Can Truck Drivers Carry Guns?
Last updated Monday, October 9th, 2023
How to Legally Carry a Firearm to Protect Yourself While You Work
The short answer – yes. There are no FMCSA restrictions that prevent you from carrying a licensed firearm. However, there are different shades of legality based on the state you’re in, your company, your background, and many other factors.
Cargo truck hijacking and theft is a serious problem in America. Commercial trucks are the lifeline of our economy. They’re often carrying millions of dollars worth of cargo, which makes them a target of criminal elements. And the only person standing in their way is the truck driver.
In this article, we’ll help you understand what it takes to become a responsible gun owner as a commercial truck driver, and find out the various laws you need to follow to ensure safety and compliance.
Federal Law: The Peaceable Journey Law (Title 18, Section 926(a))
Truckers are legally entitled to a peaceful journey protected from criminal elements. The National Firearms Owners Protection Act of 1986 laid out the definition of a “peaceable journey.”
It permits gun owners to travel with a licensed gun through states where they don’t have a license to carry. They cannot be prosecuted for it. However, you may have to closely follow the carrier regulations followed by every state while navigating through them. Most states require you to store the unloaded gun in a locked box in the truck. It should be out of reach in the vehicle.
State Laws and Concealed Carry Permits
Concealed carry permits have helped set new standards for responsible gun ownership in America over the last few years. Most states allow American firearm owners with concealed carry permits to retain their weapons while visiting.
However, some states may have slightly or radically different policies for firearm owners. So it’s important to do your due diligence before driving into a state. Research and stick to the state’s firearm regulations. Always carry your permit with your firearm.
Local Laws and Ordinances
It’s tricky to stay on top of all the local laws and ordinances related to firearms. Local laws may differ from state laws, and a growing number of cities like Chicago are enforcing ordinances to ban certain guns.
These ordinances are introduced by individual cities or counties. So you must look up the policies in the specific locality you’re visiting to figure it out.
Carrier Rules and Policies
Just because a state allows you to carry a firearm doesn’t mean your trucking company will approve it. Many companies have a strict no-firearm policy to protect themselves from any liability from firearm incidents. And that may include your time spent driving, loading the truck, or doing any other work while you’re on the clock.
You must consult with your company management about their firearm policy if you’re planning to carry a gun. Violating these rules could easily become grounds for your termination and messing up your service record.
Owner-operators don’t have to worry about these limitations. They just need to ensure they’re complying with state and local laws.
Ensuring Compliance and Staying Safe
Knowledge and training are what separate a responsible gun owner from a reckless one. You need to be armed with the right legal knowledge to ensure you can protect your rights and your life. If you’re working with a trucking company, use their guidance and resources to stay compliant with firearm laws and avoid legal trouble.
Do you feel threatened and deprived of protection while driving your truck? Were you wrongfully fined or prosecuted for carrying your firearm? Do you want to know the best way to legally carry your firearm across states?
If these questions are on your mind, call us today for a free legal consultation.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can truckers carry firearms across state lines?
The National Firearms Owners Protection Act is a federal law that permits licensed firearm owners to carry their guns across state lines. However, they must comply with certain concealed carry regulations in different areas.
How can truckers stay informed about state and local firearm laws?
Truckers working for companies should approach their management for any guidance about state and local firearm laws before making a trip. Owner-operators must put in the effort themselves to research this information to ensure they comply with these laws.
What are the consequences of violating carrier policies?
The consequences of violating carrier policies can range from a small fine or suspension to losing your job and facing prison time. It depends on the nature of violations and damage caused
When should truckers seek legal help from Isaacs & Isaacs?
We can help protect your legal rights for several challenging scenarios faced by truck drivers, such as:
- Being involved in a truck accident
- Getting wrongfully fined or prosecuted for carrying your firearm while working
- Being wrongfully penalized or terminated by your trucking company