Q: Is "Trucker Lives Matter" (TLM) related to "Black Lives Matter (BLM)?"
A: No. But it is an obvious "copycat" movement. However, this movement is race neutral. Note the movement is not called 'Black Trucker Lives Matter' or 'White Trucker Lives Matter.' It's just Trucker Lives Matter. We follow the sentiment that all Trucker lives matter. As per the FAQ below, we believe that all lives matter period, but there is a sentiment, here, that those Americans who are truckers face unique dangers and challenges while essentially living and working on the road that make them worthy of special attention and consideration. In fact, truckers all over the world share this predicament by virtue of their occupation. TLM is part of an effort to highlight the problems truckers face and develop political and legal solutions to those problems. Over 500 workers in transportation have been murdered on the job over the last decade according to Dept. of Labor stats. Here is one such problem: currently, there are anti-gun states preventing truckers from protecting themselves in violation of the Second Amendment, which we believe violates the Equal Protection Clause. Our proposed Michael's Law Amendment is one such solution. We are even talking with some Reality Show producers about taking the movement to television.
Q: "Sorry but shouldn't this be People Lives Matter?"
A: "It's like when you're a baseball fan... You just love baseball. You respect all the players for their abilities and you appreciate the All Star game. But you still go to the stadium and chant "Let's Go Mets!" Of course, everyone's life matters. But you just walked into Citi Field. And now it's time to root, root, root for the home team and do "the wave" for the cameras at the old ball game."
Q: What is the difference between the original "Mike's Law" bill and the new "Michael's Law Amendment" bill?
A: They are two different versions of pro-gun legislation that our founder personally wrote on behalf of the SBTC (http://www.smalltransportation.org) that would essentially reaffirm a trucker's right-to-carry interstate; they are both named after over-the-road trucker Mike Boeglin, who, sadly, was killed in his truck in a desolate place outside the Thyssenkrupp gate in Detroit in June of 2014.
The original 2014 "Mike's Law," which we have now abandoned because the NRA objected (and no gun bill gets introduced let alone passed in D.C. by pro-gun members of Congress without the blessing of the NRA gun lobby), would have created a national business carry permit for Americans working in interstate commerce. NRA advised us their members, especially their Libertarian members, did not like the special carve out for just truckers and they were fearful that a business carry permit would lead to gun registration which could lead to confiscation. So, we went back to the drawing board and started over to address their concerns.
We opted to revise the current Interstate Transportation of Firearms (peaceful journey) statute as follows, dubbing it the "Michael's Law Amendment" in 2015. There is no new Federal permitting involved and this change applies not just to truckers but to all Americans. So, we have absolutely addressed their concerns...
18 U.S. Code 926A; (Renamed): Interstate possession, transportation and carrying of firearms
(1) Notwithstanding any other provision of any Federal law or any Federal rule, a person who is an American citizen and is not otherwise prohibited by this chapter from possessing, carrying, transporting, shipping, or receiving a firearm shall be entitled to carry on his person in a loaded, readily-accessible capacity and transport a firearm for any lawful purpose from any place in any state to any other place in a different state in accordance with the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution.
(2) FEDERAL PREEMPTION The states are hereby preempted from regulating firearms that are transported into, out of, or through their state by a person who is an American citizen and is not a resident of that state, regardless of whether or not the firearm is carried in a loaded, readily-accessible capacity, pursuant to the Commerce Clause of the United States Constitution.
Q: How is Michael's Law Amendment different from the NRA National Reciprocity bills?
A: The NRA has been pursuing "national reciprocity" in various different forms for over 10 years. They continue to go down this road. The SBTC is concerned that even if they are successful with a Republican Congress and President, it is unclear whether such a move that uses Federal power to force one state to accept the standards of another, would withstand judicial scrutiny. We expect highly restrictive states like New York would challenge national reciprocity on 10th Amendment "States' Rights" grounds and such a law could be declared by SCOTUS "UnConstitutional." So, any victory in this area could wind up being very short-lived. We believe there is a better way to accomplish this goal, a back door in that avoids the fight...
Our bill merely tweeks an existing Federal statute (18 U.S.C. 926A) and creates a national right to carry from one state to another by asserting the "Commerce Clause" of the United States Constitution as the lawful basis for Congress to tell the states they may only regulate the carrying of firearms for their own residents that stay within their state. And it preempts them from interfering with interstate carrying of firearms in accordance with the Second Amendment. We believe there is no bona fide states' rights challenge since the Constitution clearly gives the Federal government jurisdiction over such matters pertaining to two or more different states.
The NRA has not to our knowledge recognized the Michael's Law Amendment although they did say the supported the right that "Mike's Law" would bestow (without actually saying the supported the original Mike's Law proposal outright. They have moved down only one path, the path to national reciprocity, and we do not see why they wouldn't want to try the 'All Roads Lead to Rome' approach by backing the "Michael's Law Amendment" proposal as well.
We have therefore been petitioning them over the past year to lobby in favor of our bill as well so far to no avail. If they would like to contact us now, they may email Support@TruckerLivesMatter.com.
You can SIGN THE PETITION to help get their attention. Incidentally, every time someone signs the petition, the NRA gets an email letting them know and they are reminded about the Michael's Law Amendment. So let the NRA hear from you, drivers!
Q: Even if this passes, isn't it true that it's still up to my carrier to decide whether I carry?
A: For those of you saying what difference does it make if we get the gun bill passed, my carrier still won't let me carry... This gun bill is Phase One of a three phase program.
Phase Two is to convince carriers that if they don't change their no gun policies (they can mitigate risk exposure with workplace violence insurance) they may lose their drivers to pro gun carriers. We just so happen to have already set up a pro gun carrier recruitment group (imagine that) so drivers and pro gun carrier recruiters can find each other. Plus, you can always divorce your carrier if they don't care about your personal safety and get your own operating authority and set your own gun policies. If you have your own truck, you're already half way there.
Phase Three is to work on shippers and help them understand that if drivers can't enter the gate with their gun then shippers/receivers will have to employ lumpers to load/unload outside the gate. And eventually, they will have a tough time attracting carriers to work with them. All we need is the next capacity crisis to cure them of that nonsense. We put this article out a while back for shippers as a harbinger of what is to come. And this one too. We are also reminding them that you are protecting their cargo too when you are armed.
Q: Who Started Trucker Lives Matter?
A: We really don't know who first came up with the idea but we consider the phrase to be in the public domain. It is obviously a pun on "Black Lives Matter" and truckers have been throwing the phrase around for a few years now. Our founder James Lamb started using the phrase in connection with a right to carry petition in January of 2016. However, it formally became a movement sponsored by Lamb's non profit 501(c)(6) Small Business in Transportation Coalition ("SBTC") trade group in early January 2017. Mr. Lamb is therefore considered the official spokesman of the movement. Please keep in mind that TruckerLivesMatter.com and its content are copyright protected as the intellectual property of the SBTC. As is the SBTC's official TruckerLivesMatter logo and it may not be reproduced for commercial purposes without a license from SBTC.
Q: Is there anything in the DOT Regulations that makes it illegal to carry?
A: The carrying of firearms is considered a matter of criminal law, not motor carrier safety regulation. There is no Federal Law that says you can "carry" (as in loaded, in a readily-accessible capacity) in a CMV, and there is no Federal law that says that you cannot carry. Do not confuse "carry" with transport. The current Federal law on "transporting" a firearm can be found here on the Cornell website 18 USC 926a (Interstate Transportation of Firearms). This is known as "peaceful journey" in that the firearm is not loaded and not readily accessible when transported under this statute, which does you no good in an emergency.
This is the section of Federal Law we are trying to change. Right now, carrying a weapon in public-- whether it be open or concealed is left to be a matter of state law. Therefore, when it comes to travelling across state lines, the right to carry is determined on the basis of what reciprocity agreements a state has with other states, if any. The NRA is pushing for a national reciprocity law which we believe is faulty because it requires a highly restrictive state like New York to adopt the lower standards of other states, which may very well violate the 10th Amendment. This is a good guide to current state reciprocity laws.
Our proposed Michael's Law Amendment outlined here on the TLM website (compare our revisions to the original text found on the Cornell site linked above) would make it so that you could now "carry"-- not just transport-- under Federal Law from any one state to any other state... and it would stop anti-gun states like New York from interfering with the Second Amendment of (say) non New York residents when such person enters, passes through, or leaves the state with a firearm. SIGN THE PETITION to the NRA while you are on our site! When it comes to the truck being your "home," some states also follow what is known as the "Castle doctrine." Other states do not. Click here for more information on the Castle Doctrine.
Q: When will the Michael's Law Amendment be introduced into Congress? A: We expect it to be introduced in late January 2017 after the Inauguration.
Q: I would like to enter the Weekly TLM Photo Contest and see my picture appear on the TLM Homepage. How do I enter? A: Click Here.
Q: How can the media contact the organizers of TLM? A: By calline (954) 253-5049 or emailing support@TruckerLivesMatter.com