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Thread: Are commercial drivers less able to legally carry?

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    Accomplished Advocate BB62's Avatar
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    Are commercial drivers less able to legally carry?

    A question I've always wondered about - are commercial drivers, by virtue of their licensing to drive commercially, and while doing so, less able to legally carry?

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    Regular Member WalkingWolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BB62 View Post
    A question I've always wondered about - are commercial drivers, by virtue of their licensing to drive commercially, and while doing so, less able to legally carry?
    I hold a class A CDL, which I am going to let go, I no longer drive. But there is nothing in federal or most state laws that make it illegal. Leaving out commie CA and NY of course. The problem a CDL driver runs into is ports or military bases, that do have some authority to search, and ban weapons. I have never been searched going into a port though, military bases usually do a quickie search. But they have found handguns in other drivers trucks through xrays of the trucks. I have heard though that placing a handgun box in between layers of chains in the chain box cannot be detected. No personal experience just rumors ya know...
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    Regular Member OC for ME's Avatar
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    Is it possible to "check" your gun at the door when you are required to enter a military/government reservation? I mean, have it in a locked security container, drop it off when getting a gate pass then picking back up when departing? Not sure every reservation could accommodate but I think if that armed security is at the gate they have a office that could receive, hold, then release.

    Being a Navy guy, and when Jar Heads guarded the gate, I never had to check in the pistol (lived off base). I guess my serving on fast boats garnered me some professional courtesy or at a minimum a little more discretion just as long as I kept the pistol on the down low.
    I'll never know at this point.

    When federal rent-a-cops took over the job for the Jar Heads the Gunny of our Det put the word out that the civilians would not be so accommodating. Left my pistol locked up at home.

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    Regular Member WalkingWolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OC for ME View Post
    Is it possible to "check" your gun at the door when you are required to enter a military/government reservation? I mean, have it in a locked security container, drop it off when getting a gate pass then picking back up when departing? Not sure every reservation could accommodate but I think if that armed security is at the gate they have a office that could receive, hold, then release.

    Being a Navy guy, and when Jar Heads guarded the gate, I never had to check in the pistol (lived off base). I guess my serving on fast boats garnered me some professional courtesy or at a minimum a little more discretion just as long as I kept the pistol on the down low.
    I'll never know at this point.

    When federal rent-a-cops took over the job for the Jar Heads the Gunny of our Det put the word out that the civilians would not be so accommodating. Left my pistol locked up at home.
    Usually gate guards are "jeeps"(young, low rank, new), or contract security. I am not comfortable handing a firearm to one of them. When I was still a LEO all bases allowed me in with my firearm. I was in the reserves for a time and I had to switch out my firearm for theirs while on duty. The marine base never searched or even stopped me, they would just wave me through, but then we were a long line of trucks whenever I was delivering to them.
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    Quote Originally Posted by BB62 View Post
    A question I've always wondered about - are commercial drivers, by virtue of their licensing to drive commercially, and while doing so, less able to legally carry?
    The only firearm law I am familiar with that covers USDOT (federally licenced) drivers/commerce relates to armored carriers. There may be others (on the national/federal level). State regulations tend to be limited to reciprocity that the state signs on to. Federally licenced commercial drivers are subject to stricter background checks, as well as more restrictive drug testing.

    I can not imagine a licensed interstate commercial trucker being scrutinized more than any other driver, depending on where the driver is heading through/to. I always thought the sleepers were akin to the motorhomes mentioned/exempted in some state laws.

    Here is a link to some USDOT reciprocity language:

    http://uscode.house.gov/download/pls/15C85.txt

    I hope this is helpful.
    Last edited by Seattleite; 06-06-2013 at 01:51 PM. Reason: to add link

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    Regular Member WalkingWolf's Avatar
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    My understanding has been that the sleeper was a home, and subjects to the same protections. But that would not stop some from searching it anyway if items were not locked up. I never had a safety inspection where the officer entered the cab let alone the sleeper, but then I never entered NY state. If you get in an accident, there is a good chance they might search for alcohol in the cab and sleeper though. Never keep mouthwash in the cab or sleeper.
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    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    Short answer - no.

    Longer answer - as has been mentioned, the places commercial drivers go to usually controls their ability to be armed. It's not just ports and military bases - FOPA can be thrown right out the window if you are making deliveries/picking up loads in multiple states. FOPA allows short stops for fueling, bathroom use, and eating. It's never come up that I know of as to whether it covers roadside stops for repairs, but if you put the rig in a shop you have interrupted your journey and it must be legal in the state where the shop is.

    Honest answer - commercial drivers never, ever, violate any law or company policy, regardless of how those might get in the way of making a schedule that even time travel could not help you to keep. I know this because every commercial driver I talk with tells me it is so.

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    Regular Member conandan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OC for ME View Post
    Is it possible to "check" your gun at the door when you are required to enter a military/government reservation? I mean, have it in a locked security container, drop it off when getting a gate pass then picking back up when departing? Not sure every reservation could accommodate but I think if that armed security is at the gate they have a office that could receive, hold, then release.

    Being a Navy guy, and when Jar Heads guarded the gate, I never had to check in the pistol (lived off base). I guess my serving on fast boats garnered me some professional courtesy or at a minimum a little more discretion just as long as I kept the pistol on the down low.
    I'll never know at this point.

    When federal rent-a-cops took over the job for the Jar Heads the Gunny of our Det put the word out that the civilians would not be so accommodating. Left my pistol locked up at home.
    I have been told a many military bases they can not check firearms when you enter. Some years ago would but not anymore. And only a few bases do the xray scans and full searches. Most just do a quick look and check your paperwork and a license check. I have seen drivers arrested at nas jax not sure why but have watched them haul them put in cuffs.

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    TITLE 18--CRIMES AND CRIMINAL PROCEDURE

    PART I--CRIMES

    CHAPTER 44--FIREARMS

    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.





    What you run into is state law differences and other areas which are prohibited for the personal transportation of firearms into or upon said facility (Military posts, etc.)

    I have my Class A and recently squared away an "instructor" at a local truck driving school who declared the FMCSR specified that any firearm in any commercial vehicle for personal use was "illegal".
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    Regular Member scouser's Avatar
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    Ahh .. the "Tanner Question".

    Nowhere in the FMCSR does it state that personal firearms are illegal in a commercial vehicle. I've been stopped while driving a CMV* and the firearm I was wearing was at eye level to the Powhatan County deputy who was checking licenses. His words were 'thank you and have a nice day'.

    If personal firearms were illegal in a CMV then individual motor carriers would have no need to put a reference in the employee/driver handbookthat company policy forbade them being in the vehicle. If a CMV driver is unable to have a firearm in the vehicle it's because of company policy not a law, the only time law comes into it is when crossing state lines you'd have to know what rules exist in that State for carrying in any vehicle.

    I used to occasionally deliver to the PX on Langley AFB and on Ft Eustis. The first time I was supposed to do that my boss called me into his office and said "I don't need or want to know what you usually do, but when you go there you can not have a gun with you".

    * = Commercial Motor Vehicle

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    I contacted the US DOT about this awhile back. They said it was a state issue. It is on there website under FAQ.
    If cowardly and dishonorable men sometimes shoot unarmed men with army pistols or guns, the evil must be prevented by the penitentiary and gallows, and not by a general deprivation of constitutional privilege.
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    Regular Member WalkingWolf's Avatar
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    I carried openly in a commercial truck, I never had a problem, even at inspection stops. The only problem that could be incurred is places where it is specifically prohibited by law. New York of course is a no no.
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    Quote Originally Posted by WalkingWolf View Post
    My understanding has been that the sleeper was a home, and subjects to the same protections. But that would not stop some from searching it anyway if items were not locked up. I never had a safety inspection where the officer entered the cab let alone the sleeper, but then I never entered NY state. If you get in an accident, there is a good chance they might search for alcohol in the cab and sleeper though. Never keep mouthwash in the cab or sleeper.
    They may search, if they have PROBABLE CAUSE to believe you are under the influence. Absent probable cause they have NO business searching the cab of your truck for anything.
    "I never in my life seen a Kentuckian without a gun..."-Andrew Jackson

    "Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect every one who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are ruined."-Patrick Henry; speaking of protecting the rights of an armed citizenry.

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    From what I can find

    Title 18 Setcion 926(a). The peacable journey law.
    TITLE 18--CRIMES AND CRIMINAL PROCEDURE
    PART I--CRIMES
    CHAPTER 44--FIREARMS
    Sec. 926A. Interstate transportation of firearms
    Thats under federal law you have read it your self nothing under DOT FMCSR. What it well come down to in the courts judges state law CC/OC ect in CDL truck is by the states of what states your driving through. Most transport companys have a no weapon policy state law is where it gets funny with moving firearms in your cab. Schools have said its illegal but it comes down to the states by what I have read on. NYS is one of the hardest to even think about driving with a gun in a CDL truck or car do to permits of NYS and NYC you need their permit to have it there good luck with that. Now did have had guns in a brinks CDL truck in NYS but I live here and I do have permits for handguns.

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    hhdjdh

    I can't site any laws or cases I only have my experiences at one NAS. I drove a tow truck for a number of years and regularly picked up base trucks and POVs. They only asked my to check my weapon once. I always had it under my bench seat or in the door pocket. All I had to do was drive to the security building and talk to the Lt. He locked my pistol up and said pick it up on your way out. He was a pretty cool guy. We talked about shotguns for about ten minutes.....He's not an 870 fan. Best part was right before my escort to the truck was pulling up, he showed me his Python. That, my friends, is a sexy piece of iron.

    Edit: this was about 4 years ago. Things may have changed.

    Can a mod delete my post title please. My phone sucks. Sorry
    Last edited by mustangkiller; 07-15-2013 at 01:41 AM. Reason: I need to quit posting from my phone

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    Quote Originally Posted by BB62 View Post
    A question I've always wondered about - are commercial drivers, by virtue of their licensing to drive commercially, and while doing so, less able to legally carry?
    been driving otr for 16 yrs been carrying for 9 of those years , military bases all differ , have been on those where you check gun at gate then call armory when you leave and they bring it to ya , been at those that have lockers at gate that you lock it up there and get it out when leaving , been to one that said (when asked their procedure ) just go and deliver we don't care about those, been to ft riley where they recorded name and numbers then gave me three year written pass incase I returned, then there is those that have no gun signs, but when asking the guards what if some driver comes all this way with a load for the base but is carrying , what is he to do? all but one said just don't bring it out and let nobody know, even tho we didn't have this conversation...right? but one said ,you drive around the block and drop it off at your house ...right? . even tho I wasn;t carrying at those times. I really hate the go ahead but I didn't tell ya thing, we really should get gun policy uniformed across the country when it comes to bases.
    as for kommiefornia goes, till about two years ago you could open carry (Yes that's right texas kommiefornia was a more 2A state at one time )but could be subject to 12031e checks (officer checks to see if it is empty) search it youtube has vids to watch, how did we lose that and how are we going to get back?and you can still carry in your commercial vehicle but transport rules still applies ( separate ammo from gun, lock gun in commercial case , and store in trunk,sidebox or secure from occupants inside. there , the travelers guide to firearms law of the fifty states is a big help when carrying across country even tho not all things are not covered like Oregon is a preempted state but some localities may law against them being loaded
    been cheked by several police and dot on my guns in my rig at various parts of the country and still driving today with no jail .ticket ,or warnings under my belt.guess its cause I stick to my top rule of which is ...if I cant carry a gun in that state, they don't need any freight
    Our ancesters, veterens, and people of the service gave and are giving their time and sacrifice to preserve and defend our rights . it''s up to us the people to show appreciation by not sacrificing but investing time to exercise and preserve those rights.......the bushwacker...

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    So could this be a security weakness at military base/nuclear plants?

    Have been over to NAS in Ft Worth and Ft Meyer after burying a family friend at Arlington - this was about 8 years ago - they did a very thorough job checking out our car, suppose with CMVs they rely on the fact drivers have DOT background checks before they get CDLs - so you don't get some jihadists driving on base with guns? Would think after Ft Hood they would have tightened things up even more. Visited N Texas nuke plant about 12 years ago, they had ex-MPs on the receiving gate, would expect they'd tighten things up too.

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    Illinois has had fairly good state firearms transportation laws for a while and now with concealed carry legislation passing this year cities and villages can no longer make ordinances on transport, it is uniform state wide. There still is a prohibition on lasers in Chicago. You can transport an unloaded gun (no round in chamber, mag out of mag well) and have a loaded magazine in the case with the gun. A center console has been ruled in court to be a case. The carry law says someone from out of state who can legally carry in their own state can carry concealed in Illinois, while in their vehicle. I'd think it wise to only do so if you have a CCW from your state. It could be argued that if you can open carry without a CCW in your state you are OK, you might win in court but I'd hate to argue with an Illinois LEO who doesn't like the idea of carry for anyone except LEOs.

    We're making some progress, still not an open carry state.

    Please note the edit, I just made. If you have a CCW from your state you can carry concealed in your vehicle. I meant to add "in your vehicle". If you step outside your vehicle your firearm should be unloaded and encased.


    BTW, If you go into Illinois a lot and want to jump through the hoops, non-residents will be able to get an Illinois CCW starting next year. The fee is a whopping $300 and 16 hours of training is required, NRA basic pistol or better plus another 8.
    Last edited by junglebob; 10-29-2013 at 03:08 PM.

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    as long as you dont go to any places its prohibited....carry in the states your permit covers and "transport" in the states it doesnt cover.

    another way around it(which is what im looking at doing) is relocating to a place with a good sheriff, one that will let you on the posse and do your mandatory helping time on your home days, that'll get you leosa which makes you pistol free zone exempt and 50 state legal.

    and of course, push congress for national reciprocity, then you only have to worry about bases and nuke plants and such. i did work for a contract security company and the site policy for the national guard/air national guard bases we covered was that in most cases for cmv's and civilians we had lock boxes at every entrance.there was something about uniforms but i cant recall what it said for them. this was for all the bases in MI.

    could also get a dedicated, local or regional gig set up so your only in places you can carry at all times, or if you get a good relationship with your dispatcher, convince him/her to keep you out of the socialist states and no carry stops. but that could get risky if theres a no weapons policy
    Last edited by lil_freak_66; 11-03-2013 at 12:09 PM.
    not a lawyer, dont take anything i say as legal advice.


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    Quote Originally Posted by HPmatt View Post
    Have been over to NAS in Ft Worth and Ft Meyer after burying a family friend at Arlington - this was about 8 years ago - they did a very thorough job checking out our car, suppose with CMVs they rely on the fact drivers have DOT background checks before they get CDLs - so you don't get some jihadists driving on base with guns? Would think after Ft Hood they would have tightened things up even more. Visited N Texas nuke plant about 12 years ago, they had ex-MPs on the receiving gate, would expect they'd tighten things up too.
    Would what be a risk at nuke plants?

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    well theres nuclear material there for one....
    not a lawyer, dont take anything i say as legal advice.


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    Commercial carry

    Quote Originally Posted by BB62 View Post
    A question I've always wondered about - are commercial drivers, by virtue of their licensing to drive commercially, and while doing so, less able to legally carry?
    Can a commercial truck driver carry a firearm in his/her rig?
    Answer: There is no federal law concerning commercial truck drivers and firearms. If you have the proper Permits/License and can legally carry in the state you are driving in or that state allows the carrying of firearms without a permit you are legal. Click Here to read letter from Office of Hazardous Materials Standards that firearms do not fall under hazardous materials in commercial vehicles. Similar letter at PHMSA website.
    Go Here for answers to questions by the US Dept of Transportation that states carrying firearms in commercial vehicles answer is: “Carrying concealed weapons is a matter of state law.”
    A company can have a Rule that states you cannot carry in their vehicles. That is just a company rule and all they can do if you do carry and are caught by them is fire you. You are not breaking a law just a company rule. I have talked to many truck drivers about this and I have not heard of one trucking company that allows their drivers to carry a firearm while working.

    PHMSA Interpretation #06-0165

    Aug 24, 2006


    PHMSA Response Letter

    Aug 24, 2006



    Mr. Richard B. Loden Reference No. 06-0165
    3959 Chestnut Avenue
    Concord, CA 94519

    Dear Mr. Loden:

    This responds to your letter regarding the applicability of the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 171- 180) to the transportation of a loaded personal firearm lawfully carried by a commercial motor vehicle operator while in the performance of his or her duties. Specifically, you ask whether the transportation of
    such a firearm is prohibited by the HMR under the “forbidden explosives” clause in
    § 173.54(f).

    The answer to your question is no. Unless otherwise specified in § 173.54(f), a personal loaded or unloaded firearm lawfully carried by a commercial motor vehicle operator is not considered in commerce and therefore not subject to the HMR. Under this scenario, a commercial motor vehicle operator who carries a personal firearm while in the performance of his or her duties is subject to local or State jurisdiction regarding such matters. This response has been coordinated with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

    I trust this satisfies your inquiry. Please contact us if we can be of further assistance.

    Sincerely,



    Hattie L. Mitchell
    Chief, Regulatory Review and Reinvention
    Office of Hazardous Materials Standards

    173.54(f)

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    Regular Member Gallowmere's Avatar
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    Yeap. The Hattie Mitchell letter cleared things up a long time ago, but that doesn't prevent truckers from assuming things. You have no idea how many drivers I have met, who believe that you cannot carry a loaded firearm in the cab of your truck with you. Considering where most OTR drivers have to sleep, they are far more vulnerable to violence than the average citizen living at home. It would be lunacy to outright ban their ability to defend themselves. Granted, that doesn't stop some state legislatures from being lunatics.

    Fortunately, all of my commercial driving is done in Virginia, so I have no worries about such things anyway. The only military installation I ever have to enter for work is Fort Pickett, and I am cleared to possess my 1911 while on base.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gallowmere View Post
    Yeap. The Hattie Mitchell letter cleared things up a long time ago, but that doesn't prevent truckers from assuming things. You have no idea how many drivers I have met, who believe that you cannot carry a loaded firearm in the cab of your truck with you. Considering where most OTR drivers have to sleep, they are far more vulnerable to violence than the average citizen living at home. It would be lunacy to outright ban their ability to defend themselves. Granted, that doesn't stop some state legislatures from being lunatics.

    Fortunately, all of my commercial driving is done in Virginia, so I have no worries about such things anyway. The only military installation I ever have to enter for work is Fort Pickett, and I am cleared to possess my 1911 while on base.

    I totally agree,me I'm OTR and there have been times I've ran out of hour's and needed to stop ither at an unsecured rest area or an on or off ramp, and in other instances parked at a truck stop for the night and you here someone syphoneing you'r fuel.

    yet there are still company's that tell you you are not allowed to carry in a company truck! I say the heck with what they say any how they don't need to know.

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    Transport assumption
    The transport assumption, otherwise known as the traveler assumption, is an American legal doctrine of gun use which states that a person lawfully possessing a firearm that is found in a personal vehicle must be assumed to be transporting the weapon, which is legal for a lawful firearms owner to do. This doctrine is generally given as an exception or affirmative defense to state or local laws that otherwise restrict or prohibit possession of a concealed weapon.



    The transport assumption provides a specific yet broad definition of "travelling" as "carrying a firearm within a personal or authorized vehicle". Previously, definitions of transportation or travel were more specific or non-existent, and case law and judicial interpretation of the statute generally inferred long-distance travel and required the firearm be secured and placed in the trunk or cargo area of the vehicle. Through this narrow definition, law enforcement officers often abused gun possession/carry laws to intimidate or discriminate, sometimes leading to arrest and prosecution of persons found with a firearm in their vehicle on charges of unlawful possession, unlawful carry, or brandishment of a firearm.

    Concealed carry in vehicles[edit]

    This doctrine, as codified and interpreted by some jurisdictions, grants citizens the ability to carry a concealed weapon in a personal vehicle without a permit, even if the state otherwise requires a permit to carry a concealed weapon or bans concealed carry altogether. The traveler assumption is generally combined with Castle Doctrine to argue this ability; Castle Doctrine states that a person is justified in using deadly force to prevent death, bodily injury, and many times loss or damage of property while in one's home, business or vehicle, however in many cases unlicensed concealed carry of the firearm outside the home was previously illegal. The traveler assumption forces law enforcement officials to assume a gun found in a vehicle is being transported and therefore lawful, unless there is compelling evidence to the contrary. The combination thus allows an individual to lawfully keep a weapon in a vehicle to defend themselves and their vehicle. Usually the weapon must be kept out of plain sight unless in a state allowing open carry. Few States have this law on their books

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