Truckers who have a concealed carry license from the state where they live often must weigh their safety against risking breaking the law when they cross their state line. But this may soon change as a bill in the Senate pushes for “national concealed carry reciprocity.” If this bill passes, truckers with concealed carry licenses could be able to legally transport their handguns on their interstate travels.
Constitutional Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act
Introduced by Texas Senator John Cornyn, the Constitutional Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2019 will make it easier for truckers to legally defend themselves with their legal firearms. According to Cornyn’s office, the purpose of approving this new law would “allow individuals with concealed carry privileges in their home state to exercise those rights in any other state with concealed carry laws, while abiding by that state’s laws.”
In supporting the Act, Cornyn states:
"This bill focuses on two of our country’s most fundamental constitutional protections– the Second Amendment’s right of citizens to keep and bear arms and the Tenth Amendment’s right of states to make laws best-suited for their residents. I look forward to working with my colleagues to advance this important legislation for law-abiding gun owners nationwide."
Why is This New Legislation Important for Truckers?
During 2017, 23 truckers died because of violence and injuries, which was two more than the previous year. Many of these crimes occur at truck stops and warehouses. You might carry a gun or some other type of weapon like a bat or pepper spray to try to protect yourself. But if you do carry a gun, you need to be careful to stay legal. Otherwise, you are risking your own freedom and your job.
Laws vary from state-to-state regarding concealed weapons. Some states will issue concealed carry permits to residents only, while others may also issue to non-residents. Meanwhile, others are constitutional carry states that may or may not issue permits to residents and non-residents. Some states will honor concealed carry permits, but truckers are responsible on their own to know which states do. This makes it difficult for truckers to legally carry their guns from state to state.
There are no laws that specifically say that truckers cannot carry guns. However, many carriers prohibit their drivers from carrying guns along with military bases where pickups or deliveries may be made. Unfortunately, because truckers are usually alone, they are at a higher risk of becoming crime victims. One of the most common threats is cargo theft, according to CargoNet. During Q3 2018, there were 328 reports of crimes against truckers and their freight.
As of January 22, the bill has 33 co-sponsors. If the Constitutional Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act does become law, it will make it easier to protect yourself on the road if you have a concealed carry permit from your state.