'Trucker Lives Matter' Seeks to Make America's Roads Safe Againby Jana Ritter - Published: 1/23/2017
A Florida based non-profit transportation trade group says it’s time to “make the roads safe again” and has officially launched a "Trucker Lives Matter” campaign to stop the current murder rate of interstate truckers, and other workers in interstate commerce. According to the US Department of Labor that number is approximately 50 men and women per year.
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(Truck Driver Michael Boeglin was killed and burned while sleeping in his truck in Detroit in June 2014.)
James Lamb is president of The Small Business in Transportation Coalition (SBTC) and says the organization initiated Trucker Lives Matter to encourage truckers and other interested Americans to join the group’s legislative efforts to overturn various existing state laws that currently prevent truckers from carrying firearms nationwide to protect themselves. Lamb’s proposed bill says that such laws should be superseded by Federal authority based on the Constitution’s “Commerce Clause,” which allows Congress to preempt the states’ regulation of guns entering, exiting, or merely passing through their states.
The bill, “Michael’s Law Amendment,” is named after the Indiana trucker, Michael Boeglin, who was killed and burned while sleeping in his truck during a delivery job to Detroit in June 2014. Since Boeglin’s tragic death, his pregnant widow (Ashley Boeglin) and Lamb have been pursuing new legislation. However, the NRA disapproved Lamb’s first legislative draft and he has since revised a new draft, which addresses the NRA’s concerns. Lamb says the bill is now currently under consideration by Senator Marco Rubio. “If there’s one thing we have learned over the past two and a half years, it’s that you don’t get a pro-gun bill introduced into Congress easily without the support of the NRA,” says Lamb. “Unlike our first attempt, this Plan B bill is not a special carve out for truckers in that it applies to all Americans and there is no gun permit or registration issue involved. We would hope the NRA is not opposed to simultaneously backing two bills, theirs and ours, as all roads lead to respecting the Second Amendment for all Americans,” he adds.
Lamb also says that in addition to Rubio being a well known supporter of Second Amendment rights, the recent terrorist “truck jackings” in Europe and the recent ISIS-inspired terrorist attack at Fort Lauderdale airport makes it even more imperative for the Senator to get the bill passed. “In talking with Rubio’s staff, we believe introduction of the bill into the U.S. Senate will happen later this month after the new Republican President has settled in,” Lamb says, referring to president Trump.
The SBTC has launch a website, Trucker Lives Matter, directing visitors to a petition to the National Rifle Association (NRA) in an effort to promote and acquire NRA support of the pro-gun bill “Michael’s Law Amendment (to 18 U.S.C. 926A).” The website also has a detailed FAQ page further explaining the group’s legislative agenda. According to Lamb, the efforts of the TLM movement is to take action in allowing truckers to carry firearms and protect themselves against the dangers of living and working on the road. “I believe the fact that over 15,000 truckers immediately joined TLM within just a few days of our launching this movement shows that truckers believe their lives do indeed matter and it’s high time we ‘make the roads safe again’,” Lamb says.