As truckers are encountering increasing violence brought about by historic civil unrest, the need for new concealed-carry reciprocity laws has never been more evident.
Truckers Unnerved By Highway Violence Brought About By Protests
In recent weeks, the trucking community has been horrified by story after story of the widespread violence that drivers are facing as they try to do their jobs.
As protests over the police-involved death of George Floyd stretch into the third week, truckers who found themselves in the midst of demonstrations have been looted, attacked by protesters, and arrested and charged.
Many truckers are understandably on edge and more interested than ever in defending their lives, property, and freight with handguns.
While there are no federal laws forbidding truckers from carrying guns, many trucking companies have policies in place against carrying firearms. Further, a confusing network of city, county, and state regulations could make a concealed weapon that was legal for a driver to carry when he woke up illegal for him to carry when he stops for lunch.
Concealed-Carry Bills Would Make It Easier For Truckers To Defend Themselves Across State Lines
Legislation introduced last year could cut through some of the confusion and make it easier for truckers to protect themselves by introducing national concealed-carry reciprocity.
H.R. 38 and S. 69 were introduced in the House and Senate in January 2019 and remain pending as of today. Both bills contain similar language regarding the establishment of national concealed-carry reciprocity.
From the text of H.R. 38:
This bill allows a qualified individual to carry a concealed handgun into or possess a concealed handgun in another state that allows individuals to carry concealed firearms.
A qualified individual must (1) be eligible to possess, transport, or receive a firearm under federal law; (2) carry a valid photo identification document; and (3) carry a valid concealed carry permit issued by any state or be eligible to carry a concealed firearm in his or her state of residence.
Additionally, the bill specifies that a qualified individual who lawfully carries or possesses a concealed handgun in another state (1) is not subject to the federal prohibition on possessing a firearm in a school zone, and (2) may carry or possess the concealed handgun in federally owned lands that are open to the public.
U.S. Representative Richard Hudson, who is the author of H.R. 38, continues to advocate for the bill, which he calls “one of the most important pro-Second Amendment measures in Congress.”
H.R. 38 currently has 160 co-sponsors. It has been referred to the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security. A previously introduced version of Hudson’s bill passed in the House in December 2017 before stalling.
S. 69 has 38 co-sponsors and was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary.
“Concealed carry reciprocity is already well-established across our country with the average state recognizing permits from more than 30 other states,” said Rep. Hudson. “National concealed carry reciprocity is common sense, and I’ll continue to lead the efforts to make it a reality.”