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Weapons offenses: a look at a singular niche

News of a commercial trucker involved in an adverse interaction with a police officer in California or elsewhere regarding the illegal possession of a gun in his or her rig might not overly surprise many drivers employed in interstate hauling operations.

After all, many of them note, carrying a concealed weapon while behind the wheel is something that many of them do or are considering doing, given what they say are myriad threats posed to drivers of large trucks.

The "news" that is cited above and that is playing out in varied though somewhat commonplace fashion involves a trooper's vehicle search that results in the discovery of a weapon inside a truck.

As a recent article on the problems often resulting for truckers carrying guns in their vehicles notes, a commercial driver is automatically breaking the law in all 50 states if he or she lacks a concealed-carry permit for the weapon. And even if the driver can produce such a document, that might not suffice, owing to a "patchwork of state laws" that can materially alter legal realities each time a boundary line is crossed.

Such intricacies and adjustments can easily put carrying truckers in a bind.

And yet many of them offer up compelling concerns underscoring why they feel a need to have a concealed gun onboard when they are working. They point to terrorist attacks using trucks, and instances where hijacking and personal harm suffered by truckers was involved. Theft is a concern, as are acts of potential violence at rest areas, truck stops and other locales.

In one recent survey, about 75 percent of trucker respondents say they have been fearful on the road and that having a weapon onboard would have helped to dampen their concerns.

Interstate truckers would reasonably seem to be at increased risk for adverse police interaction involving the unlawful possession of a weapon, given the myriad state lines they routinely cross.

And their problems in any given situation might just as reasonably be based on simple lack of knowledge involving local laws and regulations.

A proven criminal defense attorney can answer questions regarding weapons-related issues and provide diligent advocacy for any individual who has been arrested or criminally charged with a weapons offense.

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