A group of Republican Senators recently introduced concealed carry reciprocity legislation that could make it simpler for truckers to defend themselves out on the road.
On April 29, 2021, U.S. Senators John Cornyn, Bill Hagerty, Chuck Grassley, and Jim Inhofe introduced the Constitutional Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act, or S1522, which would allow individuals with concealed carry privileges in their home state to exercise those rights in any other state with concealed carry laws, while still abiding by that state’s laws.
The intent of the bill is to allow citizens to defend themselves while they are traveling or temporarily living away from home, according to a news release from Cornyn’s office.
The bill would not establish national standards for concealed carry and would not provide for a national concealed carry permit.
“Law-abiding Tennesseans who are permitted to carry a firearm should be able to exercise that constitutional right in other states, consistent with those state’s laws, without having to obtain a separate permit,” said Sen. Hagerty. “The constitutional right of self-defense should not disappear while traveling or temporarily living away from home, which is why I’ve joined Senator John Cornyn in introducing this legislation that respects constitutional rights and individual state laws while eliminating unnecessary bureaucracy.”
“This bill reduces confusion and legal inconsistencies for responsible gun owners when they travel outside of their home state, while also respecting states’ rights to set their own laws. I’m happy to again support this bill,” said Sen. Grassley.
The bill currently has 34 co-sponsors.
Similar legislation was introduced in the House in January 2021 by U.S. Representative Richard Hudson.
Similar bills has been introduced multiple times in recent years without advancing.
Should the bill pass, it could go a long way towards clearing up the confusion surrounding OTR trucking while carrying a firearm. While there is no law that prohibits truck drivers from carrying guns, many carriers do not allow it and most U.S. military bases prohibit it. To complicate matters, varied state concealed carry reciprocity laws mean that truckers need to do their homework before they cross state lines while carrying a firearm to make sure that they are compliant with the law.
You can click here to access an interactive map to help you understand which states will honor your home state’s concealed carry permits.