On June 26 of this year, trucker Mike Boeglin’s body was discovered inside his burning rig outside of a Steel Plant in Detroit. An autopsy would later reveal that Boeglin died as a result of multiple gunshot wounds. Now, a proposed federal law, named in Boeglin’s honor, is in the works that would allow truck drivers to have the choice of carrying guns across state lines.
There have been no breaks in Boeglin’s case. At the time of his murder, the 30 year old truck driver was expecting the birth of his first child with his wife, Ashley.
The Small Business in Transportation Coalition is circulating a petition that asks for a federal law allowing for truckers to carry firearms for personal and load protection. The SBTC is a network of transportation professionals, associations, and trucking industry suppliers seeking to promote and protect the small business players in the transportation industry. The SBTC is known for pushing for “Jason’s Law” in 2009, which sought to benefit commercial truckers following the robbery and murder of Jason Rivenburg after pulling into an abandoned roadside gas station for rest in South Carolina when no rest stations were nearby.
Jason’s Law was passed in late 2012 as part of the federal Transportation Reauthorization Bill after garnering bipartisan support. The law provided more than $6 million in federal funding toward the construction and restoration of safe roadside parking where truck drivers can rest safely.
Mike’s Law would address a current landscape where conceal-and-carry laws vary from state to state. Right now, according to the SBTC, truckers may have a conceal and carry permit one state, but that permit doesn’t apply to every other state.
While Darlene Boeglin, Mike’s Mother, supports the idea behind Mike’s Law, she knows it would not be a cure-all.
“It’s only going to help the people in the right situation at the right time,” says Ms. Boeglin. “I think probably it would be a good thing but, in Mike’s situation, even if he would have carried a gun, I’m not going to say it would have saved his life. It depends on the situation.”
His mother noted that it is still unknown exactly what happened to her son, nor was there a definitive timeline of events. She said that a robber could have jumped on her son’s running board and pulled a gun on him just as he was stopping.
“It’s too late at that point to reach around to wherever you may be having your gun stashed away,” she said.
The night before Mike was killed, Ashley phoned him at 11:32 p.m. For 28 minutes, they discussed a variety of topics, including the baby, work they planned to do to Mike’s semi trailer when he made it home, as well as ongoing renovations to their house. Mike said goodbye to his wife as he neared a weigh station on the Michigan state line.
Mike was hauling aluminum coils which were to be delivered to a ThyssenKrupp steel plant on the east side of Detroit. Ahead of his delivery time, Mike pulled into an abandoned sports complex near the plant so he could sleep for the five and a half hours that remained until he could make his delivery time.
Hours later, Mike’s body was discovered by firefighters inside his badly burned silver Freightliner.
While there are still no leads or arrests in Mike’s murder case, his wife Ashley says that it is humbling that Mike’s death could change federal laws.
She too says she is unsure if having a gun would have saved Mike’s life, but she insists that Mike would be in favor of the proposed law.
“He stressed the point about competently being able to handle a firearm before being able to use it,” said Ashley. “Knowing that their safety is key and important to us and that this bill would allow it to go through and be passed into law would be able to give them the ability to protect themselves as well.”
The petition for the bill has been filed with federal legislators.
In the mean time, Darlene says her daughter-in-law is surrounded by family who are all clamoring to hold the new addition to her family, Mike and Ashley’s daughter, Mackenzie Albury Boeglin. Mackenzie was born on December 1st.
Detroit Police are urging anyone with information about Boeglin’s death to contact the department’s Homicide Division at 313-596-2260 or call the agency’s toll-free number at 1-800-SPEAK UP.
Additionally, a fund was set up to support Boeglin’s wife and daughter in June following his death. If you would like to contribute to the fund, you can visit any German American Bank. For branch locations, call 812-482-1314.