Imagine the confusion and consternation of a commercial trucker who drives routinely across Tennessee with a loaded gun inside his or her rig and never encounters a problem with law enforcers, yet can suffer legal peril for that same act once a new state is entered.
Or, perhaps, a few surrounding states have a similar law, whereas others require a carry permit. And maybe it’s the case that permits are available only for state residents, or that a state being driven through accepts outside permits from only a handful of other states.
Things can get blurred and problematic for drivers who clock long miles, which automatically makes interstate truckers a singularly vulnerable demographic concerning the potentiality of a stop and arrest on a weapons-related charge while they are on the job.
As noted above, Tennessee law allows motorists to carry a loaded gun in their vehicles, based on an expanded interpretation of the so-called “castle doctrine” that enables an individual to protect his home.
That largesse is not automatically extended once a state boundary is crossed, though, with carrying truckers being subject to a “patchwork of state laws” that can create uncertainty and heightened risks.
That “inconsistency across boundaries” conundrum poses a stark challenge to interstate haulers, many of whom cite a distinct concern for their behind-the-wheel safety stemming from random acts of violence, theft, potential terrorist attacks involving big rigs (hardly an overstated concern, given events that have occurred in both Europe and the United States) and other challenges.
A commercial trucker or other motorist with questions or concerns regarding vehicle gun laws can obtain guidance and, when necessary, strong legal representation from an experienced criminal defense attorney.