AmericanTruckersAtWar

Professional, Polite, Prepared to Kill

ATAW Exclusive: Firearms and Big Trucks – Myth…. Busted

mythbusters_busted_spray

By Renee E. Taylor

 

What is your life worth?

 

Trucker A is resting in the sleeper of his truck.  He is awakened by the sound of a thief breaking into the truck, intent on stealing truck and cargo.  The assailant enters the truck and upon seeing Trucker A, pulls a weapon with intent to kill.  Trucker A is unarmed.  The assailant kills Trucker A, steals truck and cargo.  The cost is the driver’s life, the company’s stolen truck and trailer and tens of thousands of dollars of cargo.  Trucker A’s family loses a husband and father.

 

Trucker B is resting in the sleeper of his truck.  He is awakened by the sound of a thief breaking into the truck, intent on stealing truck and cargo.  The assailant enters the truck and upon seeing Trucker B, pulls a weapon with intent to kill.  Trucker B, having heard the assailant’s successful attempt to break into the truck, is ready.  When the assailant turns to the sleeper, pointing his weapon at Trucker B while threatening to kill Trucker B, is face to face with Trucker B’s legally owned firearm.  Trucker B shoots  the assailant.  Truck, trailer and cargo are safe, Trucker B is fired by his company, but lives to work another day.  The assailant will not live to steal another truck.

 

It is a common misconception within the trucking industry that it is against the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) Rules and Regulations for a driver, who carries a concealed carry permit from his or her home state, to carry a legally owned weapon in his or her truck.  This is simply not true.  After studying the regulations, I called the FMCSA to confirm or bust this myth within the industry.  According to the FMCSA, there is no rule denying the trucker the right to carry his or her legally owned and obtained firearm in the truck.

 

Trucking companies have different stories to tell their drivers and potential recruits with regard to firearms in the truck.  A former trucker, I called several companies to see exactly what they tell their potential recruits when asked the question:  As a concealed carry permit holder, can I carry my firearm for protection as a driver for your company?  Their answers ranged from uninformed (Melton) to very honest (Schneider National).

 

When speaking to a recruiter from Melton, I was told that it was definitely in the FMCSA regulations that I could not carry my firearm in their truck as a company employee.  The recruiter, who identified herself as “Leslie” was very polite, stating she had verified this with their safety director, although neither could say exactly WHERE in the regulations firearms were prohibited.

 

Schneider National’s recruiter explained their company policy against carry firearms in the truck this way – it is a company policy due to the fact that each state and many cities have differing (and often insane) laws regarding firearms.  Therefore, there is company policy prohibiting their drivers from having a firearm in his or her truck.  Some states do not recognize concealed carry permits from others, etc.  At least Schneider was truthful in that it is their company policy, not the FMCSA’s rules that prohibit the driver from carrying a firearm in the truck.

 

FLT, who had an ad in our local paper for drivers to haul munitions, simply stated that it was company policy that drivers could not carry a firearm for protection.

 

There is another aspect to the above scenarios described in the beginning of this article.  The driver, truck, trailer and cargo are expendable rather than face a lawsuit by the family of the criminal who was shot in the commission of the theft.  Insurance carriers for each individual company may or may not have a provision with regard to the issue.  Insurance companies will pay for the truck, trailer and cargo, as well as a pittance to the driver’s wife.  It costs nothing to the company if their truck, trailer and cargo are stolen, they already pay the monthly insurance premium.  It destroys the life of the trucker’s family when he is murdered in the commission of the theft.  It is cheaper to lose a driver than face a lawsuit.

 

When my husband and I owned our trucking company several years ago, we were armed with both our weapons (both are concealed carry permit holders) and The Traveler’s Guide to the Firearms Laws in the Fifty States.  As company owners, we made the decision that our lives and our equipment were not expendable.  Those who hold concealed carry permits are trained in firearm use, laws and safety and are, as a whole, law abiding citizens.  The criminal who attempts to steal your truck and threaten your life is not. 

 

The FMCSA does not prohibit you from carrying your weapon in your truck for protection, regardless what your recruiter or safety director attempts to tell you.  Firearms in trucks may be prohibited by the company or by their insurance, but not by the FMCSA.   This is a myth…. busted.

 

As life on the road becomes increasingly dangerous, how you will protect yourself on the road is a question not to be taken lightly.  With the many forms of self protection available, it could be life saving to choose what is best for you. Educate yourself by listening to Tom Gresham’s Gun Talk on XM Radio Channel 166 on Sunday nights. Join the NRA and take advantage of their education programs and informative publications.  Then ask yourself two questions: “what is your life worth?” and “can you get another job?”

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January 7, 2009 - Posted by | Commentary, trucking | , , , , , ,

5 Comments »

  1. Hi Renee…
    Excellent piece, and thanks for doing the research. Personally, I believe any trucker with no criminal record should be able to get a limited federal gun permit that covers all 50 states. I know it’s impossible, but wouldn’t it be great if we could?
    Alan

    Comment by Alan Burkhart | January 8, 2009 | Reply

  2. I agree, Alan, it would be wonderful, but I am afraid it would never happen…

    Comment by rtaylor83305 | January 8, 2009 | Reply

  3. This was preventable, Of course UPS has a no self- protection policy.

    http://www.keyetv.com/content/news/topnews/story/UPS-Van-stolen-near-UT-Campus-Suspect-arrested/f-oH9VTbBkeK1h75SetKfQ.cspx

    UPS Van stolen near UT Campus; Suspect arrested
    CBS 42 Reporter: Alexis Patterson

    Email: adpatterson@keyetv.com

    UPS van stolen near UT campus

    Jason Williams is accused of stealing a UPS truck Tue. Jan. 6 near the UT Campus. (APD) Austin Police are investigating an unusual theft, after a man reportedly stole a UPS truck.

    Police say Jason Luke Williams forced the UPS driver out of his truck about 5:30 P.M. Tuesday evening, then took off. But officers say he didn’t get far, and Tuesday night, the suspect was in the Travis County Jail.

    Police combed the UPS truck for evidence as it sat without a driver along the I-35 frontage road near UT. Several blocks away, there was another abandoned vehicle, which was ditched where everything started.

    “Basically a UPS driver was sitting at the light when a silver SUV pulled up next to him,” said Sgt. Tyson McGowan with APD. “The driver of that vehicle abandoned the SUV and jumped into the UPS truck.”

    Police the UPS driver called 911. Minutes later, another call came in, which informed APD that an empty UPS truck had started rolling backward.

    “No one knew it had been abandoned,” said Sgt. McGowan. “They just thought, initially thought the driver was backing up.”

    A driver stopped the UPS truck from rolling with his car, but police don’t think anyone actually saw the suspect leave the truck.

    “Because it happened so quickly, from the time the [first] call came in and [the second] call came in, we figured the suspect was pretty close, so we set up a perimeter around this area,” Sgt. McGowan said.

    The UPS driver and some witnesses provided a description, and police arrested Williams – the whole episode lasting about 10 minutes, according to an officer on the scene.

    “It’s kind of odd, kind of odd,” Sgt. McGowan said. “I’m really not sure what the motive was on that.”

    Police tell CBS 42 Williams will face felony theft charges.

    Police say the UPS driver wasn’t hurt. The company was on scene to take back the truck after police finished looking for evidence, but UPS representatives wouldn’t comment Tuesday night.

    Comment by Mark R. Taylor | January 9, 2009 | Reply

  4. Good story! I’ve been telling people this for years, but truckers have been lied to — told that it is illegal for them to carry guns in the truck. It is not, as you have documented.

    Thanks, also, for the mention of “Gun Talk” radio. Note that the time and channel have changed. It’s carried on 65 radio stations (live from 2:00-5:00pm Eastern on Sundays), and on Sirius channel 108 and XM channel 139 at 7:00pm Eastern on Sundays.

    Comment by Tom Gresham | February 8, 2009 | Reply

  5. Tom, Thanks for your comments and we are happy to see you visiting ATAW! Truckers have been lied to for years, believing the FMCSA regs prohibited the carrying of a firearm. It is company policies – period… Of course, as you mention on Gun Talk and we mentioned in the article, one must abide by the laws of the city, county and state he or she is in, but as far as the FMCSA – there is no such regulation.

    Comment by rtaylor83305 | February 11, 2009 | Reply


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