, but eye relief forced the Leupold VX-1 2-7×33 mm mounted for testing as far rearward as it could go. The gun is tapped for iron sights and the rail can be removed by backing out six hex screws.

To fire the gun, the hammer must be cocked. Unfortunately, magnified optics have a habit of getting in the way. The Optima’s extended hammer spur remedies the problem by providing an additional .45 inch of slightly offset gripping surface. The grooved, .284-inch diameter extension ensures purchase in wet or cold conditions and left handers can change the spur to the other side of the hammer.

CVA Optima

One three-shot group at 50 yards with one 50-grain pellet of Hodgdon Triple 7 produced a 1.5 inch group.

Triggers on CVA muzzleloaders are always a pleasure. This one had a let-off weight of 2.5 pounds, it was consistent, had no creep and if there was any takeup it was nearly impossible to detect. Many hunting firearms shun triggers this light to avoid accidental discharges, and for good reason. When afield, things are dropped, branches are brushed and feeling can disappear from wintertime fingers. CVA takes advantage of this muzzleloader’s type of operation to provide the kind of trigger shooters dream about.

If you have used muzzleloaders before, you’ll have an instant appreciation of CVA’s Quick Release Breech Plug. The grooved plug is nearly one inch in diameter on the outside and it provides a grip solid enough that no tools are required for removal. In testing it was a breeze to use.

CVA Optima

The rail works well and attaching the Leupold was a breeze with the QD mounts.

Operation of the Optima is pretty much standard for an in-line muzzleloader. Always make sure the barrel is clear of any obstructions before loading. To do so, you must first open the action.

With the gun pointed in a safe direction, and while keeping your finger off the trigger, grab the pistol by the grip. Wrap your index finger on the spur or extension that comes down from the triggerguard and squeeze. Now with your other hand, grab the barrel away from the muzzle and you will be able to rotate the action open. The barrel will go down relative to the grip.

Unscrew the breech plug and look down the barrel from the back. Make sure there is nothing inside and that it is clean before proceeding. If there is an obstruction, use the ramrod to remove it.

CVA Optima

The Bullet Guiding Muzzle holds the bullet in place nicely before the ramrod is applied.

Replace the breech plug, close the gun and you’re ready to load. The Optima V-2 can use up to 100 grains of blackpowder or blackpowder substitute. The minimum recommended load is 50 grains. Never use smokeless powder. Before beginning the loading process, remove the ramrod from underneath the barrel.

If you are using granulated powder, carefully measure your charge in a separate container or flask. Then pour it into the barrel from the muzzle end. If you are using pellets, insert the right number of pellets. For testing we used Hodgdon Triple Seven pellets.

CVA Optima

The hammer spur ensures the hammer can be cocked, even when a magnified optic is aboard.

Now take your bullet and insert it into the muzzle. It will sit nicely in the Bullet Guiding Muzzle while you get your ramrod. If you have not done so already, assemble the ramrod with the brass extension provided with the Optima V2. Without it, you will not be able to fully seat the bullet and charge, which can also create a dangerous situation.

CVA’s polymer Palm Saver is an ingenious device that will save you tons of discomfort as you load. Thread it onto the longer piece of the ramrod and you’re ready to push your charge firmly to the bottom of the barrel. The Palm Saver’s shape allows it to ride with the gun and not come off, so feel free to leave it on.

CVA Optima

The Optima’s frame is beefy enough for years or rugged service and the gun comes with a lifetime warranty.

Then use the ramrod to force the bullet down the barrel and ultimately atop the charge (the blackpowder or blackpowder substitute). A bullet starter helps, but isn’t really necessary on a gun this short. It’s also a good idea to mark the ramrod at the muzzle once you’ve successfully loaded to ensure it reaches the same mark every time you load. Muzzleloaders get dirty fast and it’s easy to think the bullet is all the way down when it is not. The bullet must be resting against the charge each and every time the gun is shot.

CVA Optima

With two 50-grain Hodgdon Triple 7 pellets, groups at 50 yards widened considerably.

The last step is to open the handgun and insert a 209 primer into the breech plug. Close the gun and you’re ready to fire. There are no safeties on this gun, except the most important one (between your ears), so don’t cock the hammer until you’re ready to fire and always keep the gun pointed in a safe direction.

CVA Optima

Field stripping the Optima is easy and only requires the removal of a screw below the fore-end.

For testing Remington Kleanbore 209 primers were used and PowerBelt 245-grain AeroTip bullets. The scope set at two power magnification. The RCBS AmmoMaster Chronograph measured the bullets with one, 50-grain Triple 7 pellet at a five-shot average of 893 fps. That load was a downright pleasure to shoot and one of the three-shot groups at 50 yards managed to measure 1.5 inches. Average for all four, three-shot groups was 1.9 inches from a sandbagged rest, though.

CVA Omega

The hammer spur can be changed to the other side for left-handed use.

Things changed with two Triple 7 pellets. Despite using the same setup, average group size rose to slightly more than four inches and the best measured 3½. The first two shots would be close, then the third would wander for no reason. The same was true with the 1.5 inch group with the reduced charge. The scope appeared firmly anchored after testing, ruling out one possible culprit. Barrel heating didn’t seem to be a problem on the 57 degree testing day, either. Velocity was a scalding 1,537 fps with two pellets. As the gun was set up, it was heavy enough that the off-hand shots taken weren’t painful with the increased charge size, although muzzle rise is significant. But, you’re not going to be taking a fast follow-up with this rig.

CVA Optima

Rate of rifling on the Optima is 1 twist in 28 inches.

No tools were required to remove the breech plug, despite a long range session and the fact this gun gets dirty, fast. All muzzleloaders run dirty, and cleaning them right after shooting is critical.

That dirt also reinforced the importance of marking the ramrod so you know when the bullet is fully back on top of the powder. We didn’t mark it because this is a test gun, and when one of them was not flush against the powder, it acted like a hangfire. The primer went off when the hammer struck, but it seemed like a second or longer before the powder ignited and the bullet exited the gun. Fouling in the barrel may convince you the bullet is all the way back, but it may not be. Scrubbings between each shot remedies the problem (more aggressive scrubbings in our case) and if you suffer a similar fate, remember to keep the gun pointed in a safe direction.

CVA Optima

Trigger let-off weight is 2.5 pounds.

Where legal, the Optima V2 would be a wonderful option for primitive-weapons hunting seasons. It would take two pellets of Triple 7 to humanely drop big game, but with some range time and experimenting with different bullets and maybe changing powder, groups are bound to shrink. It is a Bergara barrel, after all.

Is the Optima V2 at $348.95 a better self-defense choice for long haul truckers than cap-and-ball revolvers, which offer you six fast shots and the ability to carry extra cylinders? Probably not, but if you’re heading afield this year for big game and want an added challenge, it does have performance good enough to fill the freezer.

CVA Optima

To remove the rail, if wanted, simply back out six hex screws.

{ 100 comments… read them below or add one }

Ming Bucibei March 25, 2013 at 4:07 am

cabela’s had / has a howdah dbl bbl caplock pistol in a large cal (20 ga) aprox $650 IK-216598, a shoulder stock can be ordered too

Ming Bucibei

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joan lawson December 23, 2013 at 6:24 pm

They can be had in .50/.50, .50/20, 20/20 or in .54/54.
My hubby begged me to get him the dbl .54 and he got one.
Then I told him I had read an article about the 1805 Harpers Ferry pistol.
In the article it made mention that some town watchmen would carry two, loaded with buckshot.
This gave them the equivalent of two sawed off single barrel shotguns, that could be pointed in two directions at once. Great for unruly late night crowds.
I didn’t want an HF….due to it being a flintlock.
I found a Pedersoli .54 for $400.00….then found the Lyman great Plains pistol in .54 for 295.00.
NOW….these aren’t defense guns per se, they are carry pistols for muzzle loading season, but if someone lived in a modern gun unfriendly area, two .54 barrels full of buckshot over 60 grains of BP (either in double configuration or two singles) would be a lot better than nothing.

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Dave March 25, 2013 at 4:22 am

What the heck is a weapon with one shot worth to anybody as a self defense firearm?

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Pasquale Cosenza March 25, 2013 at 10:03 am

It’s better than nothing, plus, it can be loaded with shot instead of a single projectile. That would approximate a 20ga shotgun pistol.
I’d rather have one shot than no shot.

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Carl March 25, 2013 at 10:44 am

I agree with you Dave!

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Jim Cosenza March 25, 2013 at 3:10 pm

Greetings Pasquale, from another Cosenza. These CVAs are nice guns for a good price(although it has gone up). I’ve sold quite a few of them at my old job, and the customers often came back and told me how nice they shot.

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mike March 25, 2013 at 8:39 pm

adapting my holster to hold six of these

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Myron T Babler March 28, 2013 at 1:02 am

Well you climb up on the side of my truck with both hands as I lower my pistol to your face and lets see what you think the value really is.

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David P. April 2, 2013 at 8:55 am

Dave, as a over the road trucker, I can tell you that most of your problems happen while your parked in truck stops,orwhile waiting to unload on some back street.The driver will be ,more often than not ,sleeping in both cases.if he does have to defend him or herself ,it will probably be point blank as bad guy comes through the cab door and driver comes from the sleeper between the seats.1 shot of .50 would be a lot better than nothing and more than enough for the job if a hit is scored.If more than one and they have guns c if they will let you grab a few personal things ad you throw them the keys.Its not your freight don’t die for it cause it darn sure won’t die for you

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Dave March 25, 2013 at 4:22 am

What the heck is a weapon with one shot worth to anybody as a self defense firearm?

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NakedHombre March 25, 2013 at 3:56 pm

I agree exactly. 1/2″ diameter is not defined as “firepower” ! Will more likely get you killed by a crew bent on jacking your truck. An M16 with a hundred round drum might settle the challenge. Get real. A weapon of opportuniy may preserve your life so that you are fortunate to be judged by the six. With one shot, legal or no, the point is moot, don’t you think?

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joan lawson December 23, 2013 at 6:45 pm

Real smooth rambo….
If you’re caught with an AR in 20 states you’re going to jail immediately.
Even if you’re in a RED state like Texas…..if you get a blue cop in a blue bastion city (Houston, San Antonio etc….Dallas) you’re going downtown.
It happens every day.
Save the macho talk for your group of teeny klingons. Everyone here knows better.

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Jay W March 25, 2013 at 4:36 am

Is that an Optima V2 in your pocket or are you just glad to see me?

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maureen winthal March 25, 2013 at 4:59 am

Cva optima. Price please

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Ron March 25, 2013 at 5:07 am

Hey Ron check this out! Jim

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David Kachel March 25, 2013 at 5:28 am

Possibly the most absurd suggestion I have ever heard in my lifetime!

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Dr.DL March 25, 2013 at 7:04 am

If you did a study you would find out it is Not against the law to carry concealed in a commercial tracktor trailer if you have a CPL / concealed pistol licence.In most cases it is “the companies” that don’t allow guns on trucks not the states them self’s.Theirs is only three states that I know of that don’t allow a CPL holder to carry in any case truck or car.You can check with U.S.C.C.A web site and handgunlaws.us.My self I’d rather get caught with it than caught with out it when it’s going to be you or the criminal that is going to try to take your life.

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Myron T Babler March 28, 2013 at 1:07 am

It is not the law of the individual states that is the problem Federal DOT are the ones who have the problem with us truckers being armed, but I am from Texas and everyone knows Texans carry guns.

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Jay W December 24, 2013 at 4:38 am

I’ve researched the FMCSA and I find nothing prohibiting firearms in CMV’s. Got a link?

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Diego March 25, 2013 at 7:18 am

as beautiful as this piece is no trucker with maybe five or less guys trying to jack his load has time to load this. This situation calls for a semi auto or S&W 500 with speed clips. This is strictly a hunting gun. Sorry.

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Allan March 25, 2013 at 9:13 am

Most times when you takeout the leader the rest run. The Dr. Is correct since most trucks have a sleeper birth they are considered your place of residence and fall under different laws than normal passenger cars and trucks.

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David Pittelli March 25, 2013 at 12:17 pm

Yes, anyone would rather have 17 rounds of 9mm. But that’s rarely going to be legal. If I were going to go this route (i.e., a muzzle-loader in a long-haul truck), I’d want a double-barrel shotgun or pistol.

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Myron T Babler March 28, 2013 at 1:15 am

Not me I like my Moss-burg Maverick 12 gauge with 00 buck, she sleeps nicely when I have 45,000 lbs of black angus beef in the box behind my cab.

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Cap Jack March 25, 2013 at 8:40 am

Just bought a black powder pistol last year in Michagan. There was no registration at all. Unless they just changed the law you may want to fact check your arrival.

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Administrator March 25, 2013 at 9:54 am

You bought it in a gunshop. There is no 4473 but you can’t ship it to your door.

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J Leslie Sr March 25, 2013 at 8:42 am

maureen winthal;
Simplest way to find out an objects price is to do a search on it…copy and paste into your search engine—”CVA Optima V2 .50 Cal. Pistol”. There are two versions, Stainless Steel/Black, & Stainless Steel / Realtree Xtra Green.
http://www.cva.com/Muzzleloading-Products.php?shop=Blackpowder%20Pistols

Dave;
Would you care to be first to feel a large bore cannon ball in the chest? I’m pretty certain they would be jumping in line to check it out! Besides, I think I would carry two pistols. And instead of a solid round, I think Buck Shot or Grape Shot would be a better choice of loads to carry.

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Gun Hoarder March 25, 2013 at 8:49 am

Heck, these boys is breakin’ in the back of my trailer! Let me put the phone down while I load the black powder, put in the ball and work the ramroad. (2 minutes later)…Well, there’s 3 of them and I only got one shot, but this is a .50 cal! BOOM!
Did you get ‘em?
Heck, I don’t know, can’t see nothing through this smoke!

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JL March 25, 2013 at 2:16 pm

And I suppose you keep your revolver cylinders and your auto clips unloaded as well so you have to take the time to load them also? If I was a hijacker and knew you kept unloaded guns in your truck or home, you’d be my first target! If my muzzle loader was for my personal protection, it WOULD be loaded with Grape Shot or Buck Shot, the more crap down the barrel, the better! And if you’re one of the crooks, and you want to be first in line to take the load, the more power to you! I haven’t heard of very many brave crooks out there who are waiting in line to take a .50 cal. ball or a pile of shot in the chest or stomach for their comrades, have you?

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Monica May 8, 2013 at 10:35 pm

My exact thoughts as I read the article.

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concho March 25, 2013 at 8:58 am

Fine gun , I ‘ll bet the Robbers ,Hijackers, will be gambling for that gun and the winner will place it on his mantle ! Poor trucker will have one shot and the 1/2 dozen bandits have 36 or more ? Trucker 0 bandits 35
NOT Good Odds !

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Bob Fairlane March 25, 2013 at 12:57 pm

Your odds are never good if you drive a truck for a living, but there are plenty of times that a single shot rifle or similar would be quite a formidable weapon, such as when someone tries to break in your cab while you’re sleeping in it. Even if it’s a hockey stick after the first shot, a hockey stick hurts a lot more to a robber with a hole in his belly.

Plus, if a trend begins that truckers push to own even rudimentary weapons like muzzle-loaders, maybe they will continue to press forward until they regain more rights!

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JL March 25, 2013 at 2:31 pm

And you would have better odds with a revolver or auto pistol? Not very much, I don’t think. But I’m like you, the more firepower, the better. But, have you ever seen what grapeshot or buckshot will do to someone? We had buckshot rounds for our M79′s in Nam, 9 Double Ought balls in the shell! Tear you up pretty good! Hit someone with that and it takes the fight out of everyone else, they just want out of there! Grapeshot or buckshot out of a blackpowder pistol will wipe out a fair size mob of hijackers! The main point is that the Black Powder Muzzle Loader IS LEGAL in many states, where a regular Pistol or Revolver IS NOT! Texas, it was legal to carry a pistol across THREE COUNTIES if you are carrying cash, the laws may have changed since i left there in April 2001.

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mr alaska March 25, 2013 at 8:59 am

Its engrained in the US Constitution. The 2nd amendment. Federal law…out trumps any city, state, county law….everywhere. Screw Mayor Jewburg…”Life member” of the milk taxpayers of America Club :Diane Finkenstein. they are wannabe tyrant’s, greedy control freaks, they are trying to rebuild USA into what “THEY” want. I will always have a means to protect myself & loved one’s, easier to hide a weapon, than jump thru ill-legal hoops. Civil war is on the horizon, It is YOUR DUTY as a semi-free American,…retake the country back from the greedy, tax $$$ milking tyrants. Enough is enough. I for one, WILL NOT COMPLY! I obey ONLY the United States of America -Constitution.

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James F.MxcNally March 25, 2013 at 10:21 am

Heymen Im with you. I served my county for these freedooms and no mayor or senator is going to take them away. I drove a truck from coast to coast and border to border never lost a load to any one.

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Kenny March 25, 2013 at 11:03 am

Amen! Those who served took an oath we swore to defend the constitution against all enemies both foreign and DOMESTIC.

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CRaisanen March 25, 2013 at 1:36 pm

I agree 100% All these crooked politicians need to take a step back, and re-read the Constitution, and we as Americans should take pride and honor in defending the Constitution against all enemies Foreign and Domestic. We all now that O’bummer could care less about our Constitutional Rights, but like Mr Alaska said, “a Civil War is on the horizon”. The first stop should be the White House, and do a little cleaning up.

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Richard Seigle December 24, 2013 at 7:04 am

Mayor of Jewburg? How is anyone going to listen to you for more than twenty seconds before they realize that you’re an idiot? Shalom.

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Ken Brewer March 25, 2013 at 9:09 am

Dr. DL:
It is legal to carry in a vehicle in Texas without any license, but not in most states. Laws vary so much from state to state that I can’t see how you can even think of generalizing as you did. The only way to know is to check the laws in the states in which you intend to travel, and that can be done online.

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Michael March 25, 2013 at 9:15 am

A Silly Idea! A cap lock revolver (or several of them) is a much better option now as it was in the 1800s. And yes, federally a cap lock revolver has not legal prohibition but it does in several states.

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BigC March 25, 2013 at 9:17 am

You need a double barreled version of this; if you get hijacked, just roll down the window and fire both barrels into the air…………yeah, that’s the ticket!

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bulldog2221 March 25, 2013 at 2:00 pm

Or follow Biden’s advice. If you suspect that miscreants are in the neighborhood, fire both barrels through your door or maybe your windshield. Don’t forget to also brandish a ballpoint pen and scissors…

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Monica May 8, 2013 at 10:46 pm

Don’t forget to pee your pants so the seat is all icky, and then they won’t want to hijack your truck.

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independentrealist March 25, 2013 at 9:25 am

I would recommend a fake gun or something that looks like a semi auto or revolver, point it and warn the attackers etc.

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James F.MxcNally March 25, 2013 at 10:24 am

Let me know when you do that and ill send flowers.

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Kenny March 25, 2013 at 10:59 am

Congratulations, you win the contest for THE WORST IDEA EVER. Seriously fake guns get people shot.

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CRaisanen March 25, 2013 at 1:40 pm

Never pull out and point a weapon at something you don’t intend to shoot. I hope for your sake that you never get robbed, or decide to rob someone, because like James said, ” I’ll send flowers”. I don’t think you should make comments any more, because I think people may actually get dumber from reading your comments.

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T. Jefferson March 25, 2013 at 9:26 am

Pick up a Navy model cap and ball black powder pistol. You get 6 shots in .36 or .44 cal and you can get extra cylinders for a quick reload.

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masonxhamilton March 25, 2013 at 3:32 pm

You better be reloading it daily or use wax coated cylinder, or you’ll likely to have damp powder, misfires, and a corroded cylinder. There’s also the delightful experience of black powder revolvers chain firing all the cylinders at once – you can entertain your opponents, too and if you survive the chain firing, there should be enough smoke to escape in. There are very good reasons that smokeless and non-corroding propellents replaced black powder and that no one goes to war with non-cartridge firearms anymore. The whole concept of single shot defense weapon is absurd, as is this article. And, no it isn’t necessarily worse than nothing. The probability of getting shot by hijackers is infinitely higher if you only take one shot at them – hit or miss, it’s going to piss off the the armed survivors.

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Administrator March 25, 2013 at 3:33 pm

Not true you are speaking from ignorance.

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Mark N. March 25, 2013 at 5:23 pm

Not true. General Lee’s colt Navy was fired seven years after the Civil War–and all cylinders fired. Black powder is not hydrophyllic–one it dries out it will fire if you happen to get it wet. I use wonder wads between the balls and the powder and have never had a chaon fire. I have read, and I think the theory is correct, that most chain fires are caused by loose caps, not unsealed chambers, particualrly when someone “ovals” the cap to make it fit tight. If you have to bend it, it’s the wrong size. I cleaned by bedroom pistol yesterday–the only corrosion was a little green on the caps, which won’t stop them from firing.

Check your state laws as to what is legal. California (if you happen to live in the right county) will issue CCWs, but they are not issued to nonresidents and California does not recognize ANY out of state license. A cap and ball firearm is a “firearm”, but is not deemed “loaded” unless it has a ball and pwoder AND a cap. You can buy without a 4473 and have it delivered to your door. It is a crime for a felon to posses one. California DOES allow you to carry firearms in the passenger compartment as long as they are unloaded and in a locked “container” of some sort, e.g. a case or pistol rug with a lock. Ammo can be in the same container.

Last words. This .50 is a powerful handgun, and 50 grains of powder will take down a horse at 25 yards. But it is one shot only. It’s a lot cheaper to feed it ball than bullets or sabotted rounds, and the ball is quite deadly. The .36 revolver carries usually 20-25 grains FFF powder, and the .44 carries 30-35 grains. The .36 is about the power of a .380 (same caliber round actually), while the .44 will take care of any two legged creature you hit. The .44, if I recall correctly, carries about the same black powder load as the .45LC.

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Administrator March 25, 2013 at 6:49 pm

The linked article had a test of a gun that had been sitting for many years with bp and caps. It fired. With Triple Se7en it’ll last indefinitely.

chris March 25, 2013 at 9:29 am

I am an otr trucker and I keep a hipoint 9mm carbine and a xd .45 pistol in my cab and have never had a problem with state laws its usually the places where your picking up or dropping off the loads that has a no gun policy but they never get in your cab and ive never heard of someone getting robbed while loading or unloasing cargo…

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bobby March 25, 2013 at 6:47 pm

you must not ever go to a port or a military installation. i do and believe me you better have your ducks in a row if you are packing. dont even think about going into canada with a gun.

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Phillip Miller March 25, 2013 at 9:32 am

Why would anyone want a single shot pistol, when you can buy any number of 6 shot black powder revolvers?
I think that it is just a case of “we can make anything, & the american people will buy it”, no matter how stupid it is.

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Doug White March 25, 2013 at 9:47 am

Soon as I get loaded,I’m going to shoot you.

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John Holloman March 25, 2013 at 9:56 am

It is against all Federal regulations, chapter 395, to have a firearm in a Commercial Vehicle.

If you Carry a Class “A” CDL you know this, although many drivers do carry, they will be put in jail if they are searched by DOT and a firearm is found, no matter what State you are in. Check the facts before you guys make statements

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Administrator March 25, 2013 at 9:59 am

It’s not a firearm, that’s the point.

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Tanner March 25, 2013 at 10:48 am

You better check the facts to. I have and there is no federal law against carrying concealed in a commercial vehicle. Here in Oklahoma I can travel to most other states legal as long as they honor ok ccl. The only people that will say anything is the uneducated law enforcement and a quick check will solve that but there is no federal law and there is not a dot in any one of those states that honor my ccl that would arrest me or take my firearm

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BB March 26, 2013 at 1:31 pm

I know 12 years ago when I was OTR, the truck was your home. No state could confiscate your firearm in your home/cab. I think I will run down to the local truck stop and pick up a 2013 reg book.

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Jake March 25, 2013 at 10:06 am

Most laws that ban carrying guns do it in a way that this would still be illegal to carry.

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Sgt. York March 25, 2013 at 10:09 am

A black powder pistol with one shot is not gonna get it when your hijacked by four people

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Chris March 25, 2013 at 10:16 am

I feel for truckers because I have a good buddy who is one, although I tell him all the time truckers are the most annoying and oftimes the most inconsiderates SOBs on the road (they consistently pull over in front of me and cut me off with little to no signal, and I got to take 20-30mph off instantly, so don’t expect me to be grateful about that). But, it is a rough job, long hours, and dangerous. A trucker recently got pulverized under a flat bed of bricks on 77N near where I live, and I routinely see truck wrecks, so I get that. I would recommend something the friggin’ FEDs, the friggin’ state, and the friggin’ company couldn’t complain about, and just keep 3 or 4 cans of wasp killer in the cab. Strap’em to the door or under the dash so you can get to it. Trust me, you hose someone in the face real good with that crap and the only two things he’s going to do are jack and shi*.

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peterjai March 25, 2013 at 10:29 am

I am with Mr. alaska

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Carl Esch March 25, 2013 at 10:52 am

Since when the Federal Law change to let Firearms on board a Tractor Trailer? I mean I have not had my License in a few years now, but Alcohol & Firearms was not legal. I did carry a flair gun because there was nothing saying it was illegal. Who would need a one shot, and a 50 cal. on top of that. A scatter gun or hand gun, 9 mm or 40 mm I can see. Opening up a Big Can of Worms agents Truckers!

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Bob Fairlane March 25, 2013 at 1:04 pm

50cal in a muzzle loader isn’t anything like a .50 caliber center fire rifle. A lot of newbs make a similar assumption.

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Tanner March 25, 2013 at 2:42 pm

There never has been anything that says its illegal to carry in a commercial vehicle. Transporting in a car or a commercial vehicle is the same thing according to the state laws you are traveling in

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Tanner March 25, 2013 at 2:43 pm

There never has been anything federally that says its illegal to carry in a commercial vehicle. Transporting in a car or a commercial vehicle is the same thing according to the state laws you are traveling in

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John March 25, 2013 at 11:12 am

Take the course and get the Utah / Fla. permits these permits cover the vast majority of states
If you are a retired police officer, H R 218 a federal permit, which covers the entire USA,

However you still have to comply with what ever rules for carry that each state mandates for its residents, along with any locations they prohibit the carrying of firearms

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Tim March 25, 2013 at 11:34 am

2. I have a replica of an antique pistol. Is a License to Purchase or Pistol Sales Record required in Michigan? Is it necessary that I obtain a Michigan Concealed Pistols License?

MCL 28.422 No, antique pistols made before 1898 and replicas of antiques that use black powder, matchlock, flintlock, percussion cap or similar type of ignition system do not require a License to Purchase. The pistol is still subject to all concealed pistol licensing laws.

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Administrator March 25, 2013 at 12:16 pm

Nobody said they need a license. They just can’t ship to your door like they can in most other states. Only gun retailers can sell them.

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Davod March 25, 2013 at 12:32 pm

Open sites are $28 option…

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Rob March 25, 2013 at 1:28 pm

The real question is why would you want to be a hero and risk your life for some rich corporation ?? Do you think you will get an Atta-boy and a pat on your back ?? I think not, Corporations fire people now that resist, they are a liability. Lets say you do shoot one out of a gang of four, do you really think he will be alone ? I think that you will be highly unpopular with them after that. Whoever wrote this and is suggesting that truckers should own one should be sued for liability WHEN not IF a trucker is killed.

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James Taylor March 25, 2013 at 2:44 pm

I’ve been a long haul driver for almost 30 years . Calling this a truckers gun is idiotic at best !! You people obviously have no knowledge of the different federal , state & local laws we have to comply with in a weeks time . Every state is a case unto its self, they all differ in their use of firearms . But NONE of them want them in 18 wheelers period . Get caught with one in the truck particularly if it has hazmat placards on it & see how long it takes them to put you in jail . But by all means don’t take my word for it, go ahead and try it. I wish you luck .

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Tanner March 25, 2013 at 10:32 pm

Where does all this scared talk come from. Most states have no problem with guns in trucks as long as you transport it according to their laws. Their is no federal law against it. I not only tried it once I do it everyday. My ruger sr9 never leaves the truck with a loaded magazine of 17 rounds. States don’t want it loaded unless you are licensed as I am. Every time I’m pulled over I show them up front and its not an issue cause its not against the law and I am running placards on top of it. Do your research and know the laws before you scare others into what you think the law is. Guess what it’s legal

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BILL March 30, 2013 at 7:58 pm

Tanner you nailed it. I have been out here on the road 25 years,military bases,placard load,you name it and
you got it right.

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Brook Campbell March 25, 2013 at 3:45 pm

Did you know this trick?
I had an old 4/10 shot gun cut it as fare as possible you can put a 45 shell in it hell of a blast of flame prob. 3,feet long I just shaped the stock as a pistol fit me like a glove I realy like it, But loaned it to a friend So So friend had not herd from him for a wile Then one of his bro’s told me he robed a bank By By 410

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warren March 25, 2013 at 5:41 pm

I was an OTR Trucker for 8 years and by the way things are looking,Ill probably be out ther again = do you want my opinion = Taurus Judge loaded with 4 Buck should do the job. Im been an avid shooter,competitive shooter,predator hunter/varmint for 40 years and I can think of no other weapon that would get er done at close range better. Im also a big fan of Glock but a standard pistol leaves more room for error than the Judge. IMHO

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Administrator March 25, 2013 at 6:48 pm

You would however be illegal in most states.

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BB March 26, 2013 at 1:27 pm

@Admin, the Fed controls the DOT, not the states. Where in the DOT reg books does it say “you can’t have a firearm in your home/truck cab? Quote the regulation number please. The States cannot make up their own DOT laws.

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jim March 25, 2013 at 5:55 pm

be advised… during a d.o.t. check, officials claim a right to enter and search the cab. commercial, cdl holders are not exempt and must comply. former regulation allowed air gauge/safety equipment only, ‘from the running board’. the 4th amendment, through auspices of homeland security, has been all but gutted. while we slept. the 5th is being chiseled away at, right now. within a 50 mile area of a drive across border, canada/mexico, law enforcement can stop and search any vehicle, for any reason, for any substance. i personally know folks that live within that 50 miles, that are stopped weekly, and vehicles searched.

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Chained March 25, 2013 at 7:19 pm

Makes no sense when one can carry a regular handgun or a shotgun etc. It is the same rules as someone traveling in the personal vehicle unless you’re a company driver–they may not allow guns in their vehicles but the hell with them. Ya just have to abide by each states laws. One step better, get yourself a CCW permit from your home state plus one or two others that allow non citizen permits and it’s in like Flynn. To me this is one of the stupidest SD firearms I’ve seen. Isn’t it funny how the most dangerous places for truckers are those states with the most firearm restrictions such as IL, NY, NJ, CA.

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JustATrucker March 25, 2013 at 7:24 pm

No guns/firearms in any DOT regulated vehicles, period, felony. Fed trumps all.
But, looks like a fun shooter.

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Tanner March 26, 2013 at 8:18 am

That’s bs. Do research before you spread lies. And all vehicles are dot regulated. Trucks just get checked more

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BB March 26, 2013 at 1:23 pm

Didn’t used to be the case. What is the DOT reg number you are referring to that says “No guns/firearms in any DOT vehicle? I have a 2011 reg book right here, and can’t find any reference to it.

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Chase Helmick March 25, 2013 at 8:19 pm

im no expert on the laws, but is a muzzleloader technically unloaded if there is no primer in it? thats what i have always been told. if this is the case the driver could just keep the powder and slug in the gun, and if anything happens he just puts the primer in. you can put a primer in these break barrel muzzle loaders in no time. i dont think its that bad of a route.

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mike grunewald March 25, 2013 at 8:59 pm

why can’t you Truckers get together and NOT deliver goods to States that will not let you have protection

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BB March 26, 2013 at 1:20 pm

I didn’t think the states could legally keep you from having a gun in your home (truck cab)

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Ron March 25, 2013 at 9:36 pm

Sorry gentlemen. I retired after 20 years active military, drove OTR, for 15. And then dispatched for the final 5. Until The Taurus Judge, .45LC or 2-1/2 in.410 shells came out, I carried a 5 shot .38. I only had to pull it out twice, luclily, and never had to fire on anyone.
I am sure You veteran Truckers can and will agree, a truck stop is not a very safe place. Owners and corporations are cutting out the overhead lighting to save money. There have been several times I have returned to My truck, and there was someone on the catwalk behind Me ! Sorry guys, but after all the combat, I ain’t going out by being whacked in the head with an iron pipe. I am not saying this is the right thing to do, but it worked for Me. And in those 15 years, I was never searched, or even asked if I had a weapon. Take care of yourselves. Especially those of Us who have loved ones at home depending on Us.

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Harry March 25, 2013 at 10:09 pm

It looks nice except it’s single shot. For the money, I’d rather drop the money on a Hog Stopper: .50 caliber Double Barrel Pistol. Davide Pedersoil named their gun the Howdah Hunter. The double-barreled pistol was 18 1/2-inches long, has two .50-caliber rifled side-by-side barrels and weighed about 5-pounds.
Delivered energy,which would still be above the 500 ft./lbs. often considered as the minimum for deer-sized game, gives anyone confidence that these loads would be effective on hogs, provided putting the bullets in the right place. See URL for entire article: http://hoveysmith.wordpress.com/2011/07/05/hunting-with-pedersolis-howdah-double-barreled-pistol-tiger-hunting-double-barreled-pistols-davide-pedersoli-guns-muzzleloading-handguns-big-bore-handguns-large-caliber-pistols-tiger-pistols-h/

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Joe March 26, 2013 at 3:23 am

Just have to say.. this is one hella sexy gun

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BB March 26, 2013 at 1:17 pm

Hi Sir, and you are a fu..ing spam artist. Take it somewhere else

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Manse March 26, 2013 at 11:52 am

Stopped at a detour barricade once in downtown N.Orleans. The guy had his own vest and red flag to stop traffic at a detour. He jumped on the steps of my truck and wanted five bucks to lead me through because the detour signs had been removed. I knew then I had let my guard down. As I reached beside my seat to get my tire knocker he jumped back asking “hey man you gotta gun?” I answered “what do you think?” He decided to lead me through at no charge.

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BB March 26, 2013 at 1:16 pm

USA commercial drivers licenses ( are controlled by the Feds, not the states. (issued by the states) When I was “over the road” driving about 12 years ago, Federal law said “the truck is your home”. And since the 2nd amendment allows us to own a gun at home, no state could abridge that. Though I never had to use it, I carried a loaded .40 cal in the cab at all times in every state I drove in, legally, at least I thought. And most every driver I knew, had a weapon in the truck too.

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BB March 26, 2013 at 1:53 pm

After a bit of searching, here is the federal law regarding firearms as of 2011. Looks like the States are allowed to create their own sub-laws regarding firearms.

“”Title 18 Setcion 926(a). The peacable journey law.

TITLE 18–CRIMES AND CRIMINAL PROCEDURE

PART I–CRIMES

CHAPTER 44–FIREARMS

Sec. 926A. Interstate transportation of firearms

Notwithstanding any other provision of any law or any rule or
regulation of a State or any political subdivision thereof, any person
who is not otherwise prohibited by this chapter from transporting,
shipping, or receiving a firearm shall be entitled to transport a
firearm for any lawful purpose from any place where he may lawfully
possess and carry such firearm to any other place where he may lawfully
possess and carry such firearm if, during such transportation the
firearm is unloaded, and neither the firearm nor any ammunition being
transported is readily accessible or is directly accessible from the
passenger compartment of such transporting vehicle: Provided, That in
the case of a vehicle without a compartment separate from the driver’s
compartment the firearm or ammunition shall be contained in a locked
container other than the glove compartment or console.”"

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Tanner March 26, 2013 at 6:47 pm

Good work bb. Glad there are other drivers out that does a little research instead of blowing smoke.

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Muhjesbude December 23, 2013 at 10:16 am

Seems to me that concealed carry laws now trump most of this debate? It’s even changed the laws in my state where it used to be that you couldn’t even load your hunting rifle until you were off the road.

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Joe Swearengin April 19, 2013 at 1:40 pm

Considering of late in the USA that the violence with guns and explosives has come from persons in the late teens and remembering the attack on the Towers about ten years ago makes these individuals the impressionable age of nine or ten at that time. Would it not be a good idea to shove the legal age to 21 for the purchase of explosives, guns and cartridges, while still retaining all other legalities at the age of 18?

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Administrator April 19, 2013 at 2:18 pm

No we should probably just ban teenagers.

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Bob December 23, 2013 at 9:10 am

First, I believe that all law-abiding truckers as well as all law-abiding citizens (whether in their homes or vehicles) have the right to defend themselves and their loved ones from criminals. Protecting physical property is another issue, and one knows that to use deadly force to protect one’s possessions whether in a car or truck makes it illegal to use deadly force to stop that crime.

This is a great article, as it gives us another point to think about. Some comments here are excellent, and other comments here are dangerous. However, I urge everyone to check local, state, and special laws that pertain to possessing any type of weapon in a vehicle or on a person when being on or near special areas.

I live in a 50-mile radius of Washington, D.C. and there are special facilities in the area that cover three states and many highways. Since 9-11 many directives have been enacted with the force of law that pertain to possessing any type of weapon in a vehicle or on a person. For example, there are two NSA facilities and three high-yield radioactive facilities that are close to a number of highways and cities. By Fort Detrick where biochemical warfare weapons are created, there are laws that one does not know exist until they are broken. Also, there are a number of DOE facilities that have unique directives because what they have can be used in a powerful dirty bomb. DOE agents have boarded vehicleson public roads to conduct searches. Special directives have been enacted since 9-11 that gives law enforcement the right to search a person or vehicle. For example, DHS Special agents can board a truck anywhere near a n airport without a warrant. Yes, a judge could possibly dismiss the case after one serves a period of time in detention, but one’s life will be ruined financially by that time. Moreover, BXA agents do not need a warrant to search a truck. Originally their task was to look for computer items that had a cryptographic element, but now they can look for anything that has a homeland security angle. At times, FBI agents will bring an BXA agent with them to get around the warrant requirement. While I realize what the US Constitution has therein to protect our rights, I have also seen law enforcement agencies go beyond those limits over and over again; and if a judge dismisses the case in time, much personal destruction will have occurred in the meantime to an individual.

Again, this is a great article, and since many readers are from locations in the US and beyond it (such as Canada), I urge everyone to research the laws and directives that apply to them. I agree that we have a right to defend our persons and loved ones when we are clearly faced with deadly force by a criminal, but when it comes to protecting property that right does not exist. And while primary Federal and state law can be researched easily, one should be aware of the special directives that exist applicable to possessing what is called a weapon by a law enforcement agency when in or by specific locations. Think and learn before you act. Godspeed to all.

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