Georgia trucker arrested in NY for carrying gun without permit

| 8/8/2011

A truck driver from Georgia was arrested in upstate New York recently after admitting he was carrying a 9 mm gun in his truck that he purchased for protection.

Lonnie Davis, 24, of Augusta, GA, was initially stopped by Niagara County sheriff’s deputies after he crossed the center line around 4:30 p.m. on Aug. 3 on Niagara Falls Boulevard in Wheatfield, NY, according to the The Buffalo News.

He then admitted he was carrying the gun he purchased from a pawn shop in Georgia, but had failed to obtain a concealed carry permit from his home state. He told police he bought the gun after an attempted robbery at a truck stop in Florida. The newspaper reported that police found the gun “unloaded, on a shelf next to his sleeper bed and a magazine containing eight rounds of ammunition.”

At press time, he is being held in the Niagara County jail and is scheduled to appear in court on Tuesday.

Even if Davis had had the proper permit in Georgia, it still wouldn’t have been recognized by New York because there is no reciprocity between the two states, according to Road Law attorney Jeff McConnell.

In recent years, many truckers hauling high-dollar loads have found themselves targets for criminals looking to make a quick buck by robbing them of their possessions, freight and – in some cases – their lives.

In 2009, the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association supported an amendment that was offered by Sen. John Thune, R-SD, but which was voted down. The amendment would have allowed individuals who have concealed carry permits to carry a firearm in other states that also grant concealed carry permits.

“There’s not one national or federal license that an individual can get,” McConnell told Land Line Now recently. “The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations don’t specifically mention carrying a loaded firearm or an unloaded firearm. There’s nothing specifically stated in Part 383.51 of the regs that prohibits or permits weapon use.”

McConnell said many drivers who have concealed carry permits from their home states don’t realize that taking their guns across state lines can prove costly, both financially and to their trucking careers.

“I get this question a lot that drivers from one state, they have a state permit from their home state, and they believe it’s a national permit. There’s no such animal; it doesn’t exist,” he said.

Land Line Now staff reporter Reed Black contributed to this report.