Commercial Vehicles


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crzyjarmans
January 26, 2011, 11:59 PM
I saw a thread about carrying in a commercial vehicle, wanted to add some info, but cant seem to find it, just wanted to add a little fact, most agreed there is no law against it, and only saw one or two who thought it was illegal, and the only thing that i wanted to add is the only DOT regulation about a fiearm is called part 173, witch is SHIPPERS REGULATIONS: FOR SHIPMENTS AND PACKAGING, PART 173.54 (F) A LOADED FIREARM, witch say a SHIPPER can not package and ship loaded firearms, this has no affect on the carriers/drivers, another thing I'd like to say is if your driving a rig over the road (as I do), and your truck has a sleeper birth, every state in the union allows citizens to keep a firearm in the home, and a sleeper can be defind as the drivers personal dwelling (home), The only other reason that I know of that would prevent a driver from having a firearm in there rig is company policy, as i am a o/o, well cant fire myself:), hope this additional info helps, thx and stay safe

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JTHunter
January 27, 2011, 01:20 AM
Don't get caught transporting in Illinois. If your legal residence is out of state, gun MUST be unloaded and in a case.

brickeyee
January 27, 2011, 01:55 PM
every state in the union allows citizens to keep a firearm in the home

You better revisit that thought.

A number of state require permits to posses ANY firearm, and in some states a motor vehicle is NOT considered a "home," especially while moving.

Zoogster
January 27, 2011, 03:56 PM
Several states have laws against a loaded firearm in the vehicle.
Many have some requirement for transport without a concealed carry permit, and no permit is valid in all states so if you are driving across the country...

A couple states also have laws requiring you to have a state issued permit just to possess a firearm in the state, even as a visitor. These are the most draconian and authoritarian and are located on the east coast.

isp2605
January 27, 2011, 09:08 PM
I was one of the first Troopers in the state to be certified as a Motor Carrier Safety inspector. In addition I taught MCS law for several years and commanded one of the most active MCS squads in the state.
Some of what crzyjarmans says is accurate, some isn't.
It is true that there are no MCS laws prohibiting the carrying of firearms in a commerical vehicle. However, what that means is drivers have to adhere to the laws of which ever state they are in. Just because MCS doesn't prohibit it doesn't mean that a state might prohibit it.
What isn't accurate is crzyjarmans' assertion that the sleeper is considered a driver's home. The sleeper is not considered the "drivers personal dwelling (home)." The sleeper berth is subject to inspection under MCS regs just as every part of the commercial vehicle. During the MCS inspection the officer has legal grounds to look into and inspect the sleeper berth. A warrant is not needed. Any illegal items found during an MCS inspection subjects the driver to whatever legal sanctions might apply, ie, you can be arrested.
In addition, vehicles come under a different set of circumstances than a person's brick and wood dwelling. For particulars on vehicle exceptions do a websearch on the Carroll Doctrine which is a USSC ruling giving exceptions to vehicle searches.

GRIZ22
January 27, 2011, 09:31 PM
every state in the union allows citizens to keep a firearm in the home, and a sleeper can be defind as the drivers personal dwelling (home),

This depends on the state. I don't know of any state that defines a sleeper as a home or residence. At best there are some states that define a motor home as a residence when it is stationary and being used to sleep, cook, etc and as a vehicle when it is moving.

stickhauler
January 29, 2011, 04:45 AM
The sleeper berth is subject to inspection under MCS regs just as every part of the commercial vehicle. During the MCS inspection the officer has legal grounds to look into and inspect the sleeper berth. A warrant is not needed. Any illegal items found during an MCS inspection subjects the driver to whatever legal sanctions might apply, ie, you can be arrested.

As a long time driver (35+ years) I'll agree to an extent. However, an officer would need at least some level of probable cause to inspect to that extent.

I got into a stop several years ago down in Tennessee at a scales, while driving a flatbed. It went to the extent they brought a drug dog to the scene, and walked him around the truck. When they got to the driver's side door, the officer started to pick up the dog, and I asked what he was doing. He said he was going to put the dog into my truck to "look around", and I refused to allow him to, I locked the door and slammed it.

The officer called his supervisor to the scene, and when he arrived, he asked me what my objection to the dog searching my truck was. I told them I didn't bring my dog to their house and put him in their bed, and I wasn't going to allow them to do that to me. If the dog alerted to anything on my truck, there were tools in the side box, and I'd gladly allow them to disassemble the entire truck if they wished. The supervisor agreed to that.

This was back in the Keith Bissel days in Tennessee, when the PSC was his little kingdom, and he allowed preferred treatment to companies who contributed to his campaign fund, and harassed any out-of-state driver.

The only probable cause the inspecting officer had was the fact I have long hair. I'd have allowed the officer himself to physically inspect any area of the truck, but I'll not go for a canine crawling all through my sleeper, if I wanted a dog in there, I'd have my own in the truck.

Yep, I know I could well have been "stuffed and cuffed", and taken to the judge to sort it out. But, I still maintain the mere fact that I hold a CDL does not mean I gave up my constitutional rights.

You might have the legal right to inspect anything on the truck, but I hear vehicle inspection officers complain that they don't get the proper respect from drivers. Respect is a two-way street, and Lord knows I've dealt with way too many over zealous inspection officers over the years, and gave them much more respect than I have received in return from many of them. If I treat you with respect, answer any question truthfully, and am complying with all regulations, one would think I'd get treated with respect in return.

Sadly, that's too often not the reality of a commercial vehicle stop. Maybe people skills could be included into the training for such officers? Yes, I know, you've got a tough job. Mine is no bed of roses either. I've got cranky shippers and receivers to deal with. I've got a dispatcher calling me hourly wanting to know EXACTLY when I'm going to be at a specific location, it matters not the weather conditions, traffic conditions, or how I feel that day. I've got vehicles cutting me off and slamming the brakes for no reason other than they obviously think I can stop a 80,000 pound vehicle on a dime. And then I get the vehicle inspection officer from hell to deal with when I'm following all the laws and regulations. And I'm supposed to just stand there and take the abuse?

isp2605
January 29, 2011, 08:37 AM
As a long time driver (35+ years) I'll agree to an extent. However, an officer would need at least some level of probable cause to inspect to that extent.
Absolutely not true. Your story is mixing apples and oranges. You're mixing "enforcement actions" with "inspections actions". 2 entirely different aspects of the laws. You might have driven for 35 years but it shows you don't have a grasp of the law. I've taught it for 40+ years. If you have a better understanding of the law then you might have a better attitude about what's really going on. Here's a quick lesson in the law so you'll have an idea.
Your story is not about an MCS inspection. You are correct in the regard of the drug dog. That's an enforcement action. However, an MCS inspection is completely different than a drug sniff. No probable cause or even reasonable suspicion is required for for an MCS inspection. To make a traffic stop for enforcement purposes a violation must be observed. To make a stop for MCS inspection requires no such violation. Trucks can be stopped at random and inspected. In the MCS regs the sleeper berth and contents have to meet certain criteria. That means that during the inspection the sleeper can be entered and inspected. Also, any illegal items seen during the inspection subjects the driver to whatever legal action is suited. If something like an illegal gun or drugs, arrest.
Quick lesson, no charge. We often sent our MCS trained Troops to trucking companies to train their drivers with what, why and how MCS inspections are permitted. In your 35+ yrs of driving you should have read the complete FMCS regs at least once. It's in there.
And you're right about respect being a 2 way street. Remember that. I found quite a few know-it-all drivers who had a big chip on their shoulders and thought they knew all there was to know about the law. I had a number of drivers tell me I couldn't inspect their cab, that I needed probable cause, that I needed a search warrant, that I couldn't put them out of service, usually threatening that we couldn't stop interstate commerce. All they did was show just how little they knew other than getting the front end of the truck down the road. So yeah, remember that respect goes 2 ways. I found too many drivers who didn't understand that.

Art Eatman
January 29, 2011, 10:32 AM
Okay. Enough. Well-covered.

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