Trucking group asks for relief from gun laws during COVID-19 crisis

A trucking trade group has asked the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) for relief from state and local gun regulations to give drivers hauling supplies during uncertain times caused by Coronavirus a better chance to protect themselves.

Trucking trade group the Small Business in Transportation Coalition (SBTC) has written to U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao to ask for relief from the federal government from restrictions against carrying firearms across state lines.

In the March 20 letter, the SBTC President James Lamb cites “life-threatening dangers on the road” caused by the COVID-19 pandemic that call for the “immediate Federal preemption of state/local gun restrictions on truckers.”

The dangerous conditions that Lamb points to include stay at home orders issued by multiple states causing metropolitan areas to be “desolate” and the release of prisoners from jails in cities like New York and Los Angeles.

From the letter:

…in accordance with the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution, we hereby request the U.S. Department of Transportation please issue a preemption order nullifying any and all state and local laws that restrict truck drivers protect themselves and their cargo as they engage in interstate commerce.

As this is now a matter of life and death, please issue same forthwith.

“Truckers have one of the most dangerous jobs in America. We are now at a 30-year high on large truck occupant fatalities according to USDOT. If the highways don’t get you, Driver, some punk in the Bronx will,” Lamb said.

So far, there has been no response from U.S. DOT to the SBTC.

There is no federal law that prevents truck drivers from carrying firearms, but there is a patchwork of state and local regulations that can complicate or even prevent a driver from carrying a gun, especially when operating interstate. Additionally, many motor carriers have policies that would prevent their drivers from carrying a firearm.

For more information on conceal and carry reciprocity between states, please click here.

15,000 members of the trucking community are part of the SBTC, according to the group’s website.