Diesel Bear

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Diesel Bear

Postby mgood » Fri Jun 29, 2012 7:06 pm

I finally got to show off my CHL yesterday. (It's been years, like since the early days of CHL, back in the nineties.)

I got pulled over by one of those black and white blazers, the DPS officers who deal primarily with commercial vehicles.
We'd actually been talking for a while, and he was looking over my truck, when he got around to asking for my driver's license and medical card. (Commercial drivers have to have a DOT physical every two years and are required to carry a card showing that you're up to date.) I handed him my DL and CHL and by the time I found my medical card, he handed the CHL back to me. He never asked if I was armed and I never said. The subject just never came up. Totally irrelevant to our business at the moment, I guess. As it should be.

A good stop.
(Especially considering that he could have given me a ticket for any number of things wrong with my piece-o-junk truck but instead only gave me a warning for several minor issues. :cool: )
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Re: Diesel Bear

Postby tomtexan » Fri Jun 29, 2012 7:21 pm

mgood wrote:I finally got to show off my CHL yesterday. (It's been years, like since the early days of CHL, back in the nineties.)

I got pulled over by one of those black and white blazers, the DPS officers who deal primarily with commercial vehicles.
We'd actually been talking for a while, and he was looking over my truck, when he got around to asking for my driver's license and medical card. (Commercial drivers have to have a DOT physical every two years and are required to carry a card showing that you're up to date.) I handed him my DL and CHL and by the time I found my medical card, he handed the CHL back to me. He never asked if I was armed and I never said. The subject just never came up. Totally irrelevant to our business at the moment, I guess. As it should be.

A good stop.
(Especially considering that he could have given me a ticket for any number of things wrong with my piece-o-junk truck but instead only gave me a warning for several minor issues. :cool: )

What size truck are you driving? I'm going to assume it is a commercial vehicle. The reason I ask is I have been struggling with the question of whether or not it is legal to be carrying in a commercial vehicle with a CHL. For some reason I have always been under the impression that weapons in a commercial vehicle was forbidden. I carry everyday in a commercial vehicle but worry about the repercussions I might suffer.
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Re: Diesel Bear

Postby tacticool » Fri Jun 29, 2012 7:38 pm

Under what law? Your employer may have policies against it but company policy isn't law.
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Re: Diesel Bear

Postby johnson0317 » Fri Jun 29, 2012 8:40 pm

Very common misperception, and it is one I think many trucking companies are more than happy to promulgate. Here is the deal...if your company does not forbid it by policy, then carry away. The only thing that makes it more difficult for truckers is that you had better be well versed in the laws for each state you will drive through.

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Re: Diesel Bear

Postby mgood » Fri Jun 29, 2012 9:10 pm

johnson0317 wrote:Very common misperception, and it is one I think many trucking companies are more than happy to promulgate.

Exactly.
I had heard this a lot, years ago. I started asking people to show me the law and no one could. Then I asked a Texas DPS officer when he inspected my truck. He said he never heard of such a thing and as far as he knew, if I had a CHL, I could carry.

Now, depending on what you haul and where you haul it . . . there could be difficulties. I have delivered to prisons a couple times, and there's nowhere to stash a weapon before you go, and they do search the truck when entering and leaving.

In my current job, I have no such worries.
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Re: Diesel Bear

Postby mgood » Fri Jun 29, 2012 9:15 pm

tomtexan wrote:What size truck are you driving?

It's a 57' trailer that we use to pick up and drop off 48' containers, which hang a couple feet over the back making it a 59' trailer. Three trailer axles, spread 10' from the center of the front to the center of the rear.
(Slightly over width too, but fortunately they've never gotten the tape measure out.)
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Re: Diesel Bear

Postby mgood » Fri Jun 29, 2012 9:18 pm

I only run West Texas and New Mexico, so I don't have a lot of state laws to keep track of.
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Re: Diesel Bear

Postby Jumping Frog » Sat Jun 30, 2012 9:39 am

tomtexan wrote:For some reason I have always been under the impression that weapons in a commercial vehicle was forbidden. I carry everyday in a commercial vehicle but worry about the repercussions I might suffer.


As far as commercial vehicles are concerned, it has been mentioned that there are no federal DOT regulations prohibited being armed in a CMV and you must follow state law (or transport in compliance with FOPA Safe Passage rules in intervening states).

For anyone who doubts this, it is easy enough to google "FMCSA Regulations" and do a regulation search for the word "firearm". Ten minutes will show you it is not against regulations.

Weigh stations and border inspection points in Texas are a complete non-issue (California? Different story . . .).

Keeping in mind an over-the road driver who stays out for 4 to 6 weeks at a time hauling general freight usually does not know where their destinations will be a week or more into the future, here are the biggest pitfalls I warn that kind of driver about:

  • A driver could be on a load and find the consignee is properly 30.06 posted. Now, he cannot deliver the freight and remain legal.
  • A driver could find themselves assigned to a load with freight going to Chicago, California, New York, Maryland, etc. Now the driver is out on the road without options and facing felony risk.
  • A driver can find themselves delivering to a federal facility. Same problem. (I had one driver arrested at the Red River Army Depot near Texarkana after a truck search found a pistol). Some military bases allow a driver to check their gun at the base armory or have other base rules in place to deal with firearms. It varies by base and you need to check ahead of time so you are not arriving on base while armed with no clue.
  • Remember that FOPA Safe Passage is only an option when you are legally allowed to carry to possess the firearm in the state you start in and in the state you finish. If your trip concludes in one of the "problem" states, you are not protected under FOPA Safe Passage.

Since you are driving only to TX and NM, you are good to go as long as your consignee is not posted and you are not delivering to federal facilities. A short haul driver going on a regular delivery route where they travel the same stops every week is a lot easier to manage the risks, as compared to long haul drivers.
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