Opinion

Trucker Gary Brown Arrest: This is Why We Need National Concealed Carry Reciprocity

Texas trucker Gary Brown carried numerous firearms in the cab of his semi, which is completely legal in Texas. After all, at least 30 truckers have been killed in the last 18 months, so defending himself was a priority. But last September, on a run from Texas to Michigan, he was stopped by Michigan State Police and arrested when they found the weapons in his truck. (Bearing Arms)

Gary Brown

“I didn’t realize I was breaking any laws here,” Brown said, “so I was surprised when I got pulled over and arrested.”

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Despite the reduced charges, Brown was still ordered to pay $325 in fines, costs, and other court fees as well as the forfeiture of his weapons and ammunition, worth about $4,000, by Judge Susan K. Sniegowski, a ruling Brown’s attorney did not agree with. 

“This man lives and makes his living in his truck,” said Brown’s attorney, James Makowski. “Everything he owns is in that truck. He needs something to defend himself.”

“I don’t know whether you are aware of it or not, but during the last 18 months or so, with all of the unrest in the country, there have been at least 30 truckers killed,” he continued. “You can understand why he wants something to defend himself with.”

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Screenshot file photo

 

The judge did not prohibit Gary Brown from purchasing more weapons, but he did have to forfeit the ones that were in his truck. The cost of purchasing replacement weapons may be difficult for him. Had the original felony charges gone through, he would have been a felon, not allowed to buy another gun, and possibly faced prison time. This patchwork of laws regarding concealed carry across the US has snagged many people, whether this trucker or just someone moving from one state to another. It has cost many ordinary citizens and even veterans a lot of headaches and money.

National Concealed Carry Reciprocity bills have been introduced many times. This year, North Carolina Rep Richard Hudson introduced HR 38 back in January. But since the Democrats have control of the House and an even match in the Senate, it is not going anywhere.

H.R. 38 would allow people with state-issued concealed carry licenses or permits to conceal a handgun in any other state, as long as the permit holder follows the laws of that state. It also allows residents of Constitutional carry states the ability to carry in other states.

Rep. Hudson has introduced the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act in previous years. In Dec. 2017, the bill passed in the U.S. House by a vote of 231-198, yet was not taken up in the U.S. Senate. Rep. Hudson said at the time he would continue to pursue the legislation until it reaches final passage.

Rep Richard Hudson (R-NC)

For people like Gary Brown, National Concealed Carry Reciprocity would have saved him a lot of money from losing his guns and ammunition, arrest, and fines. He was not a criminal plotting to take down the state of Michigan, just a trucker delivering goods.

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Faye Higbee

Faye Higbee is the columnist manager for Uncle Sam's Misguided Children. All of her posts on Conservative Firing Line are also posted on Uncle Sam's.

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