4 Things To NOT DO While Carrying A Gun In Your Car

Ah nothing like starting the morning with video evidence of stupidity. Folks, some people out there are not only incapable of critical thought, they also teach from that perspective. The video in question today was put out by someone who is already known for blatant idiocy. This one was no exception. In this one he was explaining how to carry in the car. I’m not going to identify him as he doesn’t deserve the web traffic. So, with this in mind, let’s talk about what NOT to do.

  1. DO NOT place the gun under your leg or between your legs while you’re driving. Your firearm needs to be secured while inside the vehicle. And just because it is in a holster does not mean it is secured. In one instance, a friend was driving a taxi and found himself in a rollover accident. Because he had backed off the tension of his holster, his Glock 34 had gone ricocheting around inside the car during the roll. In the case of under the leg or between the legs on the seat, all it takes is a solid front impact to knock that loose. What happens if you need it afterwards? Not only that, but drawing from this position carries a very real possibility of muzzling one’s own leg.
  2. DO NOT mount your handgun in the car. If you want to mount a second one in the car and remove it at night, that’s fine. The problem with mounting your primary inside your car is you’re going to be tempted to leave it there when just exiting the car briefly. It’s a hassle to move it back and forth from your holster to the vehicle and vice versa. If you look around, you should have no problem finding examples of muggings at gas stations. So if you blunder into one of those situations, what happens if you have left your gun in the car?
  3. DO NOT handle your gun during a traffic stop. Don’t clear it. Don’t pull it out. None of that shit. This guy actually advocated clearing the pistol and setting it on the dashboard. This is how you get shot. It’s much easier to inform the officer that you have a license to carry and inform him that you are carrying a firearm and ask them how they would like to proceed. Just be aware this may result in a later discussion on cool guns.
  4. DO NOT store your gun in the glove compartment on top of your license, registration and proof of insurance. There are two reasons for this, one is, in a traffic stop, if you fail to inform the officer that your information is there and you open that glove compartment, the officer is going to see the gun. You’ve now set a potentially negative tone for this encounter. Also, if you forget your gun is in the vehicle, and leave it there. Guess where one of the first places a criminal is going to look for stuff? Yep, the glove compartment.

ONE THING WE CAN DO

Now that we have covered the do not list, let’s talk about something I agreed with:

Informing the officer if you are carrying.

I know many states say you have no duty to inform and I know many people will say “It’s none of their business.” That said, my experiences have been that informing generally helps to establish a tone for the stop. So, when I’m asked for license, registration, and proof of insurance, I generally include my carry license and explain to the officer that I have included it and that I am presently carrying a firearm. I may inform the officer before I get my information in case I need to reach anywhere near where the gun is. Whichever route I take, I always ask the officer how he would like to proceed. Folks, effective communication counts, on both sides. The side of the road is a shitty place to argue over your rights. Also, arguing with an officer may take a situation from a verbal warning to a guaranteed ticket.

That’s all I have for today. I’m sure someone will provide me with ammunition for tomorrow, pun fully intended.

10 Replies to “4 Things To NOT DO While Carrying A Gun In Your Car”

  1. Another example for the first point is the FBI Miami shootout. One of the agents took his gun out of his holster and it went flying during the sudden stop.

  2. So if you can’t holster because it may come out during a rollover and you can’t take it out because it may fly away and you can’t put it in the glovebox and you can’t put it in a car holster, what options exactly are left? Your explanation leaves something to be desired. I find that on a longer drive having a gun on my hip can be uncomfortable, much like having a wallet in your back pocket. It pushes your back out of alignment. My seat covers have a pocket in front between my legs where the gun goes on most drives. It goes back in the holster before I get out of the car each and every time.

    Also on notifying officers, I agree that it sets a positive tone. I also had one officer who disarmed me, cuffed me in the back of his cruiser, and then ran my serial number “just to make sure it wasn’t stolen”. Another time an officer disarmed me, unloaded my revolver, and set the gun and ammunition on the ground fifteen feet behind my motorcycle on a busy interstate highway, then told me not to fetch it back until after he’d gone. Both cases were for minor traffic violations, I have a completely clean license (only one stop resulted in a ticket), and they had my license plate to run, so no particular reason for them to think I was a threat. So now I don’t tell the officer anything unless there is a very good reason to or if I think he might be able to see the gun without my mentioning it.

    1. I should have clarified that a bit better. So, the former friend of mine that had his G17 (or 34…it was one or the other) had backed the tension of holster off far enough that if he wasn’t wearing the holster and turned it upside down, it BARELY held the gun. I have one holster that as it is set up presently, probably wouldn’t hold a gun in a roll-over whereas I have other holsters I wouldn’t worry about in the slightest.

      If you can resist the urge to think to yourself “oh I’m just at the gas station” then vehicle carry can work.

      Yeah, if I had your experiences, I’d probably have the same view.

    2. I frequently wear a crossdraw on long trips; it’s much more comfortable and if a draw was necessary while seated, it’s much easier. I have several of the Bianchi-designed “Cyclone” holsters which are made for both crossdraw and strong-side carry.
      I’m of two minds ref “informing”; depending on the legal requirement to do so and the “tone” of the officer (“Professional” or “Confrontational”). Ironically my last traffic stop was completed (with a warning) before I ever had an opportunity to mention that I was carrying.

  3. In my state the DL # and the permit # are the same, so if I’m in my own car I’m pretty sure the cop knows I have a permit as soon as he runs the tag. It’s always been my policy to tell them, though, for the same reasons you cite.

    1. Here in Wa State, it’s different numbers. I can’t speak to the system in the cruisers statewide, but I do know Seattle PD had the information available to them if they went to a second screen in their computers. They also knew every handgun you’d purchased from a dealer because our state requires forms be submitted. Whether you still owned it or not. Though they can be as much as 6 months behind getting that data entered into the system.

  4. My state requires that a loaded weapon in a vehicle be on your person, so taking it off while in the car is not allowed. I don’t know if that rules out purse carry, but I am not a fan of that anyway – to my mind it is too easy for you to get separated from a purse, backpack, or other item not attached to you – or if you still have the item, other stuff could potentially block it, compared to on-the-body carry.

    1. Yeah there’s been some gray area discussion with that up here. Something about control of the firearm matters or something. My memory has gotten fuzzy on it.

  5. Jonathan, I will assume that you are in the same state as I. From the code:

    A person shall not carry or place a loaded pistol in any vehicle unless the person has a license to carry a concealed pistol and: (i) The pistol is on the licensee’s person, (ii) the licensee is within the vehicle at all times that the pistol is there, or (iii) the licensee is away from the vehicle and the pistol is locked within the vehicle and concealed from view from outside the vehicle.

    This does not require that it be on your person if you are within the vehicle or if the vehicle is locked and the firearm concealed. i, ii, and iii are “or” statements so you have the choice of any of the three. It would seem to suggest that if you step out of the car to fill up with gas you can’t leave the firearm in the car without hiding it and locking the car, but you definitely don’t have to have it on your person the whole time you are in the car.

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