U.S.A. –-(Ammoland.com)- A group of small business truckers has sent an email to the Department of Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao. The email asks that, as part of the national emergency involving the Chinese virus, the federal government declare the Second Amendment overrides state law and federal regulation forbidding truckers from exercising their Second Amendment rights.
The 15,000-member SBTC is calling on federal authorities to preempt state and local laws regarding the right to carry a firearm.
Therefore, in accordance with the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution, we hereby request the U.S. Department of Transportation please issue a preemption order nullifying any and all state and local laws that restrict truck drivers from carrying firearms across state lines throughout America in order to enable them to protect themselves and their cargo as they engage in interstate commerce.
As this is now a matter of life and death, please issue same forthwith.
“The SBTC through its TRUCKER LIVES MATTER campaign has sought the unfettered ability of drivers to carry firearms for self protection nationwide since its inception in 2014,” Lamb tells Transportation Nation Network (TNN). “We have pointed to Department of Labor statistics that show the unusually high rates of murders on the road for workers in interstate transportation.”
This is a valid argument. It is vital that trucks keep delivering everything society needs to keep operating during the emergency. During social unrest, there will always be an element attempting to take advantage of the situation.
One argument between those who want the population disarmed and those who believe the population should have easy access to arms is a small scale, utilitarian one.
People who are voluntarily unarmed have a psychological interest in promoting the idea that having a gun makes a person less safe, and that having a gun has no utility in preventing crime. It reassures them they have made the correct decision by deciding to be unarmed.
It is a difficult argument to make rationally persuasive. Weapons would not exist if they did not provide the possessor with an advantage over the disarmed.
The fallback position, for those who wish the population to be disarmed, is to claim only intensely trained and supervised individual, such as, supposedly, police and military personnel, can gain benefit from being armed.
However, people who have passed through the legal hoops required to obtain carry permits, commit far fewer crimes than do the police. Police tend to train more with firearms than do most military (as difficult as that is to believe).
Commercial truckers go through a similar background check process as do most concealed carry permit holders. Truckers are especially vulnerable to violent crime because of their vocation.
It would be a good test case for the Trump Administration to declare, during this emergency, the exercise of Second Amendment rights by commercial truckers (whose licenses are federally supervised) overrides state powers to regulate firearms. This argument would be bolstered by the power of the federal government to regulate interstate commerce, as granted by the Constitution.
Those who have lived by the abuse of the interstate commerce clause for decades would be feeling the other side of the blade.
It would be a good policy. It would be good politics.
It would be immediately challenged in court. It would send a good message to the appeals courts, and the Supreme Court.
It combines utility, emergency powers, the Second Amendment and the Commerce Clause. It would be nearly irresistible for activist district court judges. It would be difficult for the appellate courts to ignore. Such a combination would be very difficult for the current Supreme Court to ignore.
It would not be perfect. Perfect is the enemy of the good, because, those who insist on perfect prevent the good from ever happening.
Such an emergency proclamation would be a double-edged dagger pointed at the heart of the arguments against the exercise of Second Amendment rights.
Will it happen? I suspect not. It is not on the radar of the Trump administration.
About Dean Weingarten:
Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of Constitutional Carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.