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Carrying handguns in 18 wheelers.

Discussion in 'Legal' started by Joey_the_Wolf, Jul 3, 2007.

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  1. Joey_the_Wolf

    Joey_the_Wolf Member

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    Hi. I was wondering if anyone here had an answer to this question. My brother recently started working as a long haul driver for a commercial trucking company. He owns a S&W 9mm pistol, and when I asked him about it, he said he was not carrying his pistol with him, because and I quote his words, "I was told in trucking school that I can not have any firearms on me because it is considered 'gun running' and I could get 10+ years in jail for that". I told him that I was pretty sure that he could legally carry anywhere he was allowed to carry, because the fact that he was in a truck didn't change anything, but I'm not %100 sure on that, and told him that he'd be better off safe than sorry until he finds out for sure. I legally carry a gun in my vehicle all the time (although I'm not in a commercial vehicle) and I would think the law applies the same way to him in whatever state that allows carry in vehicles. The only thing I told him was to lose the 15 round magazines and get 10 round mags for when he makes trips to New York and other states with mag limits, but then again, maybe that wouldn't make much of a difference in those states, since having a gun without a permit is still a no no for them. (Although I'm not very familiar with NY, NJ, and CA vehicle carry laws). I also told him to avoid DC if possible.

    Honestly though, I'd feel alot better if he had a gun with him, since he spends so many days alone on the road, and bad things do happen. But is it more trouble than it's worth carrying in an 18 wheeler? Are there really any legal constraints to that?
     
  2. Alphazulu6

    Alphazulu6 member

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    WOW Yeah..... never gave this any thought but it is considered "a place of employment" in addition to the possibility of a gun running charge. CA is terrible and that the firearm must be unloaded locked with ammunition separate of the firearm... with the firearm being as far away from the occupant (usually driver) as possible. Would this even help him in a situation? Hrm..... So sad that the liberals have taken away the defenses of the working class honest citizens :(
     
  3. jefnvk

    jefnvk Member

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    Pretty sure this sort of thing falls under DOT regulations.
     
  4. Regolith

    Regolith Member

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    "Gun running" would imply that he was attempting to sell the gun illegally. I assume he does not have any interest in selling his pistol, in which case that probably couldn't be considered gun running.

    Now, I'm NOT a lawyer, but I don't think there is any law against a trucker carrying a gun for personal protection, so long as its carried in a manner that is consistent with the law of whatever state he happens to be in.

    Maybe the trucker school mentioned gun running because it is a crime that some trucker's engage in occasionally, but I think they were misstating the facts.

    Now, the company he is driving for might have a policy against its drivers carrying a weapon on them. You should probably look into that before attempting to carry. However, if they do have a policy against it, and if I'm not wrong about the definition of gun running, then I believe the most they can do to him is fire him if he is caught with one, so long as he was carrying it in a manner proscribed by state law.
     
  5. nvshooter

    nvshooter member

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    Nope...

    Negatory, good buddy. No heat between the seats in a big truck. This is because trucks travel through various jurisdictions where guns may not be legal, such as the entirety of states such as Kaleefonia and Illinois (just kidding). Also, many truckers are ex-felons. 'Nuf said, there. I'm a trucker in my 14th year; this is how I know...
     
  6. Joey_the_Wolf

    Joey_the_Wolf Member

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    ^ ^ ^

    Yeah, that's what I thought, since I would think that it would fall under the laws of the state he is in, and also that it would be company policy preventing him from carrying as well. Good point with the DOT thing, they might have some regulations that I'm not aware of, although I have heard stories of truckers carrying for years, so I'm sure this is not a "10+ year federal felony". My former step dad was a truck driver, and although he didn't carry, I would hear stories about a large percentage of truckers carrying some sort of a pistol or shotgun in their truck.

    In any event, he mainly travels the southeastern states where laws are usually gun friendly, but has gone to such garden spots such as Jersey, NYC, San Fransisco, and Boston, where he might get into some trouble if he were to have firearms. Ironically, those are the places where he is most likely to need firearms to begin with...

    Wonderful world we live in eh?


    EDIT: Thanks for that info nvshooter, it's good to hear info from an actual trucker.
     
  7. Moondoggie

    Moondoggie Member

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    I've been an over the road trucker for the past 8 yrs...just retired last week.

    This has been discussed here and on other boards (some trucking-related).

    The question has also been answered several times over the years in "Land Line" magazine...a publication of the Owner Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA).

    Their is nothing in DOT regulations prohibiting possession of a firearm by a commercial driver in a commercial vehicle.

    As far as the law is concerned, a truck driver is the same as any other person as far as firearms possession is concerned. "Gun running" for possession of 1 pistol, don't think so.

    However, almost every trucking company has a prohibition of possession of any type of weapon by drivers "on company property", which includes the vehicle. If a mechanic for the company (or any other company official)discovers a weapon in the truck and they want to make an issue out of it, you could get fired. It would be a PITA to get fired on the spot in, say, Allentown, PA when you live in LA. The company is going to tell you go clean out your truck and get off of their porperty. Buh-bye!

    Something non-trucking folks might not be aware of is "DAC". DAC is a system that keeps records of driver's employment histories. Companies that subscribe to DAC (and all of the big ones do) can enter whatever they want about a driver when his employment with that company ends. The driver doesn't have access to the info, and no opportunity/right of rebuttal. Might be hard to find a subsequent job after a bad DAC report.

    I can tell you that I did carry without incident for several years. I did have a CCW permit (plus NH non-res) that made me legal in 36 states IIRC. When I started making a weekly run to the People's Republic of Il-annoy, I left my pistol at home.

    BTW, per SCOTUS, DOT cops can search the cab/sleeper of an 18 wheeler whenever they want as part of the "reasonable restrictions on a heavily regulated industry".

    I'm happy to be a former trucker!
     
  8. jeep-2

    jeep-2 Member

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    every time a state line is crossed, a new law is broken, cross into NY and not have the right permits and it'll be a long time before he get back home. some owner operators carry guns, legal and other wise.
     
  9. gyp_c2

    gyp_c2 Member

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    nope...

    ...they won't let you near the truck if they find a firearm in it...They'll tell you where they left yer' stuff while they escort you off the property though...[​IMG]
    Really depends on the location and folks in charge...FWIW...I'd be especially careful to obey all the DOT regulations while transporting a firearm...The kicker is that accidents happen...If they do, it's entirely possible for the company to allow a search of your truck...after all, IF it's NOT yours, the company has that right...not you...and they WILL be talking to everyone involved, rather quickly too...[​IMG]
     
  10. NewShooter

    NewShooter Member

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    As a former driver I can 2nd what moondoggie said.
     
  11. Thin Black Line

    Thin Black Line Member

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    Moondoggie, thank you, very informative. I also had a family member told in
    "trucking school" years back the "DOT says it's illegal" line. Company policy
    definitely made it a problem though.

    In any case, there really wasn't a place for him to store a firearm that
    wouldn't have been attached to the cab and he certainly couldn't break
    the seals to put it in the trailer.
     
  12. mec

    mec Member

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    This is not a surprise. Nevertheless, truck companies themselves claim there is just to shift responsibility. Kind of like the useless cowardly manager of one of the banks in Waco. He claims his sign prohibiting concealed carry is mandated by the "Banking Commission." It is not. None of the other banks put up "please rob our customers, they're unarmed" signs
     
  13. pacodelahoya

    pacodelahoya Member

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    Yea, I just looked through the federal motor carrier regulations handbook, looked for weapons, looked for firearms,.. nada.

    Prohibited practices include:

    No hitchhikers

    No towing with busses with passengers

    No riding in enclosed commercial vehicles without interior access

    No open flame heaters, no radar detectors.


    I think it is just company policies, I was told the same thing during orientation.
     
  14. isp2605

    isp2605 Member

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    I was one of two to be the first certified motor carrier safety officers in IL. In IL only the IL State Police can enforce MCS laws. I worked a lot of trucks enforcement in my career and did a lot of inspections. Also taught MCS law at our academy.
    Moondoggie gave 100% correct info and did an excellent job explaining several points.
     
  15. Sergeant Bob

    Sergeant Bob Member

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    There are a lot of "Truckstop Lawyers" working in truck driving schools. I think I heard the same thing (no guns DOT regs) when I was in driving school. When I combed the regs, I could not find it. Most of the people who tell you that are just repeating something they "heard".

    Never follow the "heard".

    You didn't happen to participate in any of those truck "ambushes" on I-39 (US 51) up North of the Petro did you?:)
     
  16. isp2605

    isp2605 Member

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    Nope, never worked any of those details on I-39. Years ago I worked a couple at the Big X near the Quad Cities, several near Galesburg, 1 near the E St Louis area, 1 or 2 near Champaign, and then the rest in the central part of the state. By the time I-39 was built I was in plain clothes.
     
  17. EOD Guy

    EOD Guy Member

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    There is a letter of clarification on the DOT web site which states that the possession of firearms on a commercial vehicle is dependent on state and local laws. DOT has no regulation addressing the issue.
     
  18. obxned

    obxned Member

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    So I guess the people who deliver all the stuff we need are just second class citizens. Their jobs usually require working during the hours most popular with gremlins, and they must go into gremlim-rich places, carrying valuable stuff. Boy, that's a really great deal!
     
  19. pacodelahoya

    pacodelahoya Member

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    Yep and the police don't need a reason to pul you over and thoroughly inspect your truck. Even though it must be inspected by a licensed mechanic twice annually.

    How would you like it if at any time the police could come into your place of buisness without a warrant and ask for all of your documentation, and make you pee in a cup!!
    Just like the ATF, the DOT guys will ruin your day for a mathematical error.

    What a country we live in. Happy independence day.
     
  20. nvshooter

    nvshooter member

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    Not carrying a rod in a truck is the best way to avoid any problems. It may be legal; it may be within the regs, but why avail yourself of all the potential problems? I used to go to NYC, NJ, Philly, Boston and all those cesspool East Coast cities and states. I finally tired of it and moved to Nevada, where we own guns and actually use them. Best decision I ever took...
     
  21. mec

    mec Member

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    A friend of mine's cousin got caught trying to drive a semi into canada with a derringer on board. she got banned from Canada for life. Some truckers have carried percussion revolvers. Of course the more restrictive jurisdictions regard them as firearms too.

    I had a guy in a concealed handgun class a few years ago who says he got off after killing a guy in California who was attacking him in his truck. He believes that he got off without a conviction but I don't know whether his license came through or not. Some people are a bit vague on whether or not they have felony convictions.
     
  22. pacodelahoya

    pacodelahoya Member

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    So, what was her punishment? That sounds more like a reward!:D
     
  23. cbsbyte

    cbsbyte Member

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    I don't know about laws pertaining to truckers. But I am sure it is not a good idea to carry while traveling interstate because of the different jurisdictions. I know in most of the Northeast it would be illegal for a trucker to have piece on them, especially in NY, NJ and Mass.
     
  24. Bilt4Comfort

    Bilt4Comfort Member

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    I drive locally for the biggest "brand" in the industry. Our company policy says "no firearms on company property" and that includes the employee parking lot.

    That being said, it would not be in your best interest to threaten my life while I'm on the job. I've had lots of jobs, but as far as I know, I only get one life.
     
  25. LAK Supply

    LAK Supply Member

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    I'm one of those mechanics being referred to earlier in the thread (still my day job until our sales take over my income), and our company has a very strict firearms policy. "Don't ask don't tell so if you get caught with it we didn't know about it" is pretty much how it works.

    Quite a few of our drivers are packing in their rigs; some legally some not. I've actually sold quite a bit of parts and accessories to our guys (grips, mags, holsters, etc). Since we're based in ************ I tell all of them to get a lock box for the gun while in the state. We're running 11 western, so CA is the only one to be concerned with. The rest of them are Nevada, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, Utah, Arizona, etc; all very gun-friendly.
     
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