by Sheriff Jim Wilson – Tuesday, May 29, 2018
So you have worked out a method of carrying your defensive handgun that conceals well for you and allows you to make a quick-draw response should trouble raise its angry head. My guess would be that, for most of you, this involves wearing the handgun somewhere near your waistline. Hip holster, inside the waistband, pocket holster—the method doesn’t really matter as long as it works for you. But now I am going to throw a monkey wrench into the whole defensive equation.
When you get behind the wheel of your car and buckle up your seat belt, you quickly discover that your defensive handgun is no longer quick and easy to access. That steering wheel and seat belt become instant barriers to a quick draw. Because of this problem, some people take their handgun out and stow it nearby in the vehicle. Others have a second gun that stays in the car at all times and is located so that it is much handier than the one they are wearing on their person. While a designated car gun is certainly a good idea, it is also an idea that is fraught with challenges for the responsible defensive carrier.
Wherever you decide to stow that car gun, it must be out of sight for a number of reasons. Anyone, including law enforcement officers, should not be able to see the gun by just a casual glance into the car. Obviously, having the gun in plain sight will very likely encourage a car burglary. And, when stopped by law enforcement, you don’t want them to see the handgun until you have handed them your concealed carry license and indicated a sense of cooperation.
Another consideration regarding car guns is that they should not be readily accessible to passengers, especially children, who are not authorized or trained in their use. Curiosity can get people hurt. And you may have friends who don’t understand or don’t approve of such practices. If they don’t see the gun, unwanted injuries and uncomfortable discussions are far less likely to result.
So the question is not really about carrying a defensive handgun in your vehicle, but how to keep it secure and yet readily available. Ideally, it should be in a location that allows you to access it with one hand because your other hand may be busy performing a number of other tasks. But it should also be secure enough that it doesn’t go flying in the case of an accident or your car being rammed on purpose.
Because there are so many different kinds of vehicles, it is difficult to suggest one or two places that the defensive handgun should be kept. It is best to just study your own vehicle and determine where the best and most secure locations might be. Alongside the steering column, under the dash, the driver’s side of a console, and under the driver’s front seat—all might be good locations to begin your search for that handy spot. Fortunately, there are a number of products that can help make your determination a bit easier.
One of my favorite products is the RAM Mount from Crossbreed Holsters (www.crossbreedholsters.com). Crossbreed mounts one of their Kydex holsters to a RAM unit that can be positioned just about anywhere in your vehicle by just drilling two screw holes. Under the dash or low on the side of the console leave the handgun readily available, even when you position it so that the handgun is hidden from casual view.
Other products are the numerous gun safes that are made especially for being mounted in a vehicle. Using Google, one can quickly find a large number of vehicle gun safes; even Amazon carries them. While those that require a key to open are the most secure, I would avoid them for the obvious reason that fumbling with a key during a stressful situation is not going to be very fast. Those using a touch pad, or other quick opening device, are much preferred.
Actually, keeping a defensive handgun in your car is not much different from keeping one in your home. You want it to be out of sight, secure, yet as readily available as possible. You spent some time going over your home to find just that right location, and the same holds true with your vehicle. Study your particular vehicle, study the products that are available for vehicle carry, and work out what is the best bet for your situation. Using your own imagination is a critical part of any serious personal defense plan.