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When someone thinks about concealed carry, they typically think of it in the context of someone carrying while in public. However, concealed carry in the car is just as important to consider. How does a concealed firearm in a vehicle work, though? Legally, can you carry a gun in your car?
The rules and regulations surrounding vehicle concealed carry can be complicated, so we will explain the basics of keeping yourself protected while on the road.
Why Should You Keep a Gun in Your Vehicle?
The short answer to this question is the same as why you should carry a firearm in the first place: for protection.
As for why you specifically should keep a gun in your car, a vehicle could be a target for a burglar, and this could put you in danger. Drivers can be particularly vulnerable if they are ever forced to stop on the side of the road. A criminal could see a person alone in a defenseless position as an easy opportunity to rob someone.
With a firearm in your car, you have protection and peace of mind. If someone were to approach you in your vehicle with bad intentions, you would be able to defend yourself.
Avoid Placing Your Gun at Certain Spots in Your Vehicle
While having a gun in your car can help keep you and your loved ones safe, you should not be content to put your gun anywhere in the vehicle and call it a day. The place in your vehicle where you put your gun could make it less accessible or could even make it more dangerous for you. Legally, you may also have restrictions on where you can keep your gun.
The first spot in the vehicle to avoid is the glovebox. This is often the first place that people think of when bringing a gun to their vehicle. Whenever you have something like a tire pressure gauge or another tool, it naturally goes in the glovebox. However, having a firearm in the glovebox can be a bad idea.
For starters, it leaves the gun unsecured, which means that anyone could grab it. As a responsible gun owner, you need to make sure that younger passengers are not able to get ahold of the gun, and it would be too easy for them to access a firearm in the glovebox.
The glovebox could also make it easier for a criminal to get ahold of your firearm. Gloveboxes are often one of the first places that a car robber checks, which could mean that a criminal has easy access to your firearm.
Beyond the glovebox, you also don't want your concealed weapon to be somewhere where you could not reach it. Emergencies happen quickly, and you may not have time to search for your gun. Because of this, you should keep your gun somewhere where you could access it whenever needed.
Tips For Vehicle Concealed Carry
In this section, we will discuss some tips to legally and safely keep a concealed carry weapon in your vehicle.
Consider the laws of where you are and where you're going
Every state has rules and regulations for concealed carry. If you are used to carrying a firearm around town, you are probably familiar with your jurisdiction's laws. Once you drive across state lines, though, you will be under a completely different set of laws, though. What is completely legal possession in one state could be illegal in another.
This becomes even more complicated because the laws of concealed carry in vehicles are different than on foot. Every state has different laws for how vehicles must be stored while in the car. Some may require concealed weapons to be unloaded and stored, and others may not. Some may require the gun to always physically be on you in a holster, and others may require the gun to be physically away from you. The laws can be confusing, but understanding them is important.
Prepare for drawing to feel differently when buckled in
If you have a concealed carry permit, you have probably taken a course in safely carrying. This means that you're likely familiar with methods of drawing your firearm from a concealed holster. If you try to draw your firearm from a holster while you're seated in the car, though, you might face unexpected difficulties.
Having a seatbelt around you and being in the seated position make drawing your gun much different compared with being outside of the car. If you are ever in an emergency situation and expect to be able to access your gun as easily as you can regularly, you might be surprised.
One way to combat this is to practice taking your firearm out while you are seated in your vehicle and buckled in. Make sure your weapon is unloaded, and practice this at a safe location. This can help you get a feel for drawing your firearm from inside the car.
With an inside the waistband holster, you may be able to adjust where the gun is located in relation to your body, and this can also help. If you move the firearm away from the seatbelt, it can make access easier.
A concealed car holster could also help
Another way to make it easier to access your firearm from inside the car is to mount a car holster in your vehicle. These are not connected to your body at all and are designed to fit inside your vehicle.
If you go this route, it is once again important to read up on your state's laws. As stated above, some states require concealed weapons to be physically on you at all times, meaning that having a firearm in a car holster would be violating the law.
Consider a safe for when you are not in the vehicle
You may carry your firearm with you most places you go, but there will be some occasions where you have to leave it in the car. When this happens, you want the firearm to be protected to prevent it from getting into the wrong hands. This is where a gun safe for your vehicle comes in.
Vehicle gun safes are typically designed to carry one handgun and can be placed throughout the car for driver convenience. Some can even be installed inside the console. Safes like this are created so that only authorized people can access them, but they are also made to be accessible so that a gun owner could easily retrieve their gun as needed.
This is another case where knowing the law is necessary, as some states want drivers to always have their concealed weapons locked away unless the weapons are in use.