Pistol Carry In Truck?

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Vinnie R.'s Comment
member avatar

Greenhorn trucker here with big company. I understand DOT law and state laws don't allow pistol carry in the cab. I also know certain companies (shippers and consignees) don't allow pistols in their property. Nowadays I believe my life is more important than money and more important than those rules and laws. Has anyone working for a big fleet company ever been searched of their person or truck. I am thinking of carrying maybe in my shower bag a small 9mm. Please be straight and honest to the point

Consignee:

The customer the freight is being delivered to. Also referred to as "the receiver". The shipper is the customer that is shipping the goods, the consignee is the customer receiving the goods.

Shipper:

The customer who is shipping the freight. This is where the driver will pick up a load and then deliver it to the receiver or consignee.

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Rainy D.'s Comment
member avatar

Greenhorn trucker here with big company. I understand DOT law and state laws don't allow pistol carry in the cab. I also know certain companies (shippers and consignees) don't allow pistols in their property. Nowadays I believe my life is more important than money and more important than those rules and laws. Has anyone working for a big fleet company ever been searched of their person or truck. I am thinking of carrying maybe in my shower bag a small 9mm. Please be straight and honest to the point

Straight honest to the point. Some states WILL arrest you and CONVICT you. Point blank NJ is one of the toughest and has arrested not only truckers but even law enforcement officers from surrounding states for carrying. No lie. If you use the search bar you will see we have had this conversation quite a bit. In some parts of the country firearms are a way of life in others they are extremely rare.

I know truckers who say they have weapons on board where "DOT will never find them". To me, its not worth it. I have never felt unsafe other than downtown Cincinnati and I told dispatch that even as a company driver I won't go back there.

I've seen signs at shippers " all vehicles subject to search". Who knows if some security guard wants to feel powerful and pull rank? (And of course someone will throw out the search and seizure...its my home, not just my truck lines). I'm sure if caught you would be fired and it would go on your DAC meaning every company would know you violated company policy. Why would another hire you?

Consignee:

The customer the freight is being delivered to. Also referred to as "the receiver". The shipper is the customer that is shipping the goods, the consignee is the customer receiving the goods.

Shipper:

The customer who is shipping the freight. This is where the driver will pick up a load and then deliver it to the receiver or consignee.

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

DAC:

Drive-A-Check Report

A truck drivers DAC report will contain detailed information about their job history of the last 10 years as a CDL driver (as required by the DOT).

It may also contain your criminal history, drug test results, DOT infractions and accident history. The program is strictly voluntary from a company standpoint, but most of the medium-to-large carriers will participate.

Most trucking companies use DAC reports as part of their hiring and background check process. It is extremely important that drivers verify that the information contained in it is correct, and have it fixed if it's not.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

Oh yeah, trucks most definitely can be searched. I've had mine searched a couple of times over the years.

Seriously, trucking isn't very dangerous when it comes to that kind of stuff. In 15 years out there I never once had the first issue - no break-ins, no robberies, no threats - nothing. You almost never hear about anything like that happening. And when you consider there's like 3 million trucks on the road, it's just not much of a concern.

Larry K.'s Comment
member avatar

At the risk of starting an argument as opposed to a meaningful discussion ....

DOT has no ruling prohibiting the leagal carry of a weapon.

The pertinant rule is the FOPA of 1986 Carrying weapons across state lines can be very complex to answer, many states have recipocity agreement, this mean that a great many states will not be an issue assuming you take basic precautions.

NJ as noted earlier is one state you need to be very careful in, BUT, if the FOPA guidlines are followed there are no issues.

Most info i have seen so far is while not "wrong", most are simply half truths. NJ is best example, most get busted because they violated one specific part of a gun law, most frequently, magazine capacity ( yes even an out of state, off duty police officer).

Additionally a number of companies "ban" weapons on or in their property, walmart as example. That said more than just a few states note that these bans carry no force of law, otjer states state a sign does constitute force of law. BTW Walmart backed down on florida, now states if leagal to carry, is not banned, but NOT inside building.

Also not all carriers ban weapons, i have over the past month bluntly asked, 2 said no, 2 said they would prefer you not due to deliveries into secure areas, and one flat out said sure.

Of course i also note these are recruiters, and we all know recruiters are bastions of truth telling, and masters of all state and federal regulations.

Now, final disclaimer, Your milesage may vary, not typical results, etc, etc

Bottom line is, in a CMV , it will be very difficult to stay in complience unless you store the weapon per the FOPA, so then what is the reason to carry short of a hunting trip, or compitition. Personal protection is better done via other means.

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

CMV:

Commercial Motor Vehicle

A CMV is a vehicle that is used as part of a business, is involved in interstate commerce, and may fit any of these descriptions:

  • Weighs 10,001 pounds or more
  • Has a gross vehicle weight rating or gross combination weight rating of 10,001 pounds or more
  • Is designed or used to transport 16 or more passengers (including the driver) not for compensation
  • Is designed or used to transport 9 or more passengers (including the driver) for compensation
  • Is transporting hazardous materials in a quantity requiring placards
Rob S.'s Comment
member avatar

Please be straight and honest to the point

Don't do it. It's not worth the risk. If you're that worried about your safety take a personal defense class. However, in my year OTR I haven't seen any problem that I thought a firearm would solve.

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

This question comes up about every six weeks.

Your company says No. That's company policy, and a termination.

The shipper/ receiver says No. You will be banned from the property, they will inform your company. Then see the paragraph above.

As noted, you are subject to inspection in many places.

You say your life is more important than money, and that is certainly true. But the chances that you may be in a situation that makes you wish you had your piece stuck in your belt are very close to ZERO. Truly.

So, is your job, and your future career as a trucker, worth that tiny modicum of backup-security?

Shipper:

The customer who is shipping the freight. This is where the driver will pick up a load and then deliver it to the receiver or consignee.

Old School's Comment
member avatar

Every time I go to a terminal for service my truck gets searched.

Terminal:

A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

The Persian Conversion's Comment
member avatar

Hey everyone! I haven't been on in a few months, been busy with work, and I also kind of abandoned trucking truth in favor of firearm forums. I've been kind of obsessed with ensuring I have a proper "collection" due to recent political/social/global events...

Anyway I just logged on today for the first time in months and surprise surprise, the first post I see is about firearms!

I'll just relate a brief story of what happened to me a while back:

I was crossing into Canada, and I had just come off of home time a couple days prior. I was on a tight schedule and thus hadn't had a chance to unpack my clothing bag yet. It was sitting up on the shelf above my bed, among other bags/clothes.

So I got pulled in for a routine search, and as I was sitting inside the building waiting, two officers came inside and asked me to come with them. They led me down the hall and into a small, stark room that looked like an interrogation room. Then they proceeded to pat me down and check all my pockets.

I didn't understand why this was necessary. But when they finished, they explained that they had found an empty holster in my clothing bag. From their perspective, I could totally see why they were concerned. An empty holster would indicate that the gun it normally holds is currently elsewhere, and they must have assumed I took it out and concealed it on my person after I knew my truck would be inspected. And to make matters worse, they said it was sitting on top of the clothes in my bag, which would lend further credence to the idea that I had quickly grabbed the gun and then tried to hide the holster in the bag.

I explained what I thought had happened: I was packing my bag on the bed at home, and on another corner of the bed was some gun stuff I had been sorting through/organizing. My best guess was that my 1-year-old daughter had grabbed it and placed it in the bag without my noticing.

They continued asking me a bunch of questions though; clearly they weren't buying it. They asked where I keep my guns at home (in a safe), what kind of gun it was (that holster was for a Ruger .45), etc. Finally I think they could tell that I was sincere, especially after I told them they could call my wife to confirm the gun was there (they didn't). But they did take my phones and leave me alone in that room to sweat it out a while longer while they performed a much more thorough inspection of my truck, finally letting me go with a warning to "leave the holster at home next time."

Anyway, the point is that you never know when or where someone will decide they want to sift through your truck with a fine tooth comb. Can you imagine what would have happened if that holster had been full?

I agree with Brett. In 17 months on the road, I've never been in a situation where I wished I had a gun. It's just not really necessary out here, and there really aren't any benefits to outweigh the massive risks.

That being said though, I do think it's ridiculous that there are any rules against us carrying at all. I think the definition of "infringement" is quite clear, so I do believe that ANY law restricting ANY aspect of firearms or firearm ownership, no matter how small or trivial, is inherently unconstitutional.

Fatsquatch 's Comment
member avatar

Company policy and customer policy aside, here's the big thing.

Weigh stations are manned by officials from the individual states, but they are operated under the jurisdiction of the federal Department of Transportation. This makes them federal property, and unless you have a very specific permit to do so, it is a federal crime to possess a concealed firearm on federal property; and yes, just having it stashed under the bunk is considered concealment.

So, let's just say you get pulled in for a level 1 inspection, and the DOT officer decides to pull out the white gloves and flashlight. He starts poking through the inside of your truck, and he finds your gun. Oops. You are now under arrest on a charge of illegally transporting a firearm across state lines, as well as a federal charge of possessing a concealed firearm on government property, both of which are felonies. Your gun is now Exhibit A. You are out of a job, and will probably never drive a truck again...once you get out of prison, that is. You will also never be allowed to legally own another firearm or vote for the rest of your life.

So you tell me, is it worth it?

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

JakeBreak's Comment
member avatar

Company policy and customer policy aside, here's the big thing.

Weigh stations are manned by officials from the individual states, but they are operated under the jurisdiction of the federal Department of Transportation. This makes them federal property, and unless you have a very specific permit to do so, it is a federal crime to possess a concealed firearm on federal property; and yes, just having it stashed under the bunk is considered concealment.

So, let's just say you get pulled in for a level 1 inspection, and the DOT officer decides to pull out the white gloves and flashlight. He starts poking through the inside of your truck, and he finds your gun. Oops. You are now under arrest on a charge of illegally transporting a firearm across state lines, as well as a federal charge of possessing a concealed firearm on government property, both of which are felonies. Your gun is now Exhibit A. You are out of a job, and will probably never drive a truck again...once you get out of prison, that is. You will also never be allowed to legally own another firearm or vote for the rest of your life.

So you tell me, is it worth it?

This is the primary reason why I don't carry. I feel the same way company and shipper policies be damned. If they want to send me to shady areas then I'd want some protection. But if I'm caught by the dot then I can never own one again. So I'll take the chance in the shady areas so if nothing happens I can still but them in the future.

Shipper:

The customer who is shipping the freight. This is where the driver will pick up a load and then deliver it to the receiver or consignee.

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

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