You’re out running some errands. You have to go into a Post Office. You’re carrying a firearm, as usual. What do you do?
If you carry every day, assuming you have a license to do so (unless you’re in Arizona or another Constitutional Carry state), you’re bound to encounter a situation where you need to visit a place that is not carry-friendly. Any type of government building, post office, (most) universities, or any business that has posted “no weapons” signs are off limits for us concealed carry folks.
Some people may carry anyway, as long as there aren’t metal detectors or x-ray machines at the entrance, and ignore the signs and carry anyway (bad idea). But as responsible citizens who obey the laws regardless of the actual risk of detection, there are two options;
1.) ditch the heater in the car, or
2.) don’t patronize the establishments that ban weapons.
If option 2 is not an option, option 1 is required. [NB: be sure to know your local laws on vehicle firearm storage] The tricky part is handling a loaded handgun while in your car.
Remember the Four Rules of Gun Safety
The rules of holstering and un-holstering a weapon are the same wherever you are; home, car, bathroom, range, wherever
- Treat all guns as if they are loaded.
- Never let the muzzle of a gun point at anything you do not want to destroy or kill.
- Keep your finger straight and off the trigger.
- Be absolutely sure of your target and what’s behind it.
With this in mind, what is the most effective and safe way to remove and store a loaded handgun in your car?
How To Remove Your Gun
Depending on what you’re driving, unholstering a gun safely may require different techniques for different cars. Sitting in a Corvette will require a different method than sitting in a truck. Is it best to remain seated? Should you open the door, put your legs out, then unholster? Is it better to stand just outside of the car between the door and the car and unholster from a standing position? It depends.
However you decide to unholster your weapon, do it slowly and carefully, observing the four rules.
Keep it Holstered
Likely the best option for removing a gun from your body while in a car: wear a holster that can be removed from your hip without having to remove the gun from the holster. Unless you have to thread your belt through the holster, removing the holster with the gun inside it may be the best way to avoid having an uncovered trigger-guard in a relatively awkward position.
If you have to unholster your gun, make sure the muzzle doesn’t cover ANYTHING you wouldn’t want shot.
No Lasering Yourself or Others
If you’re of the mindset that you get uncomfortable at a gun store while looking at shiny, new firearms in such close proximity to other people, and when muzzles tend to fly in all directions while examining a gun, removing a loaded gun from your hip while in the cab of a car or truck is just plain taboo.
If it has to be done, do it in such a manner that you’re not covering anything living with the muzzle. Having a routine for unholstering in a car should already be in place before having to do it when there’s a round in the chamber. Practice with an unloaded gun. Be aware of all body parts of yourself and others, including your legs and feet.
Storing a loaded handgun in a vehicle, when stored properly shouldn’t be a big safety problem. However you decide to do it, be comfortable with it. For instance, if you simply put your piece in a glovebox or a center console compartment while you’re away from your vehicle, if your car was broken into, would the gun be out on the streets along with your ipod?
There are a few companies out there that make lockable steel containers that come with steel cables that can be tethered to your seat frame. They’re fairly inexpensive and would probably raise your comfort level when faced with having to leave your gun in your car. As Robert Farago says, unless your gun is on your hip, keep it locked up. You’re responsible for your own weapon, so don’t take leaving it out of your sight lightly.
Replacing Your Weapon On Your Person
All of the above considerations should be observed when it comes to the four rules and exacting muzzle control. When you get back in your car and are ready to put your gun back on, again, have a routine that makes doing so absolutely safe. If putting an In the Waist Band (IWB) holster back on is a tricky affair while seated, practice practice practice. You’re better off to have a safe but slightly awkward routine than to not carry.
Many people train for various self-defense situations. It is only being responsible to train for various carrying, or no-carrying situations too.