Dear Fellow Survivalist;
Those of us who carry, of course carry in our vehicles as well. There’s usually nothing wrong with that, legally speaking; but there can be some other problems associated with it. Our sidearms and the way we carry them, really aren’t designed for use in a vehicle; nor are our vehicles designed for properly storing our guns. Those aren’t insurmountable problems; but they might take a few adjustments to the way we’re accustomed to doing things.
To start with, the first question we have to ask ourselves is whether our gun is actually accessible in the vehicle? If you’re carrying your firearm on your belt, like most of us do, then your elbow has to go back behind the plane of your back to draw your gun. In most cars and trucks, that means your elbow is going to hit the seat back, preventing you from drawing your gun, unless you can scoot forward in the seat, making room for your elbow.
There is a solution to this; allowing your elbow to go out to the side (assuming you’re right-handed), rather than back. This requires some practice, but with practice it is possible to draw your gun just as fast as normal.
Other pistol carry positions have their own problems as well. An appendix carry is even harder to get to in a car than a waist carry. For women who carry in their purse, the question is whether they place their purse where it is readily accessible, with the butt of the gun facing toward them. I’ve actually found that an ankle holster is great in a car, giving quick access, even though it is one of the slowest holsters to use when you’re out of the car.
The other option is to have a vehicle holster that’s permanently mounted in the vehicle. I’ve seen these available to mount to the front of the driver’s seat, under the steering column and in the center console. These can be faster to use than a normal carry holster, but just like anything else, require practice before any of us can use them effectively.
The big problem with these solutions is having to move our carry gun back and forth, every time we get into or out of the vehicle. That problem can be solved by keeping a gun in the vehicle holster all the time. That way, when you get into the vehicle, you’re defending yourself with the vehicle gun, not your carry gun.
There are two things to be cautious about if you decide to mount a holster in the car, besides accessibility. The first is if the holster is visible. You don’t want people to be able to look into your car and see the gun, tempting them to break in. Secondly, there’s the time it takes to get into the habit of moving your pistol back and forth between your carry holster and the car holster. You obviously don’t want to walk off, leaving your gun in the vehicle and you don’t want people to see that either or they might break in, with the idea of stealing your gun.
But there are times when any of us might have to leave our guns in the car, because they are not allowed in the building we’re going into. That can include such places as the post office, courthouse and polling places, amongst others. What do you do with your gun then?
This is why I’ve installed a small gun locker in each of my vehicles, just large enough for my carry gun. In the car, I’ve got it mounted in the trunk, so that they have to break into the trunk, before breaking into the lockbox. In the SUV it’s mounted to the floor in the back seat. In both cases, I’ve used bolts through the floorboards, which have the heads ground smooth, so that they can’t be extracted with normal tools.
Of course, even with the lockboxes I take care to make sure that nobody sees me pull my gun out of the holster and put it in the lockbox. I usually park far enough out so that people won’t be walking by as I’m making that exchange and I look around to make sure there’s nobody who can see what I’m doing. If necessary, I’ll wait a few minutes for someone to walk by, pretending to be busy with something else, so as to not arouse their curiosity.
Is my vehicle likely to be broken into? No; but if criminals see me hide a gun in my car they’re much more likely to break into it than otherwise. Stolen guns are one of the major sources of firearms for the criminal community, according to FBI statistics. So I’d rather keep my guns from adding to their arsenal.
Keeping our guns out of the hands of others is an important part of the responsibility of being a gun owner. It can help reduce firearms accidents, while making sure those guns are available to us, when we need them. That makes proper firearms security just as important as keeping our powder dry and our survival gear close at hand.
– Dr. Rich
p.s. As we all know, the safest place to keep your gun is on your body; there are just some times when we can’t do that.