For many people, owning a firearm is a deep part of what it means to be an American. The second amendment guarantees the right to bear arms but, as with most issues regarding the constitution, there are plenty of exceptions and restrictions in addition to what is explicitly stated. In this article we’ll cover the different rules and regulations that CDL drivers have to adhere to in regards to guns as well as the moral and safety obligations that come with carrying a firearm.
The most explicit federal law on the books in regards to carrying loaded firearms across state boarders is section 926A of Title 18 which states that commercial vehicle drivers are allowed to carry unloaded firearms in a separate container from ammunition across state lines. The law also goes on to say that States can supersede this law with permits. These permits can allow for loaded firearms to be carried between states that honor said permits. If you are curious which states offer and support these permits, USA Carry has an excellent map that lets you select your state and see where you can freely travel while carrying a loaded firearm. With this being said, it is important to also check your company’s policies because some trucking companies have rules against their CDL drivers carrying firearms.
Is a Firearm for You?
After you’ve determined if carrying a firearm is possible in your state (or the states you haul between) you have to ask yourself, “Do I feel comfortable having a firearm in my cabin?” There are some basic safety issues that come with having a loaded firearm on your persons such as:
- Warning passengers you are carrying,
- Understanding your weapon’s safety mechanism
- Knowing when rounds are chambered
- Understanding how to properly store ammunition.
Along with obtaining a concealed carry license you are required to take a gun maintenance and safety course so by the time you purchase a gun to be carried in your truck you should already have a basic understanding of these principles. Some drivers will denote they are carrying with a sticker or other noticeable warning sign. There are also storage devices designed just for trucks and other vehicles such as the NRA gun holster.
According to the FBI, some 859 trucks were robbed in 2009 and the number continues to rise. While having a weapon may help prevent many of these robberies, it’s still important to understand the dangers of owning a firearm. Most deaths as a result of a firearm are accidental or self inflicted so safety should be the number one concern when considering carrying a firearm. At the end of the day, firearm ownership is about feeling more comfortable as you tackle the open road and about continuing a tradition as old as this nation. Firearms, when handling and maintained properly, are amazing tools that can help protect your livelihood.