Firearms

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guyjax(Guy Hodges)'s Comment
member avatar

Brett hopefully you can make a link to this post in the forums "link" section cause frankly it's becoming tedious to keep posting on this subject time and time again.

We have a certain topic that goes up every week or so and it just seems like it never goes away. That is the subject of firearms. I will not go into details with listing of examples of why it's not a good idea to have a firearm in a truck but will stick to a few basic facts as to why you can not legally carry one in a truck.

This applies to all permits weather or not it's concealed or open carry.

1) cause its against almost every companies policy to have one on the truck. They don't want the liability that can come from it. Remember if something happens, which it rarely does, it's not just you that is involved but also you company cause its their name on the side of the truck.

2) while it maybe legal to carry at home you also know that if it's posted "No weapons or firearms" that you are not allowed to enter that property or building while carrying. I know you have to be warned or made aware that your not supposed to carry weapons on a property and those signs postings is your warning and from that point if you are found with a weapon on you it could become "Felony trespass with a firearm" if the property owner want to press charges. Not worth the risk or hassle involved.

3) to expand on number 2 your gun rights end where other people's personal rights began. And that includes the right to not allow anyone on their property with a firearm regardless whether or not you former law enforcement. Current police are exempt from this.

4) an expansion on property .... Weigh stations are state property and they ALL have posted signs that say no firearms and since you have no choice but to enter weigh station it becomes illegal the second you drive into that property if you have a firearm in the truck. It's posted and that's the one warning you have to have.

Below is a 2 in one 1 sign for my company. The sign wording covers both company policy and property owner rights not to allow firearms. Similar signs are posted on all shipper and receiver properties. The local and state laws make it where property owner rights and personal rights supersede your right to carry a firearm. Is it right? Maybe or maybe not but it's the law and can cause you unnecessary problems if you choose to carry a firearm in a truck.

werner enterprise gun ban sign

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

Rick S.'s Comment
member avatar

You know me, being the "Pro Gun" type - will chime in on this. And yes - while the topic has been beaten to near-death, there is still a lot of misinformation on the topic.

1 - True - for the very reasons Guy stated - and the main reason why company drivers should leave it home - regardless of any perception about your "rights". When you enter into a contract to operate for a company, that contract compels you to "waive" your right, in favor of company policy. Simple enough.

2 - True again - and, versus #1 (if you chose to violate it), would compel you not to have one, or leave it secured in your truck.

3 - Same as 2 - though I'm not going to debate the actions/laws of certain states, as they vary. But a "posted no gun" property, can leave you open to civil/criminal action - should you choose to ignore it.

4 - All states CWP's have restrictions - and the one most universal, is carrying in a police station. DOT authorities (state) being Law Enforcement Authorities - by that virtue - it would be illegal to carry into a DOT HOUSE, but not necessarily illegal to DRIVE THROUGH a weigh station. But #1 would apply anyway.

The TRUE MEAT of this conversation, goes to #1 above. As far as this forum goes - most folks are new entrants into the industry, and are going to be working for a company that prohibits firearms onboard company vehicles. So all other points of legality are moot.

If you choose to be armed, you do so at your own risk - and if terminated for violation of that company policy - will likely not work in the industry (at least as a company driver) EVER AGAIN.

As a lifetime NRA member, and longtime CWP holder (and daily carrier), if I were to get a job, driving a company vehicle, where the company prohibited firearms - I WOULD LEAVE MINE AT HOME. Despite the fact that the likelihood of being CAUGHT is minimal - except in the case where you would be forced to actually use it - the risk of being "permanently blacklisted" isn't worth it. SOMEONE ELSES PROPERTY (truck & contents) is not worth risking my life over. You want it - here's the keys, have a nice day.

Even as a CWP holder (with reciprocity in many states) many states (NY, NJ, MA, MD, etc.) will throw your butt in jail, for having a gun in ANY VEHICLE - if you are not licensed specifically in that state to do so. Again - not worth the risk (even though I have foolishly taken that risk before).

That being said - the misinformation regarding FMCSA/Federal/State laws, prohibiting personal firearms in commercial vehicles are 100% false. There is no FMCSA Regs (and by inference, Federal Law) that prohibit it. Likewise, there are no State Laws that reference firearms in CMV's any different than non-CMV's. And I've done some pretty exhaustive research on the topic in the past.

Thanks for the informative post Guy. Your information is accurate and concise. I'm not looking to argue with you (or anyone else) here on the topic.

CSA:

Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA)

The CSA is a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) initiative to improve large truck and bus safety and ultimately reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities that are related to commercial motor vehicle

FMCSA:

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

The FMCSA was established within the Department of Transportation on January 1, 2000. Their primary mission is to prevent commercial motor vehicle-related fatalities and injuries.

What Does The FMCSA Do?

  • Commercial Drivers' Licenses
  • Data and Analysis
  • Regulatory Compliance and Enforcement
  • Research and Technology
  • Safety Assistance
  • Support and Information Sharing

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

Fm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

Rolling Thunder's Comment
member avatar

That being said - the misinformation regarding FMCSA/Federal/State laws, prohibiting personal firearms in commercial vehicles are 100% false. There is no FMCSA Regs (and by inference, Federal Law) that prohibit it. Likewise, there are no State Laws that reference firearms in CMV's any different than non-CMV's. And I've done some pretty exhaustive research on the topic in the past.

That is correct. I am very thorough when I have to research a subject and this was one of them. I too am a permit holder, NRA member, NAGR member and a member of the Tennessee Firearms Association. There is absolutely nothing that outlaws a firearm in a commercial vehicle... Nothing. As for the companies, well, that is their prerogative and I guess I got lucky.

CSA:

Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA)

The CSA is a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) initiative to improve large truck and bus safety and ultimately reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities that are related to commercial motor vehicle

FMCSA:

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

The FMCSA was established within the Department of Transportation on January 1, 2000. Their primary mission is to prevent commercial motor vehicle-related fatalities and injuries.

What Does The FMCSA Do?

  • Commercial Drivers' Licenses
  • Data and Analysis
  • Regulatory Compliance and Enforcement
  • Research and Technology
  • Safety Assistance
  • Support and Information Sharing

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

Fm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.
guyjax(Guy Hodges)'s Comment
member avatar

Rick S. Nah was not posting that as bait for argument. We had another guy ask about it in his first post in another thread and since we always have new people lurking in the background I thought I would write something that I could post that was just the basic facts, although you went into more detail about the fmcsa not having any law against it which is correct and thank you, without any personal opinions at all. Sure each bullet point I listed could have a posting of their own with a lot of details but learning from the past if you throw to much info into one post the essence of the post gets lost in all the words.

Besides all that I wanted a post that I could copy and paste to my phone and the first post on this thread will be my standard answer to any firearms questions that may come up in the future. We have beat the subject to death many times over and it's to the point of being tedious to have to type out the same answers over and over again so above is what will be seen from me from now on concerning this subject.

CSA:

Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA)

The CSA is a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) initiative to improve large truck and bus safety and ultimately reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities that are related to commercial motor vehicle

FMCSA:

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

The FMCSA was established within the Department of Transportation on January 1, 2000. Their primary mission is to prevent commercial motor vehicle-related fatalities and injuries.

What Does The FMCSA Do?

  • Commercial Drivers' Licenses
  • Data and Analysis
  • Regulatory Compliance and Enforcement
  • Research and Technology
  • Safety Assistance
  • Support and Information Sharing

Fm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.
Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
There is absolutely nothing that outlaws a firearm in a commercial vehicle... Nothing. As for the companies, well, that is their prerogative and I guess I got lucky

That was too vague and incomplete a statement. Indeed there are no Federal laws that expressly prohibit guns in commercial vehicles. But restrictions go far beyond the policies of the trucking companies. It also includes restrictions on private property (the customers) and Government property (the weigh stations). Then of course there are various state laws that will apply. And of course crossing into Canada with a gun in a commercial vehicle? Highly doubtful.

So no....you did not get lucky because company policy means squat. You've been lucky so far but anyone carrying a gun in a commercial vehicle is doing so illegally much of the time. Like Guyjax said, your gun rights end where the gun rights of others begin. If you're rolling through scale houses and onto private property that prohibits guns then you're asking for a world of hurt.

A couple of summers ago there was a hunting cabin and a Sheriff's house up the road from me that were robbed in broad daylight. Took a whole pile of guns from both places when noone was home. I wasn't home that day either but nobody messed with my place. Maybe because a gun that's hidden somewhere will not deter an attack but a big German Shepherd in plain site sure will!

1406801893.722.jpg

Remember, the idea is to deter, not defend. Oh sure it's more fun to fantasize about going all "Special Forces" on someone's *ss if they mess with you. But in reality nobody wants that. You want to avoid any attack in the first place and a gun hidden in your bunk isn't going to do that.

I'll tell you what I think is interesting weapon. I like one piece that's a combination of:

- flashlight
- baton
- hidden taser

Now that is something you might be able to use. Most people carry some sort of a small club/baton/bat anyhow. And you need a flashlight sometimes, right? And in some extreme close-up circumstances wouldn't you have a much better chance of using a baton or that hidden taser on an unsuspecting assailant than getting out a loaded gun?

And what if you did have to use something in a close-up circumstance? You fire off a round from that gun and your life will never be the same and you know it. You're going to have legal battles for years and years to come. If you happen to lose any of them the consequences will be dire. And that's assuming the battle ends in your favor. There is no winning if something like that happens.

But with a baton or taser you can have great stopping power without using lethal force, and you have the advantage of stealth with the hidden taser. Even if you ran into legal problems with the taser they won't compare to the problems you'd face with a gun.

Listen, making smart decisions is the key to successfully navigating risky circumstances. Of course you'd like to be prepared for any eventuality if possible. But is having a gun in a commercial vehicle really the smartest option for defending yourself? Not at all. Not when you consider all of the ramifications and other options you have. You have to make smarter choices than that.

Think about our military guys. They don't all just choose the biggest, scariest thing they can think of or they'd all be driving tanks or carrying rocket launchers. In reality there are plenty of pistols and knives tucked away because they're smart tactically. In a commercial vehicle you have to consider all of your options carefully and realistically. The chances that you'll ever be required to use even the threat of lethal force to protect yourself out there? Probably less than your chances of winning the lottery or getting struck by lightning. And the chances of you successfully deterring or preventing an attack of some sort by reaching for that gun? Again, slim to none. There is a much better chance that things will end catastrophically once that gun is out.

Remember, you also have your career to think about and the innocent bystanders around you. Driving a commercial vehicle is a massive responsibility and you have to make smart choices.

Personally I'm not for or against guns in general. What I am for is people making smart decisions and having long, successful trucking careers.

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

Flatwater 's Comment
member avatar

My company does not expressely prohibit firearms either. But, ain't gonna tote one in the truck. Waaay too much liability. Too many places have prohibitions in place to keep track of. Plus, with our litigation-minded society, if you skin that smoke wagon, you're guilty until proven innocent. Even if you were protecting yourself, kiss your gun and possibly your job, goodbye until the situation goes through the legal process. Responsible firearm owners are held to a higher standard. Just as truckers are compared to four-wheelers. And bad eggs in either group give the quiet majority a black eye.

And Guy, I'm all for putting this issue to bed. IF... we can do the same with the urinalysis/hair folicle question. ;)

guyjax(Guy Hodges)'s Comment
member avatar
And Guy, I'm all for putting this issue to bed. IF... we can do the same with the urinalysis/hair folicle question. ;)

If everyone assumes each company does both then they will be all right.

Josh S.'s Comment
member avatar

I'm all for Brett using one "sticky" at the top of the general forum for FAQ. Like:
1. Firearms
2. Drug tests
3. At my age...
4. What company should I start with
ect....
I'm sure you moderators could come up with a much longer list of questions that show up all the time, and the response is always the same. In my opinion this would help people get quick answers and save your moderators a lot of time.

Jopa's Comment
member avatar
Sure each bullet point I listed could have a posting of their own

GuyJax, was that an intentional pun???

Jopa

smile.gifsorry.gif

Rolling Thunder's Comment
member avatar

Okay, I should have added "Federal" in my statement there. I am not advocating toting a forearm in a commercial vehicle, simply pointing out that the act in itself is not illegal.

Brett, I do not disagree with you much, but here I have to. We have no way of knowing what the other guy thinks or what his actions will be if he is packing a firearm. Making a broad statement like "making smart decisions is the key to successfully navigating risky circumstances" creates an assumption that people who carry a weapon are somehow lesser than those who don`t. I do not carry my weapon to feel "macho" or any other word that fits. I must have won the lottery as well because I have been in a sticky situation where guns were involved and everyone turned out fine (except for the criminal, he went to prison...alive). So, did I use it as a deterrent? Yes, didn`t fire a shot.

We do not hear much about good law abiding carriers on the news because gun owners don`t go around shooting up people and/or places and that is just not newsworthy.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

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