A car is the preferred mode of transportation for most people. Consider all of the things you use your car for? Getting back and forth to work, running errands, taking the kids to activities, going out for a night of entertainment—- this list could go on for pages. In this day and age people probably spend 1/4 of their day in their car, so it’s natural that they think of their car as an investment. Newer cars are decked out with entertainment systems that include Bluetooth, audio systems, back up cameras, video. Some have TV or Internet capability. Your car is valuable and a worthy target for carjackers and thieves.
Carjacking is a robbery. Just like someone breaking into your home to steal valuable items, thieves break into your car to steal the car and its valuable contents. Some carjackers have actually used a show of extreme force to get people to get out of their car so they could steal it. Car theft happens to approximately 720,000 drivers throughout the U.S each year and accounts for 36% of all thefts according to the U.S. Dept. of Justice.
A gun owner with a concealed carry permit can carry concealed while driving within his or her own state. Carrying concealed while you are in the driver’s seat is very different than carrying concealed outside of the vehicle. There are many carry methods outside of a vehicle but not all will work once you are sitting in the driver’s seat. Many concealed carriers carry in a holster. If you carry on your waist or hip, when you are sitting in the driver’s seat with the seatbelt on, you won’t really be able to draw your weapon. If you carry behind your back, the gun will be poking you in the back while driving. Keeping your gun in your holster while you are driving makes it difficult to draw when you need it and uncomfortable in a seated position.
One solution would be to use a leg or thigh holster instead. Another solution would be to keep a dedicated car gun. If you decide to concealed carry while you drive you need to:
- Be sure that your concealed carry gun is secure while you are driving.
- Is not located in a place where an unauthorized person, like a child, can get to it.
If you are a gun owner with a concealed carry permit and plan to travel out of state, you need to make sure you comply with each state’s firearms transportation laws. In most states, you cannot transport a loaded firearm in a vehicle without a valid permit or license. In fact, most states prohibit a person from transporting a firearm in a motor vehicle unless it is unloaded and in a fully enclosed gun case or locked in the trunk or a locked container.
For many gun owners, it is a natural desire to have your gun easily accessible in a place like the center console or the glove compartment. However, this is a bad idea for many reasons:
- Thieves will often smash and grab what they can see or easily access. The center console or glove box is easily accessible for a thief breaking into your car.
- If you pull into a parking space in front of a store or in the employee parking lot or before entering a “gun free zone”, people in the car next to yours or walking by your car can see you put your gun in the console or glove box.
- If the center console or glove compartment has a lock, it is not very likely to be a very secure one.
- The biggest reason you should not store you gun in your center console or glove compartment is because the Federal Interstate Transportation of Firearms Law specifically states that firearms must be unloaded and locked out of reach either in a trunk or in a locked container other than the glove compartment or console.
When a gun owner visits a “Gun Free Zone” like the post office or travels across state lines it becomes critical to have a secure and accessible storage system for the gun in the car. A portable gun safe is an excellent solution.
Carrying concealed in a vehicle can be risky, but if you do decide to do it make sure you know the what the firearms laws of your state and the state’s that you will be traveling in are to avoid trouble with the law.