Gun In The Truck?

Topic 2317 | Page 1

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Phil C.'s Comment
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Editor's Note: We have an excellent article on the legality of guns in a tractor trailer so have a look!

Let me preface this by saying I am after cold hard facts, just the facts please.

I had originally thought I would have my pistol with me, I have my concealed carry permit and my gun is legal in all states magazine-wise. But I have heard a lot of conflicting things, read about this question on many different sites, and thus far I do not have a definitive answer. I understand that if it is against company policy then it is a no no. But what about federal regulations? Some say ok if the ammo is in a separate part of the truck not in the same compartment as the gun. Some say ok since your vehicle is an extension of your personal property, but I don't own the truck but it is my home, its where I live and sleep. Some say certain places you load may not allow a firearm of any kind any where. Some say the commerce area of the truck is the trailer not the cab. There is a letter of interpretation from the feds about it that seems to say it is legal.

Im just curious what you guys know about it and if its even a concern to have one. I keep thinking about being far from home in strange places, which is why I originally got my concealed carry permit. I hope I never have to use it. But it has always been with me wherever I go.

So does anyone KNOW for sure the federal laws and or their company rules? I wont take it along if it could get me in trouble legally or with my company, and will carry a big stick instead. OR maybe a taser. :-)

How often do trucks get robbed? Anyone ever been jumped or been in a situation where they wished they had a gun? I wouldn't try to protect the goods per se, just myself.



PJ's Comment
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Phil I understand your concerns. I am a retired cop and after carrying a gun for 30 years it was just a natural thing for me. Your answer has several parts to it.

First your state issued conceal permit is only valid in the state of issue. Pretty simple.

Second, each state has different rules for carrying it unloaded. It's a complete mixed bag in this area. Also truck sleepers do not get the same exceptions as housecars do.

Third, most companies I know of have a policy against it. I know mine does and are very serious about it. Even though I have a retired ID with a 50 state federal conceal endorsement they say no way.

Last, every shipper/receiver I have been too have big signs saying no firearms allowed anywhere on the property.

I am new at this, but been several places already. Most truck stops and rest areas are well lit. Make sure you are careful about where you are, and what's around you and you should be fine.

I have a very nice tire knocker behind my seat. LOL


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.

Dave D. (Armyman)'s Comment
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While there are NO federal laws against it, most companies have policies against carrying firearms in the truck and most shippers and receivers have policies against it. State reciprocity laws are NOT always equal. For example, Iowa will recognize a permit from ANY state. Colorado will only recognize permits that recognize their permit.

Basically, while many would like to carry, it's probably best not to. Too much of a headache.



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.


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.

Mistelle's Comment
member avatar

Something quick to think about,

you don't need a license to carry wasp spray. It has a range of 20 feet and will disable someone completely if you spray them in the face. It's legal in all states and isn't considered a weapon in any of them.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

PJ really nailed it - thanks for that PJ!!!

Absolutely no guns in a truck for all the reasons PJ mentioned. There's just no way to be legal everywhere you go all the time and the penalty for getting caught can be career-ending and possibly life-changing.

Very rarely do you ever hear anything about drivers getting robbed or attacked or anything of the sort. A little common sense will keep you out of harms way 99% of the time. I drove for 15 years and never had the first incident. I was never robbed or attacked or threatened in any way and believe me I went everywhere - South side of Chicago, Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, Miami, Los Angeles - on and on and on. Everywhere.

So leave the gun at home and use your common sense to stay out of harms way as much as possible.

guyjax(Guy Hodges)'s Comment
member avatar

Like was said above there is no Federal law against carry a firearm in the truck. Its the state and locals laws in the places we travel that will get you. As Brett said you can not be legal every where every time.impossible to do.

Pretty simple example is almost every place of business, state owned dot scale house, and pretty much every place we go have signs posted say no weapons or fireamrs of any kind. By law people need to give warning that they do not want firearms on their property and they give the first warning through the posted signs and after that is can lead to criminal trespass and easy escalate from there depend on how much they want to push the issue. Best advice is to leave it at home.


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.

Tracy W.'s Comment
member avatar

Bear spray and the ball peen hammer hammer you use to test your tires are probably the most effective deterrents you have.

It goes completely against my grain, as I'm from Montana and have carried a gun all my life, but if anyone wants my truck or it's contents bad enough to haul out a gun, they can have them.

The other thing is...if you are rolling and someone tries to hijack you ... keep moving. If you are stopped, get out and get away as quickly as you can without antagonizing them.


Starcar's Comment
member avatar

I agree with Tracy...they can have the truck, the load, my money, my stuff in the truck...but they won't be allowed to get close to, or lay a hand on this freckled body....cuz I don't fight fair, and I don't fight like a girl....

Woody's Comment
member avatar

Just a quick note, unless something has changed even stun guns are illegal in Illinois.

The suggestions on wasp or bear spray are good ideas. My wife that is concerned bought me some type of pepper spray for Christmas. It's in a smaller container so if I wanted to keep it with me I could. She also bought be a nice tire thumper. It is wood but appears to have some steel inserted in the end for added weight smile.gif

But I think the most important protection device is your brain. Carry yourself with confidence and don't make yourself look out of place and listen to your gut. There may be known places you want to trip plan so that you don't have to stop there. One I have heard of and will use only as an example since I have no personal knowledge is West Memphis. So I would try to trip plan a stop before or after this location. Or do my best to make it where if I had to stop there it would be during the day when other truckers are out and about, not at 4 am when I'm the only one walking around. You hear all kinds of stories about truckers but in the short time I have been out here what I have seen is a large group of people that are out here trying to make a living and have a slight kinship with each other and are willing to help each other out. No, it's not like it used to be, but it's better than what a lot of trucking forums would lead you to believe.

Most people that wish to do harm are looking for an easy mark. Just don't make yourself look like that easy mark or put yourself in citations where you are.


Ryan B.'s Comment
member avatar

I am glad someone posted this already, I am in a serious conflict on whether or not I would like to be otr , I know for sure I want my cdl , but have carried a gun most of my life, and was curious about the subject as well, this is bad news for me as I have already been put in the unfortunate situation where if I had not been armed I would not be here today, there are thos times in life where unfortunately a tire thumper just wont work when they have 12 of them and only one of you, but the wasp spray I have heard before, my wife (gun hater) likes this alternative, and I have seen news postings where it has been very effective in the past, so I would recommend this as the next best thing

also tasers are illegal in many places, in Wisconsin the charge for an unlawful taser is a class c felony, where unlawful conceal carry is class b misdemeanor,

whatever you have to do to defend yourselves out there be safe, and always alert, it's hard enough out there for you guys, hopefully you never have the added situation of needing a gun in order to see tomorrow


Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.


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.


Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
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