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CDL Federal Gun Law


Due to the controversial topic: “Can CDL Truck Drivers Carry Guns?”, I have researched and found a Federal Law that so many drivers are looking for. Read what an actual Federal Law states about this topic, to put it to rest, once and for all. ( or maybe not)

Provided by Truth About Trucking.

Can a CDL truck driver legally carry a gun in the truck? This is a very HOT topic! In my previous article, “CDL Truck Drivers Carrying Guns,” much controversy was created because nothing could be found anywhere showing any Federal Law stating that it was illegal to carry. I have pointed out that there is NO Federal Law saying that it is illegal, only city, county and state laws that make it illegal to do so, as well as policies set forth by the motor carrier. I have found the actual Federal Law revealing the insight on this subject, listed below:

Title 18 Setcion 926(a). The peacable journey law.




Sec. 926A. Interstate transportation of firearms

Notwithstanding any other provision of any law or any rule or
regulation of a State or any political subdivision thereof, any person
who is not otherwise prohibited by this chapter from transporting,
shipping, or receiving a firearm shall be entitled to transport a
firearm for any lawful purpose from any place where he may lawfully
possess and carry such firearm to any other place where he may lawfully
possess and carry such firearm if, during such transportation the
firearm is unloaded, and neither the firearm nor any ammunition being
transported is readily accessible or is directly accessible from the
passenger compartment of such transporting vehicle: Provided, That in
the case of a vehicle without a compartment separate from the driver’s
compartment the firearm or ammunition shall be contained in a locked
container other than the glove compartment or console.

OK…now that we have the Federal Law on this matter, what does it mean? I would say that you could give this to 50 attorneys, and all 50 would interpret it differently! I believe what it is saying, is what I originally wrote in my previous articles….a CDL driver may carry a gun in the truck with him or her, PROVIDING that it does not violate any other STATE law, in which the driver will be passing through. Thus my point again…city, county and state laws may be the prevention for CDL truck drivers to carry guns…

Help me out drivers….what do you think?

© 2008 – 2010, Allen Smith. All rights reserved.

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By: Allen Smith

Allen Smith is a 37 year veteran who started at an early age in a household goods family moving business. He began driving straight trucks in 1977 and moved to the big rigs in 1982. His experience within the industry includes; owner operator, company driver, operations manager, and owner of a long distance HHG moving business, taking many of the long haul moves himself when needed. Allen Smith, a truck driver advocate who is driven by the desire to help others succeed within an industry where injustice, unrewarded sacrifice, and lack of respect and recognition exists. Allen and his wife Donna are hosts of Truth About Trucking ”Live” on Blog Talk Radio. Other websites include AskTheTrucker, TruckingSocialMedia, NorthAmericanTruckingALerts, TruthAboutTrucking, and many Social Media websites. In 2011 Allen and Donna hosted the first Truck Driver Social Media Convention, designed to create unity and solutions for the trucking industry. This is now being extended through the North American Trucking Alerts network as those within the industry join forces for the betterment of the industry. Allen strongly supports other industry advocates who are also stepping up to the plate to help those who share honesty, guidance and direction. He believes that all those involved in trucking need to be accountable for their part within the industry, including drivers, carriers, brokers, shippers, receivers, etc… The list of supporters and likeminded people grow daily, networking together and sharing thoughts and ideas for the betterment of trucking. He has coined the popular phrase "Raising the standards of the trucking industry"

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206 Responses to CDL Federal Gun Law. - Post a Comment

  1. Allen Smith

    The Peaceable Journey Act is very clear on how a firearm CAN BE transported by CDL drivers, security guards or anyone else.

    • Walter Gatlin

      I will say this just once. I would much rather be judged by twelve than carried by six. That being said I will as an American take my legally owned Gun anywhere I wish.

    • JLundquist

      First, I am not anti-gun but I am pro Constitution and individual state laws. The federal law you cite clearly says transporting, shipping or receiving a firearm for any lawful purpose from any place where he may lawfully possess and carry that firearm to any other place he may lawfully possess or carry that firearm as long as it is unloaded, separated from the ammunition and either locked in another compartment of the truck or locked in a secure container not accessible from the passenger compartment. That law makes it illegal for a CDL driver to carry a loaded firearm with or without a permit. To those who think they can carry whenever and wherever because of the 2nd Amendment, you are no longer a good guy with a gun stopping a bad guy with a gun, you are just another armed criminal.

  2. Alex Q.

    It is my belief that a gun without bullets in it is totally useless. Just the same as not carrying one. Not one law enforcement officer of any kind walks around with an unloaded weapon. These laws have to be rewritten in a way that if you want to carry your gun with you/loaded, then you must have the proper permit and if you dont, then your gun should be confiscated and you should be fined. A gun without bullets, defeats the whole purpose of the gun.

  3. Scott Stuart

    A search about gun laws led me to your site. Hey; if the law is that the accessibility of my gun and ammo are such that I’ll be dead before I can react to a dangerous situation, that’s ridiculous and unconstitutional.

    In other news, for the 6 months that I drove otr, I noticed that truckers are guilty until proven innocent. We have to go through the scales to check weight and everything else and we have to account for every second of our time. Now, I’ll grant you that my 18 wheeler has the potential to cause more damage in an accident than a regular car, but the loss of freedom here is astonishing! All the rules and regs. That’s what I mean about guilty until proven innocent. I bet the statistics for highway accidents are slanted steeply in favor of us truckers. That is, I bet we get in far fewer accidents as a percentage than 4 wheelers. The heavier responsibility that each of us feels as we drive down the road makes better, more alert drivers of us. I know I feel much more sleepy in a 4 wheeler than in an 18. There is just more going on, more to worry about. All of these laws should be changed to reflect the laws for 4 wheelers. Leave us alone (no logs, no scales, etc.) until we’ve actually been observed violating the law- speeding, driving recklessly or via other “probable causes.” We are so great in number that we ought to be able to get some of these things changed. Our job is hard enough without all of the crap they’ve heaped on us through all of these extra laws, which, by the way, violate the equal protection clause of the constitution.

    Thanks for reading. Check out my blog at

  4. Maverick

    I have been for years trying to tell other drivers about the lawful carry. Please reference… for each states individual carry n transport laws. I have my CWP from FL and have reciprocity in 34 states. I CARRY!!!!!!!

  5. holmes

    Long time ago was told cdl driver can carry in their home state and any state that honored their ccp

  6. chuck

    well said. i’ve carried for years in my truck. while carrying, i’ve only been forced ONCE to use my pistol. often times, the sight of the weapon itself will back somone down. when force is required, however, there is and old saying i prefer. “it’s better to have and not need, then to need and not have.”that being said, know the laws in the states you are running in!

    • Jess

      I am a licensed class a cdl driver with a ky conceal carry permit..I too had this question so I called the weigh station in my state to ask them being as they would know…and with a ccdw permit you are perfectly legal to carry in a commercial vehicle…there is no law federal or state that prohibits you from carrying in your rig….the state you are in must recognize your states permit..this is according to the dot officers in my state …hope this helps

    • Allen Smith

      Hi Jess: Most state do and will recognize the permit, but some do not and this is the only point I’m trying to make people aware of … case in point … CMV driver has a Florida permit … New Jersey DOES NOT recognize Florida permits … get caught in NJ … could lead to big trouble … a few other states as well … so the DOT officer is incorrect as far as it relates to ALL states …

    • jason Horton

      I have a Alabama permit for a hand gun but someone told me I could carry a shotgun in my truck as long as it was outta reach. Can you she’s some light on that or confirm it. I know that I can’t carry my hqndgun thru some of the states that I go thru but I was told a long gun was ok. Thanks Jason Horton

    • Marie

      Im happy to tell you that as long as you follow the laws under the Firearm Owners Protection Act, you can carry your gun (handgun) THROUGH all the states, as long as, when you travel through states where your permit is no good, your gun is not accessable from the inside (like in a sidebox) OR locked in a lockbox with ammo in a separate lock box. a Pain in the butt yes, but stopping to lock up your gun before entering no go states is a lot better than going unarmed in all of them. And non resident florida, utah, and pennsylvania permits get you legal in MOST states, open carry laws help out in others, so your only real problems will be overnight stays in New york, New Jersey, and i believe Mass… Keep on a Truckin! btw, i have no idea about the long gun thing, but if its out of reach, what good’s it gonna do ya? Oh, and btw, remember that the fourth amendment to the constitution protects you from unreasonable search and seizure, so if there is no probable cause (in other words a good idea that you have commited a crime that would warrant a search) and no warrant, you do NOT have to consent to a search of your truck. A good idea that they have no probable cause is when they say “you mind if we have a look in your truck” answer, if you are illegally carrying, or just because its your right, “Yes sir, i do mind, officer, I am not consenting to a search of my truck at this time.” in a calm respectful voice. Its also not a bad idea to have the camcorder on your phone activated at the time, and conspicuously resting on the dash. And remember, good cops are your friends, but they are allowed to lie to you if they think they may be in danger, or that you are commiting a crime (though a not so good cop may do so just to make his job easier or to exert power over you, this coming from a cops grandkid, the stories he would tell…most cops just want to protect and serve, but some of them… you can usually tell by their attitude…)

    • Karl Leuba

      So, what happens to the driver from Arizona, which permits anyone not prohibited from carrying to carry concealed, except where there is a prohibition? The law gets grey when it comes to transporting across state lines. Federal law permits transporting, in a locked case, other than the glove box or console, unloaded and not accessible to the passenger or driver of the vehicle, when the reason for transporting it is legal. After I looked at the law, and realized that the law changes all the time, and self defense may be legal but locked away unloaded a gun is worthless for self defense, I just did not take one with me. Never needed anything more lethal than a tire thumper anyway.

    • Allen Smith

      The reason for transporting it legally is your CCP, but yes, you’re right: locked away from the separate ammo is kind of worthless, but that is how the federal law is written.

      The grey area that can get drivers in trouble is not knowing the individual state laws, such as even though an AZ driver is legal to carry via his or her state, if caught in such states as NY or NJ for examples, there could be trouble for the driver because these states do not honor any other states Permit/License.

      Here’s a pretty good site that gives info on U.S. gun laws per each state:

      Thanks for commenting,


    • David

      I have been a CDL holder for over ten years .My thoughts are about CDL’S and right to carry, is, 1) any honorably discharged military veteran that is he/she that drives a commercial motor vehicle should be able to carry,
      2)the Federal right to carry should state, that a person with a ccw from any state should be able to lawfully carry in any state that he/she drives through. (Reason is that A CDL holder is governed by DOT that is FEDERAL GOVERMENT and should supersede any state or city anti gun law.
      in this day in age I hear of all kinds of truck jackings and drivers of hasmat loads should be conciterd of such a right.

    • mike

      Why just former military??? The 2nd amendment is for us all.

    • Virginian

      I have to agree with Mike. Why just military vets? In some cases, a Vet. who may suffer PTS would be much more dangerous to the public than a non- Vet who has also had proper weapons training. I also do not agree with federal provisions that allow retired LEO’s the right to carry anymore than you or I. These are cases of double-standards and where we are “all created equal with indelible rights to…”, does not support the idea of double-standards. My opinion…

    • shawn wade

      I have Arizona permit because it let’s me carry in new Mexico and Nevada. The whole thing about making sure your permit is recognized by the state you are in has nothing to do with being in a commercial Cecile…it’s for any vechicle

    • vik kit

      NV does not recognize AZ permits anymore.

    • Dh
    • Marie

      those are the definitions AS PERTAINS TO the National Firearms Act… which most of us do not fall under, and which no state laws are refering to. Trust me, handguns are firearms when you are talking about concealed carry or any other gun laws.

    • Eagle

      I work for an Arms Manufacture and Reseller in SC. We had the DOT come in to inspect and counsel us on the laws for the State as far as CWP and CDL’s. In SC you can carry if you have a CWP, but you can not go into any Federal Port or State Port knowingly taking the weapon with you. If you drive in SC from out of state and Your CWP is in reciprocation then you have the same rights as anyone else. If your stopped at the Scale House or by a Road side you must Identify, Tell the location of the weapon, and you must remain seated with hands on the Wheel till the Officer tells you to move, Keeping your hands in Plain Sight at all times. This came directly from the Commander of the DOT of SC

  7. Sue

    What I am seeing throughout a lot of these comments is that as long as the concealed weapon is locked without ammo and ammo is locked up separately then it sounds like it is ok. All of these comments refer to Drivers with a CDL but what about drivers for companies not requiring a CDL? I was wondering what good it does if everything is in different parts of your truck and you’re being held up or beat up? First your weapon may be stolen and used but if it’s registered to you, then who’s gonna get the blame? Second it could conceivably be used on you the driver. This just sounds like a law that needs to be made cut and dry for the entire US. I can understand not carrying one say into Canada or Mexico because they may be entirely against it but what would you do if you’re driving, leave off a load in the US and then get a load that goes there. You probably couldn’t leave it somewhere til you get back and pick it up. Anyway y’all have safe trips and just follow the rules that you know about.

    • Marie

      obviously your gun will be useless in states where you are not legal to carry it, but with non resident permits, along with your own state permit you can usually cover most of the US, so you are unsafe in three or four states where you have to do the ridiculous make your gun useless dance, and safe in the other 40 someodd states. SO i would carry. Avoid unsafe states when you can, keep a tire iron handy when you cant. And there are no specific laws for cdl holders, so everthing we discuss here pertains to you too. Out of country, no clue, prolly out of luck.

  8. John

    I’ve always carried with me over the road. There has NEVER been an issue with doing so Federally. The issue is like stated: at the State level and also with your motor Carrier. I have a Florida CCW, an Idaho CCW as well as a NY Pistol permit. I’m pretty well covered for state carry laws, but if my company decides to fire me because I had to use my pistol to defend myself they have a right to do so since they have a no weapons policy. It’s a risk I’m willing to take.

  9. mossberg 590

    i carry a unloaded scard up fist and a shotgun for backup

  10. Bruce

    Good input and thanks to all. I am brand new to the CDL world but have been a CCP citizen for years.

    I’ll plan on continuing to carry and if need be tried by 12 🙂

    Best to all

  11. jeffeverett

    Well i been driving for over 27 years and i carry gun in my truck and always will. If you think i am going to worry about what some idiot in a suit decides to put out for the “law of the day”….when he is setting in an office trying not to break a nail or get a paper cut…your crazy as he is !! I have a right to protect myself no matter where i am, in truck , my home or in a store….if someone is trying to hurt me then they get what they get…and i don’t need a permit for that !!

    • Gayle

      I understand your position perfectly, but on the other hand, if there’s an accident, you are on your own. No job, no liability insurance. And, if it’s loaded and where you can reach it while driving, Feds will be after you too. Good luck with that.

    • Allen Smith

      Exactly. Many things to consider but ultimately it is an individual choice. Federal law is clear but the rules must be followed in order to prevent such a scenario that you pointed out. On the other hand, if the firearm is unloaded and it and the ammo is in different compartments, unreachable by the driver per the law … will the driver have enough time to reach the firearm and ammo, load, aim and fire in time to protect him or herself? Probably not in most cases, so what good is carrying an unloaded firearm, separated and unreachable to the ammo? Again, it’s an individual’s choice. Just pointing out what the law states.

  12. mike rafferty

    i have a concealed carry permit and haul classic and high end vehicles since i am licensed to carry loaded and concealed everywhere that isn`t posted, then i can carry as long as its holstered and i have my license?

    • Derek

      No. You concealed permit was written by state authorities. Federal law as written is specific and You are transporting under Federal transportation and commerce laws, you cross interstae lines with a loaded firearm and your breaking the Federal Law.

      You must have the ammo and firearm seperate…”during such transportation the firearm is unloaded, and neither the firearm nor any ammunition being transported is readily accessible or is directly accessible from the passenger compartment of such transporting vehicle: Provided, That in the case of a vehicle without a compartment separate from the driver’s compartment the firearm or ammunition shall be contained in a lockedcontainer other than the glove compartment or console.”

      Does not matter if it is the firearm or ammunition that is locked up in a seperate container so much as long as they are seperated.

    • scottlac

      The unloaded and separate requirement in this law is for “transporting” weapons. It has nothing to do with “carrying” a weapon. The law quoted above applies to all states by all citizens to safely transport firearms.

      What we are all talking about is those of us who have CCWs and actually carry. The fact remains that until Carry Reciprocity is finally passed at the Federal level, this will continue to be a fragmented State issue.

      I’m just happy to know that (for now) there is no Federal Law that interferes with the State laws on this.

    • Gayle

      “..and carry such firearm to any other place where he may lawfully
      possess and carry such firearm if, during such transportation the
      firearm is unloaded, and neither the firearm nor any ammunition being
      transported is readily accessible…” Anybody else see the word ‘carry’ in this rulig? If you are carrying, you are transporting. If it’s in my purse and I walk across the street, I’ve transported it.

    • shawn wade

      Gail: you do realize this is referring to transportation of firearms..not ccw permitted carry,right. If your permit isn’t honored in a state then rely on the guidelines for transportation of firearms

    • Marie

      by your definition ccws would be totally useless, as would open carry laws.. no, this law is to PROTECT citizens who have legal concealed carry permits in their own states and wherever they are going from prosecution from states that they are just passing through that have idiotic restrictions.. NOT to cancel out the concealed carry permits in states that allow it. And no, your gun in your purse, with your legal carry permit, and you walking is NOT transporting. Come on now. Lets be logical.

  13. Bret

    Why did you get searched? Did they probable cause or did you give them permission? From what I am told the sleeper is considered living quarters and law enforcement needs a formal search warrant.

    • Metric

      No it is not living quarters, even though you sleep there. Law enforcement has the same right to search your truck as they do any vehicle.

    • charlie

      law enforcement has no right to search any of your property without a warrant–know your rights driver–and always tell them no–dont let them stomp your rights in the ground–stand up for your rights and know when you are being illegally searched

    • Chris Hawk

      Charlie is correct here. That is federal. First amendment right to privacy. They can NOT search a damn thing without probable cause, consent, or a warrant(which they need probable cause to get)

    • Marie

      just a caveat.. i think its covered under the FOURTH amendment, search and seizure laws. All the rest of what you said, absolutely. And it doesnt matter if its your house or your car, or even your person, no probable cause, no warrant, no search. Period. They get away with most searches by intimidation and lack of education on the part of the searchees. ie “mind if i take a look in your _____?”fill in the blank, uninformed civilian answer, see it all the time on cops, etc “uh, sure, i guess so, officer”. EHHHHHHHHH, wrong answer, correct answer “Actually sir, I am not consenting to a search at this time, I need to consult a lawyer first” Usual response to that is “ok” and they move on, unless you are doing something wrong and they are reasonably sure of it, or there has been a big crime in the area with a vehicle of your description, or people of your description, (ie probable cause) they arent gonna waste time with you, knowing they arent gonna get a warrant, and that you are savvy enough to make an issue of it if they tried to bring any evidence into court, and it will be thrown out. Most importantly, always be POLITE, and RESPECTFUL at all times. And follow the laws!

  14. Bret

    I think in this case they were refering to a loaded firearm as freight, not personal belongings.

  15. rob

    i live in missouri, do not go out of state with a company truck. there is no company policy about ccw while driving. my question is, can i carry a handgun with me in a comercial vehicle in missouri as long as i have my ccw permit?

    • shawn wade

      Yes. As long as you have a permit that is recognized by the state you are in

  16. jonobo

    Sounds like you have a very well thought out set up. The only change that I would make would be to carry hollow points along with the fmj. The hp has much better knock down power than the fmj. The fmj is a good choice if you might have to shoot at someone that is behind light cover. Lets just hope that you never have use for either of them.

  17. W.P.

    That depends on the authority of the officer. Regular (i.e. non-regulatory) officers should have permission or probable cause to believe a crime has been committed. A warrant is often not needed b/c the vehicle is mobile and can drive off during the time it takes to get a judge. Regulatory officers (DOT, Vehicle Enforcement, any NAS certified officer) can look more or less whereever they wish. Whether you live in it or not, a commercial vehicle is part of highly regulated industry subject to inspection at any time in the interest of public safety. There is no recognized expectation of privacy against regulatory enforcement. Since sleeper berths (down to the interior size and the content of your mattress) are regulated under 49 cfr 393.76, you can’t really keep a regulatory officer out. Even trying is subject to arrest for “refusing an inspection” in many areas.

    • charlie

      totally false–why dont you talk to an attorney bout what you just said–just because you drive a truck dosent mean you give up your rights as a U.S. citizen–a warrant is required for any search of your vehichle

    • Chris Hawk

      False. DOT can’t search a damn thing without a warrant. Don’t get search and inspection confused. Now I will give you a scenario in which a driver could potentially get into trouble due to the individual officer and his/ her interpretation of the law at that point. If you are being inspected, you open the driver’s door so DOT can visually see your fire extinguisher(if its mounted by the driver’s seat). If you have a firearm on the floorboard, and its seen by the officer at that point, then the plain view doctrine could come into play.(Again, depending on the jurisdiction and officer conducting the inspection)

  18. […] Federal Gun Law for CDL Drivers | AskTheTruckerJun 2, 2008 Here is what the Federal Law says about CDL Truck Drivers carrying guns. […]

  19. Packin

    Just to clarify, if you have a concealed carry license, you can carry in your state (either in your pocket, on your hip, in your glove box, under your seat, or wherever you choose), and you can also carry the same way in other states that honor reciprocity of your “permit.” Your firearm does not need to be locked away or unloaded, unless that is the law of that state. Now, when carying through states that do not honor your CCW or if you do not have a Conceal Carry license, federal law does give you the right to carry through those states, but that is when you need to have your gun(s) locked away per 18-44-926A: during such transportation the firearm is unloaded, and neither the firearm nor any ammunition being transported is readily accessible or is directly accessible from the passenger compartment of such transporting vehicle: Provided, That in the case of a vehicle without a compartment separate from the driver’s compartment the firearm or ammunition shall be contained in a locked container other than the glove compartment or console.

    By the way, it does not say that your gun and ammo needs to be locked away in two separate compartments, just unloaded.

    The only remaining question is whether or not you can have the pistol loaded and ready “in your home” while you are sleeping in the cab of the truck for your protection… because as stated many times, it does you no good locked away.

    • Brian

      Ohio law does state that if you do not have a CCL permit, Gun and ammo have to be in separate conpartments

  20. Packin

    You really should have fought that. It makes me sick that they did that to you.

  21. Packin

    Good idea, but nothing beats a firearm. I carry one in sensitive places or if I know I am leaving the gun at home, like if I am drinking a few beers.

  22. Packin

    Why would you not carry into a bank? In most places, there is no law against it. Additionally, there is no federal law against it. The bank is where you are most likely going to need to use your firearm. I carry into the bank every time; I would not think of going in without packin’. I have even open carried into some banks with no problems. In Alabama, there is no law against carrying into courts. I carry into the courthouse all the time, but there are metal detectors before the actual court room – these are inconstitutional, but who is going to fight it? Now, federal buildings are off limits by law; I don’t like it, but I don’t carry into them. The one good thing is that most federal buildings have armed security that hopefully would protect you. Add post offices (and post office property) to your list for now; maybe things will change with the recent litigation.

  23. DPannell

    So True. It really ticks me off that an illegal alien cannot be asked for proof of immigration status after being arrested for a crime, but commercial drivers can be asked several times a day for proof of every aspect of their lives…with NO probable cause.

  24. Arden

    Good day! Would you mind if I share your blog with my twitter
    group? There’s a lot of people that I think would really enjoy your content. Please let me know. Cheers

  25. MilkMan

    Does anybody know what Communist Controlled California laws are for carrying a gun in a truck? Also how about the X-Ray machines coming into a port of entry? Are they X-Raying the cabs? How much radiation are drivers being exposed to?
    If the gun is unloaded yet within reach of the drivers seat and the ammo is in a magazine lets say my back pack, is that considered separate compartments?

    • Allen Smith

      “..during such transportation the firearm is unloaded, and neither the firearm nor any ammunition being transported is readily accessible or is directly accessible from the passenger compartment of such transporting vehicle: Provided, That in the case of a vehicle without a compartment separate from the driver’s compartment the firearm or ammunition shall be contained in a locked container other than the glove compartment or console.”

  26. James

    I have a concealed weapon permit and I also carry my piece in my truck and I am 70 years old and if ya think I am going to stand by and let a 35 year old beat up on me the you are nuts. This is why I carry and this truck world has gone crazy in the past few years.

  27. Tim

    Its all depends on the state and local law regulations. Also the right documents, permits, and how you are transporting it is the key to which states and local government will allow you to use your right to carry. I will my rights any chance I get.

  28. Mike

    When I am on the road in my Commercial vehicle that said vehicle which has a sleeper is my residence, Just like if I were in a Motorhome, That to would be my residence. You have the right to protect your home and when I’m on the road my truck is home. I am licensed in 25 states for concealed carry and will continue to carry.

    • Brian

      It is easier to to get Florida’s CCL,then getting licenses in 25 states, Florida’s CCL is recognized by 30 states, and you do not have to show residency in Fl.

    • Marie

      a CCL in a state with reciprocity in 25 states is probably what he meant, rather than having separate licenses in 25 states… i dont even think there are 25 separate states with non resident permits that added up wouldnt be the whole US (minus the unconstitutional commie state of illinois of course, which grants ccps to NO ONE, bleh, though i hear thats about to change or has changed too, yippee if its true!) gah, hubby woke me up after 30 minutes and here i am 4:30 am sleep posting, ack.

  29. Reggie

    We here about all the people who have some knowledge. Cut to the chase and let’s here from some people who have actually had a problem. They would have first hand info. Anyone had a problem?

  30. Bill

    I am a regional driver from PA and just aquired my CCP. There are 32 states that recognize PA’s CCP and if I get my Utah CCP I will be up to 39. There’s only a couple states I need to worry about considering my limited distance. So my suggestion is to look at which state recognizes your state’s CCP and then check into either which states offer an out of state CCP or which state has an out of state CCP that is recoginized in the states you want to travel thru.

    Go to to check reciprocity

  31. j121361

    I think there’s another aspect to this “CDL driver” carry discussion, and that is this….For an OTR driver, their vehicle is also their place of residence for most of every month. So then doesn’t the question also become a matter of the castle law?
    This can be a very tricky area of law to discern due to the fact that one aspect,the castle law, may come into play for drivers that live in their work trucks and another aspect is the vehicle belonging to the company and not the driver.
    something to consider.

  32. Mr. Ted

    How about an Interstate trucker wanting to carry a short legal length shotgun for personal protection?

  33. Firearms and Trucking

    […] 2008 not really clear Federal Gun Law for CDL Drivers | AskTheTrucker Reply With […]

  34. Wayne

    I’ve been driving for man years, and only recently obtained a WCL; yet, I’ve been carrying for many years.

    First, I don’t see where the law, listed in the article, applies to general carry across state lines by a WCL carrier. Under the WCL regulations in virtually all states, you may carry, loaded, and one in chamber; and since one may live in GA and travel to FL, they will have to cross two state lines (yet both AL and FL recognize the GA WCL). Yet, this old law is gray, and still could be used against you, especially by an ignorant officer or one you have made mad.

    Again, it seems that (which is the issue in this case SEEMS), as long as you have a WCL, you can carry – AS LONG AS, the state you are traveling in recognizes that WCL. If you are in a state which does not recognize that WCL, it seems that the law listed in this article would then apply. YET, some areas may have laws superseding this law, as in NYC, WDC, CHI; which do not allow handguns at all.

    Much of it depends on the state, officer, and the attitude of the driver. I once got caught at the scale in W Memphis, Ar. I use to stash my piece in the wiring of my truck, if stopped, but forgot when red lighted at the scale. When the officer asked if I had a firearm, I hesitated and he asked what kind and if I bought it new. He asked the location of the firearm and we walked out to the truck. When the officer opened the door, I warned him that there was one in the chamber; in fact, besides the one in the pipe, there were 16 more in the clip; and, it was holstered within reach of the driver. The officer put the clip in his pocket, the chambered round was left in the seat, and the gun in his belt.

    After a light check, I followed him to the scale house; where they may another diver step outside. One officer ran the numbers on the gun, while the inspecting officer unloaded the clip (chuckling at the number of rounds I had in there). He motioned me in and handed the bullets to me, telling me to put them in my pocket. He then handed the empty clip to me, telling me to put it in another pocket. He then handed me the gun. Even though I was not a WCL carrier, he told me to not load it back up until I was back in the truck.

  35. Matthew

    After reading all of this, the topic that sticks out is you need licenses for concealment or that the gun and ammo be stored seperate. Well correct me if I am wrong but what you are saying is that the federal law will allow it and being a truck driver are you a federal or state employee? I am brand new to trucking but it would seem to me that it is your responsibility to deliver and well protect the cargo you are transporting right? I think the laws for weapons are stupid and am not here to post personal opinion so I am just wondering if a safe from Titan Security would be aloud in all states since it makes it actually legal to carry a firearm without a permit here in California since the safe itself separates the weapon and ammo but sill very easy to access. So if you had one of these safes would it be ok to travel with it in all the other states as well?

  36. alan montagu

    u all have lost the plot,most companies through there insurance have made it illegal to have a firearm [any type]on ,in, or at there place of buisness due to the liability laws of the usa. whether you have a concelled permit or not it is a federial misdemeener to carry any WEAPON in a commercail truk.also anything behind your back seat of your cab is hands off to DOT,POLICE,and SHERIFF DEPT due to the fact that this is classified as your living qwarters ,in the early 1980)s a truk driver shot a intruder whom tried to steal his rig -as the driver was in his bumk at that time it was justified as he was protecting his living is your legal right to allowe a officer to search your truk as long as he does not go past the rear of your driving seat.if he goes past that piont without a search warrant he is in fact tressapassing.when u sign for your truk with a company it states that the line in front of the drivers seat is the companies property and anything behind it is suggested u get insurance to cover any property that u own in YOUR LIVING QWARTERS.if you owm the truk u own all of it and you can in fact tell the officer no .to a illegal search you can also refuse the use of a cannine to do a drug search in your living qwarters.– it annoys me that as CDL drivers you do not know your laws and rights as drivers -for instance it is illegal for any officer to open your door whilst you are in the driving seat and illegal for any officer to stand up on the rinning boards without your permission, why do most truks have electric passenger windows ?its to protect the driver from reaching out of his seat [taking off his belt whilst the truk is running which a dot/cop can give you a fine for opening the door when truk is idling and u now are out of the seat belt. come on drivers do your homework.

  37. David

    My wife is a dot consultant so I get a lot of information on regulations from her.
    The law is as stated here however dot regulations state that if it is legal to carry where your trip starts and it is legal where you are going you can carry in your truck, but the weapon and ammo must be in separate compartments not accessible from the drivers compartment at ALL times. when you are a CDL holder DOT regulations are final say when in your truck.
    The fmcsa gets away with these kind of things because it is a regulation not a law therefore does not need a vote of congress

  38. Gordon

    Here an idea, Tell the states that won’t let you carry to suck air and refuse to deliver to those states. It seems the ones who won’t let you have most of the hijackings anyway. they want to keep you a sitting duck.

  39. Ric Jarvis

    I carry everytime I’m out of the house regardless of whether I’m at work or not. I have a Sth Dakota CCP and it’s accepted in most states so I treat my truck the same as I do my car or home.
    Having said that I never go to New Jersey, New York, and California, and Colorado laws are so ambiguous they can be interpreted anyway a cop wants on any given day

    As you all know laws differ from state to state and I believe DOT has recently changed theirs but neither of them are on the road with me. As far as I’m concerned my dog has more authority over me than they do and I’d I’d rather be judged by a jury of my peers than carried by pall bearers so Bersa Thunder, and Smith and Wesson escort me, always!

    So what’s my approach on the road ?

    Cops tend sometimes to climb the steps to look in, for probable cause, but my dog Snarls and barks when someone approachs the truck and he has backed of more than one cop from my window but to be safe don’t keep your weapon in plain sight and don’t tell anyone.

    I’m always polite but never let them search my truck. If they insist on a search I tell them to get a federal search warrant. Not any warrant a FEDERAL WARRANT, that truck is my home!

    A FW takes some time so I’d be surprised if they go for one unless something serious is going down so you might want to use the time to phone your attorney if they decide to wait and you think you have something to worry about.

    I’ve never had my truck searched using these methods, just be firm but courteous. Works for me.

  40. William

    All is true, Today there was a young man trying to tell me 5 yrs ago you couldn’t carry a firearm in a Comersial truck, I told him that wasn’t true, the state we are in makes the laws, and Feds have nothing to do with it… So, If your a permit holder, and need to know were you can go with your Firearm, Please use IMO one the best site for all of us…

    Don’t get jamb up…..

  41. MisterBreeze

    Like he said in his comments, It depends on the State/city/county that you are in. A lot of states allow you to travel with a loaded firearm as long as you have a valid permit and some do not even require a permit. BUT, you have to be aware of the laws in the area you are driving. Some states allow you to carry in a vehicle, but the firearm MUST be visible. There is a guide available showing all the states and what is required. I have one, but cant find it since I moved.

  42. Uncle stuart

    Try looking at Volkmer Act which you can find at This is a Federal Law

  43. Mr. T.

    According to the USDOT it is up to state and local laws whether you can carry or not.

  44. bigbadwolf

    AS LEO stated– all people are armed until determined to be otherwise…. so why not just carry– ?? libtards and a fearful government.. they dont want to get shot for ripping you and your families off– they just want to roll in and take everything over– and before i get one comment about a tin hat– it has happened many times before— why would anyone give up their right to defend themselves and their loved ones..

  45. Jason

    Sometimes I forget that I have my firearm in the sleeper berth when I get stopped by LEO and they ask, are you armed? I tell them no.
    No problems ever. What if

  46. Jimmy

    “..the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

    There’s your answer.

  47. Bonnie Freeland

    I’m 67 now and have several cdl drivers in my family including myself. Drivers are so vulnerable to attack, it seems to me they, as much or more than anyone else, should be able to carry protection! I’m just a grandma with an opinion who has a little experience in the field!! I do still drive part time.

  48. Mike

    I have a concealed weapons permit in S.C. its loaded and I wear it. I’m legal! I can legally carry in 40 states with mine as a holder and resident of S.C.

  49. […] CDL Federal Gun Law […]

  50. Shane

    What it means is that while moving from place to place in your CMV the firearm must be secured and NOT accessible. This applies to the ammunition as well. Thus, if the firearm and the ammunition for said firearm are secured and separated while traveling from point to point there is no issue. If upon arriving to such a place that it is illegal to possess said firearm and ammunition then it shall be deemed so.
    In plain english, DO NOT brandish your weapon unless your life is threatened.

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