The Trucker Brief: National Reciprocity Now
By: Jake Isreal
Truck driving is a dangerous job. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, it’s the most hazardous job in the country. Obviously, driving a truck is going to be dangerous just because of the nature of the job. We drive 100 to 150 thousand miles a year, all over the country, through any type of weather Mother Nature decides to throw at us. Most of the deaths associated with this profession come from traffic accidents, of course.
However, lately I can’t seem to go a week without reading another story about a truck driver murdered in his truck. With the rise of the electronic log, and the shortage of parking, drivers are being forced to park in areas that are less than safe. A lot of the times a driver will have to park in a rest area, or even on the street outside of a customer’s location. These places aren’t very safe or secure, and make us perfect targets for the criminal element.
If something were to happen, help is not just a simple phone call away. A driver may not even know what to tell the police if he had to call them. These locations aren’t always identifiable by a street address, and even if it were police are generally not going to be there to help you — but to write a report as the coroner carries your body away.
If you hang around a food counter at a truck stop long enough, you're bound to hear some halfwit telling you how some federal law says truck drivers can’t carry a gun. This however, is not the case. There are no federal regulations in the FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration), or anywhere else that bars truck drivers specifically from carrying a firearm in their vehicle. That being said, we travel all over the country and we may find problems in the specific states that we travel to.
I personally have a concealed carry permit issued from the state of Florida. That permit gives me the authority to carry a concealed firearm in something close to 30 states. That's where it gets confusing. All of these states that honor the Florida concealed carry permit have their own individual regulations that effect what a concealed carry holder can and can't do, and where they can and can't carry. Even more still, since I am no longer a resident of Florida, some of those States won’t honor my permit at all. Then you have the issue of states that don’t recognize a Florida permit whatsoever. States like New York and New Jersey, and several others are notoriously bad when it comes to respecting the Second Amendment right of the American people.
I would argue, as well as many others, that just like we do with driver’s licenses, marriage licenses, and all kinds of other licenses, we should make a concealed carry license valid in all 50 states. After all, driving is a privilege…we have the RIGHT to bear arms. It’s enshrined in the U.S.Constitution, and 2nd only to our right to speak our minds. In fact, many believe we have the 2nd amendment to protect the 1st.
Right now, there are bills in both the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate. H.R. 38, sponsored by NC Representative Richard Hudson, and S. 446, sponsored by Senator John Cornyn of Texas are both in committee and need to be put forward for a vote, and subsequently signed into law. Text provided from congress.gov show the following as the Senate version of the bill:
“This bill amends the federal criminal code to allow a qualified individual to carry a concealed handgun into or possess a concealed handgun in another state that allows its residents to carry concealed firearms.
A qualified individual must: (1) be eligible to possess, transport, or receive a firearm under federal law; (2) carry a valid photo identification document; and (3) carry a valid state-issued concealed carry permit, or be eligible to carry a concealed firearm in his or her state of residence.”
This bill would help to protect the rights of the truck driver to defend himself, along with every other responsible and legal gun owner traveling around our great land. Please, call your Congressman and Senators and urge them to support this legislation. Lives depend on it!
Author: Jake Isreal