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Why Truckers May be the Key to National Concealed Carry Reciprocity

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(Photo: Wikipedia)

The road can be a dangerous place for truckers. Between road-raging drivers, sketchy rest stops, and would-be criminals, many truckers face multiple life threatening incidents throughout the course of their careers.

A firearm is the obvious choice for self-defense, but many truckers hesitate to carry. The reason? The patchwork of concealed carry laws throughout the United States make it virtually impossible to carry a firearm across the country while remaining in compliance with the law.

But some truckers carry anyway—and for good reason. A survey conducted by Overdrive Magazine found that 73 percent of truckers have been in a situation in which they were unarmed but wish they were armed.

Seventy-six percent of respondents have felt themselves to be in danger while driving, delivering, or parking, and nearly a quarter have actually been attacked.

Despite these high numbers, only 33 percent of survey respondents say they have a concealed carry permit that allows them to drive with a firearm. Some trucking companies don’t allow their drivers to carry firearms, but Overdrive highlights the difficulty truckers face if they have routes in all 48 states.

Some states acknowledge other states’ concealed carry permits, but many do not. According to Overdrive, troopers have the right to search a commercial truck without cause, and if they find a firearm they may bring felony charges. Military bases and Native American tribal lands also strictly prohibit firearms, and don’t even think about bringing a firearm into Canada.

Ignorance of the law isn’t an excuse. Truckers need to be well-versed in each state’s firearms laws and conduct themselves accordingly if they want to avoid fines and penalties.

There are currently two bills in the U.S. Congress that could remedy this situation.

The first is called Michael’s Law Amendment, named in honor of Michael Boeglin, an unarmed trucker who was fatally shot and burned in his truck in 2014 in Detroit. This bill would create a federal concealed carry permit designed to allow truckers to carry across state lines.

The second bill—dubbed the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017—would allow anyone with a concealed carry permit in one state to travel to any other state with their firearm. Introduced by Rep. Richard Hudson, R-N.C., proponents of this legislation point out that drivers licenses are honored in all 50 states—why not concealed handgun licenses?

Truckers, perhaps more than any other demographic, understand the value of this legislation. While most people would only benefit from the CCRA three or four times a year, truckers would constantly be using their expanded right to self-defense.

The bill is still a long way from passing, but it has the support of this nation’s road warriors: according to another Overdrive survey, more than eighty-five percent of truckers said they would support the CCRA.

{ 20 comments… add one }
  • ejharb February 18, 2017, 9:05 pm

    Yep illegal here and beyond illegal in Canada and mexico. And I was delivering produce in Detroit when they cooked that guy in his truck.the fire killed him not the gunshot wound

  • Dave W. February 18, 2017, 1:20 am

    As CDL driver it is my understanding that Federal regulations prohibit having a firearm in a commercial vehicle. Period. And no CCW license will keep you out of jail if u get caught.

    • Kevin C. February 18, 2017, 3:42 pm

      Sir that is NOT TRUE!! There is no Federal Law that prohibits carrying a legal firearm in a commercial vehicle. It is regulated at the state level.

    • Tim February 19, 2017, 3:44 am

      Your not federal regulations for bids it carry permit or not unless their going to change that too if caught you are going to jail with posible felony charges.

    • James Amann February 19, 2017, 10:43 am

      And that is a fact but most knuckleheads don’t seem to care to abide by the law.

    • James Amann February 19, 2017, 10:45 am

      And that is a fact but most knuckleheads don\’t seem to care to abide by the law.

    • Applejacks February 20, 2017, 2:40 am

      You CAN by all means, carry in your commercial vehicle, truck, whatever you want to call it. There are NO federal laws prohibiting it. As long as you abide by all state, local laws, it’s no different than driving a car. There are NO laws prohibiting carrying in a commercial vehicle

  • KUETSA February 18, 2017, 12:36 am

    Active and retired cops – fire and EMT – now federal permit for truckers – ALL I’M HEARING IS THAT CITIZENS MUST BE UNARMED BY LAW – (Unless you are a “special” citizen)
    2nd
    A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.

    10th
    The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, NOR PROHIBITED BY IT TO THE STATES, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.

    I don’t see anything about “SPECIAL CLASSES OF BETTER CITIZENS” anywhere in there.

    14th
    All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

    Does this – or does this NOT – guarantee ALL citizens EQUAL RIGHTS to active and retired police, fire, EMT, and now truck driving citizens?

    I’m getting pretty sick of this crap.
    It’s time for government at all levels to GET THE HELL OFF THE UNINFRINGED RIGHT TO KEEP AND BEAR ARMS, and start AGGRESSIVE ENFORCEMENT on the criminal element especially in inner city areas where gun violence statistics are generated at an OUT OF CONTROL RATE and are being used against lawful gun owners to force CITIZEN DISARMAMENT!

    We need the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017 – FOR ALL CITIZENS – and states (INCLUDING PROGRESSIVE SOCIALIST COMMUNIST STATES) must all be forced to accept citizens rights. If state law can not recognize the Act then the whole effort is USELESS!

    TRUMPS new improved Supreme Court better repeal unconstitutional state laws like the NY Safe Act and restore the second amendment. If not – and our constitution is allowed to be ignored by communist progressives – AMERICA IS DONE!
    ALL OUR FREEDOMS WILL BE REINTERPRETED AWAY AND LIKE THE EU – WE WILL BE THE NAU – AND EVEN THOUGH YOU WILL ALL ENJOY FREEDOM OF SPEECH, THE LORETTA LYNCH OF THE DAY WILL SHUT YOU UP IF YOU COMPLAIN WITH “HATE SPEECH LAWS” THAT SHUT DOWN ANY AND ALL OUTCRY AGAINST THE PROGRESSIVE AGENDA – (Which IS first and foremost CITIZEN DISARMAMENT)

  • merlin February 17, 2017, 11:34 am

    Yeah, truckers sure need to carry alright. Just in case a motorist gets pissed because he’s blocked by two of these behemoth rigs on an Interstate hill. Anyone who thinks they are innocent of that is as full of shit as they are. I don’t need them to represent me.

    • Brando February 17, 2017, 2:24 pm

      You caught us…every driver in the country has made it their life mission to irritate you. How did you figure it out? We thought we had ensured there were no monitoring of our weekly meetings where we show videos of how we pissed you off. It was Joe wasn’t it? He always did talk to much. Joe is out of the club.

      As stupid as this reply is it still doesn’t reach the level of your ignorance and hatred.

  • Phil February 17, 2017, 10:57 am

    My wife and I travel extensively in a motor home. We have been to 49 states in the motor home (to hard to drive to Hawaii). We always travel with a firearm – even in Canada, yes – some firearms are legal to take to Canada. Most everyone I know that travels in a motor home travels with at least one firearm. We would rather be judged by a jury than carried by or friends. The laws are the laws, bit common sense takes precedence.

  • gary nobles February 17, 2017, 10:09 am

    If you have a permit in one state you should be able to go into any other state with that permit. Trump and the Congress should make this a law tomorrow.

  • Evil February 17, 2017, 9:35 am

    Having just started a part-time Otr trucking job, you can bet I am always armed when I go out of state. There is a glock that lives next to my pillow at night and a couple of naa minis that live next to my change and keys in my front pockets. I was also advised by a friend who was Otr a while to run a small ratchet strap from door pull to door pull across the seats when parked for the night. A small bell can be placed on it to alarm if someone messing w your doors. I also sleep backwards (head on left side) when in sleeper so a perp would only hit my feet if they put a pistol under the sleeper trying to shoot the occupant. I was in Memphis a few years back to retrieve a disabled trailer, with a pickup escort, on a Sunday night on a little lot that was lit like daylight, when my friend had two thugs tap on the pickup window with the barrel of their uncocked tiny 22. He pulled his Springfield 40 and put it barrel to barrel with the tiny piece, all with a s-eatin\’ grin on his face. The color drained from the perps face, and they both left post haste. We were on the lot less than 10 minutes, a police cruiser left the lot less than 2 minutes b4 the incident occurred. I lost all empathy for Ferguson riot folks that night…. dang auto correct!!🙃

  • Evil February 17, 2017, 9:34 am

    Having just started a part-time Otr trucking job, you can bet I am always armed when I go out of state. There is a glock that lives next to my pillow at night and a couple of naa minis that live next to my change and keys in my front pockets. I was also advised by a friend who was Otr a while to run a small ratchet strap from door pull to door pull across the seats when parked for the night. A small bell can be placed on it to alarm if someone messing w your doors. I also sleep backwards (head on left side) when in sleeper so a perp would only hit my feet if they put a pistol under the sleeper trying to shoot the occupant. I was in Memphis a few years back to retrieve a disabled trailer, with a pickup escort, on a Sunday night on a little lot that was lit like daylight, when my friend had two thugs tap on the pickup window with the barrel of their uncocked tiny 22. He pulled his Springfield 40 and put it barrel to barrel with the tiny piece, all with a s-eatin’ grin on his face. The color drained from the perps face, and they both left post haste. We were on the lot less than 10 minutes, a police cruiser left the lot less than 2 minutes b4 the incident occurred. I lost all empathy for Ferguson riot folks that night…. dang auto correct!!🙃

  • Evil February 17, 2017, 9:27 am

    Having just started a part-time Otr trucking job, you can bet I am always armed when I go out of state. There is a glock that lives next to my pillow at night and a couple of naa minis that live next to my change and keys in my front pockets. I was also advised by a friend who was Otr a while to run a small ratchet strap from door pull to door pull across the seats when parked for the night. A small bell can be placed on it to alarm if someone messing w your doors. I also sleep backwards (head on left side) when in sleeper so a perp would only help my feet if they put a pistol under the sleeper trying to shoot the occupant. I was in Memphis a few years back to retrieve a disabled trailer, with a pickup escort, on a Sunday night on a little lot that was light like daylight wh n my friend had two thugs tap on the pickup window with the barrel of their uncocked tiny 22. He pulled his Springfield 40 and put it barrel to barrel with the tiny piece, all with a s-eatin’ grin on his face. The color drained from the perps face, and they both left post haste. We were on lot less than 10 minutes, a cruder Left thelot less than 2 minutes b4 the incident occurred. Lost all empathy for ferguson riot folks that night….

  • mrmike7189 February 17, 2017, 9:19 am

    i can feel for them. I drive from massachusetts to florida often to visit relatives. I cannnot leave my state with my handgun because if i get stopped in RI or CT or NY or NJ or DC….I’m a felon. We need to get this law passed!

    • Penrod February 17, 2017, 1:47 pm

      I’m fairly sure you can legally transit those states with a cased, unloaded weapon if you are traveling from a state in which your weapon is legal to a state in which your weapon is legal. That doesn’t mean that some jerk won’t hassle you -as in arrest you- if you are caught though…

      Check the court decisions and carry a print out.

      This has been a felony level problem for travelers whose planes were diverted to gun hostile states, and it has gone to court. Several years ago our plane was so delayed out of Honolulu to LA, where we were supposed to immediately transfer to Salt Lake City (with guns in checked luggage) that we had to spend the night in CA. We refused to accept our luggage from the airline in LA because of potential problems checking it back in the next morning. Legally we should have been fine as we were legitimately in transit, but better to avoid the issue when possible. You can’t get a felony arrest canceled cheap enough to make a profit.

      Still: check the current laws, because I’m pretty sure the current court decisions are entirely on your side. Just don’t spend a week transiting NJ.

  • Thomas Gnagey February 17, 2017, 9:03 am

    I am a retired cross country truck driver. I carried illegally for 33 years. As most any trucker can tell you, we have to pick up and deliver in some of the most unsavory areas. More than once, I had to let my sawed of shotgun be seen, in order to insure my safety.
    I didn’t have a permit to carry, because at that time most states wouldn’t honor another states permit, and the Dept. of Transportation (DOT) wouldn’t allow guns in commercial vehicles.
    A National Concealed Carry Permit, would make a lot of people that cross state lines safer, from both criminals and law enforcement. Carrying a gun without a permit, is a felony in many states. So in order to be safe, I was for all intents, a felon!

  • Doc February 17, 2017, 8:18 am

    Once or twice a year I drive from Fla to Wis to visit my oldest son and family. He is a Sheboygan County corrections officer and an old Marine. We spend at least one day at the gun clubs great outdoor range shooting everything from handguns to various long guns and shotguns. I have a CCP from Fl and carry at all times. The only time I am uncomfortable is in Illinois because of their laws. My car is a Corvette, no trunk so I have a range bag with ammo and usually a 357 mag S&W, a Kimber 45, an M1 Garand and a S&W M&P a.r. 15. These are all cased in the back. My Glock 40 is the carry piece tucked in at my right hip. When I hit Ill, the Glock is unloaded and completely broken down. If I get stopped, I always worry about the optics and the potential consequences. Fortunately I have found a way around Chicago that’s not to far out of the way. I was stopped in Gà a couple years ago, handed my DL and CCP at sàme time, officer asked if I had a loaded weapon in car, I said yes, under towel on pass seat and he said thanks and walked away. No prob.

  • SuperG February 16, 2017, 11:36 am

    When you are a trucker, you get to pickup and deliver to the worst places in a given city too.

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