In this unusual Florida case, the two suspects attacked an armed citizen in his car, grabbed his gun and fled the scene. It all happened at a McDonald’s drive-through at . . . wait for it . . . 3am. The victim honked at a car ahead of him. They diners ahead of him had received their order, but had not driven off. From myfoxtampabay.com . . .

Police say the Gregory Fulham got out of the car, went to the driver’s side of the car behind them and started punching the man, who had pulled a gun from his glovebox.

Police say Kevin Fulham went to the passenger side, grabbed the gun out of the victim’s hand and took it. The two then got back into their car and drove away, police said.

I can see having the drivers side window down; the victim was getting ready to make an order at a drive-through. It seems that the passenger door was unlocked, or maybe that window was down as well, and the son of the attack team was able to unlock the door through the window. I have also read of several attempted robberies of armed citizens at McDonalds drive-throughs which have not ended well for the robbers.

The victim was a 50-year-old man. One story says the victim didn’t point the gun at his attackers; the accounts are not contradictory. It could have happened this way . . .

The victim did not have the gun in hand when first attacked, then attempted to retrieve it from the glove box. Before he could bring it into play, the second attacker had obtained entry and was able to take the gun from him, probably facilitated by his father who was holding on to and punching the victim.

The attackers clearly made a mistake in the victim selection process. While no one was shot, the police were able to obtain a partial license plate and make the arrest.

It is likely to be an expensive mistake for the attacking father-son team. Ubiquitous cameras and recording devices are making this sort of anti-social violence more and more risky for violent offenders. When attackers leave their vehicle to go to another, then attack the occupant, there’s little question as to who is the aggressor. In this case, they were lucky that neither of them died as a result of their attack.

It also illustrates an important point: the glove box is not the optimum place to carry a defensive firearm. Where/how do you carry when you’re in your car?

©2014 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
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70 Responses to Self-Defense Tip: Don’t Keep Your Gun in the Glove Box

    • Only problem with your point is most people get WAY too damn close to the car in front at drivethrus and would likely find themselves trapped. It is precisely for the reason that events similar to that of this story could happen at any time that I keep the doors locked and make sure too maintain enough space between me and the vehicle in front that I can pull away at any time.

      • On top of which, many drive thrus have curbing on both sides and other obstacles to an escape except backwards, and that could be blocked by another car.

        • In addition to the excellent practice of leaving sufficient room to steer around the vehicle in front if necessary, I avoid driving (or riding in) anything that weighs less than 5000 lbs, has less than 8″ of ground clearance and does not have all wheels driven. My preference is large GM SUVs, which when equipped with the 6.0 liter V8 and 6 speed automatic are nearly as quick as an average car. The new 6.2 Liter introduced in the last couple of years closes that gap a little more.

          There have been three or four times over the past 35 years that I’ve needed to make such a maneuver and in each instance, I would have had some difficulty in a different vehicle.

          The occupants of a taller vehicle enjoy a psycological advantage over pedestrians in that the interior of the vehicle is more difficult to see into when approached on foot.

          Admittedly there unavoidable situations we all find ourselves in where we are just simply vulnerable because of the topography of the surroundings. I’m just trying to give myself the best chance for those times. Otherwise I avoid those types of situations at all costs.

    • “the skinny pedal falls quicker to hand than a gun.”

      I’m guessing you mean the gas pedal by this, but don’t know what you mean by “quicker to hand,” your hands are nowhere near it (sentence just doesn’t make any sense). Yes, driving away is a good idea when possible, but when you’re at a drive-through you often have cars behind you too, preventing you from backing up, and at traffic lights there is often no place to go left, right, or back, or even the sidewalk if there are pedestrians. You need to be able to act if there is no other way out. FL is also a state where you can stand your ground, where criminals do not have more right to be there than the victim.

      • Good Lord. It’s an expression meaning that you can get to it quicker. Are you being difficult, or can you genuinely not infer meaning?

      • Don’t be obtuse. You know damn well what was meant by the comment. Pointing out what you percieve as flaws in the writing style of others on an internet forum about guns and gun rights simply makes you look like a pretentious grammar nazi.

      • Or he could have an accelerator on the steering column like many people do. This could still be referred to by the colloquial term ‘skinny pedal’. When people say they are ‘standing on the skinny pedal’ do you take the time to point out that you cannot stand up in a car?

        You see how ridiculous, petty, and worthless making comments about another’s writing style is? Unless of course you are on an english or literature forum.

    • Yep I had a momment like this, was on my way home from work and a guy pulled out of a lane of stopped cars in front of me while I was doing at least 45-50. Naturally I ran up on him quickly even after very aggressively braking just avoid plastering his car right there. He responds by throwing the mother of all brake checks on me and then stays driving at about 5mph with clear road in front of him. Rolls down his window and starts shaking his fist at me flipping the bird and screaming loud enough to where I could hear him through closed windows, AC on and scalloped all terrain tires droning on the pavement. By this point the right lane is going 2-3x faster than us and I am trapped behind this psycho because I dont want to get rear ended and the traffic hasnt finished passing me. Then the light ahead turns red. So here I am armed only with a pickup truck stopped behind some mental case who is still screaming and flayling his arm out the window making some motion that looks like he is punching himself in the head, and my only thought is, if that driver’s door opens its all my weight on the go pedal and Im ducking into the passenger seat in case he has a gun.

      Interestingly enough I came across him the very next day being tailgated by some other car and he was doing the exact same deal. Must not be right in the head. Either way, never forget than anything and everything at your disposal can be a weapon for self defense, and several thousand pounds of steel aint a bad choice when confronted by someone intent on leaving their own car and trying to mess with you in your own.

      • “several thousand pounds of steel aint a bad choice when confronted by someone intent on leaving their own car and trying to mess with you in your own.”

        you see how that shit played out for Kevin Ward.

      • Since break checking is illegal in Illinois, I had the same thing happen to me. I carry concealed so I was covered in that aspect. Well the break checking car kept it up and I called 911. Since we’re in town in a major shopping area other drivers saw it and flooded 911. As it happens, an unmarked suv was coming from a side street and pulled up beside her while she’s doing her thing. I pulled over with the cop and told him I feared for my safety. And that I thought about pulling my handgun and displaying in the windshield whIle trying to avoid hitting her (turns out driver was a she), all while on speaker to 911. Officer advised against it but surprisingly said since I feared for my life and I was on the phone with dispatch I was within my right. Go figure. Sorry about the long post.

      • Note license plate, call police. This jerk is a repeat road rager, and it is only a matter of time before he causes an accident. I hope when he does, he’s the only casualty.

  1. 3 AM…wonder how many of these folks had been drinking and did not have full control of their minds because of that. Just speculating of course. But who is out at 3 AM ordering food at McDonalds. Night shift, perhaps? But 3AM is a weird time to be getting off of a shift even if that was the case. Sounds more like the bars closed at 2AM so lets stop to get some food on the way home. Also, sounds like the 2 perps where not armed. So shooting someone that is beating on you may not go well for the shooter. What is the best plan in matters like this?

    • I would think the fact that McDonalds is open says they do enough business to make it worth while. So I would say a lot of people stop at McDonalds at 3 AM.

      I don’t usually carry on long trips so I just keep it on the hip in the car, and yes, it’s hard to draw. If I did long trips there is a holster that fits under the steering wheel that looks very good to me. And if I went to McDonalds at 3 AM, I would have it on my hip. Of course, I’m to damn old to be driving on long trips at 3 AM, I stop and sleep now.

      • I work 2nd shift and popping out to Mickey-D’s at 2am for a burger and fries when we don’t feel like cooking is not uncommon. 3am is pretty much my 7pm for normal 8-5 people.

    • “So shooting someone that is beating on you may not go well for the shooter. “

      Uh….what?

      Not this “but he was unarmed” bit again.

      Two attackers. Attacking. Disparity of force could come into play.

      Being actively “beaten” is imminent threat of serious bodily injury if not death.

    • By breaking into his car or trying to remove him from his car, they were committing a forcible felony which justifies the use of deadly force. They don’t need to have any weapon. They are very lucky they weren’t shot, because the victim could very well have done so lawfully.

    • I frequently stop at McDonalds at around this time due to the nature of my job. It’s the only option available other than Jack in the Box for fast food. And I’m not partial to the after-effects of eating at that place.

      I don’t consider myself paranoid, but while I’m driving I really don’t like to be stuck without an escape route. Probably more of a holdover of riding a motorcycle than anything. I know that if this happened to me, I’d easily be able to turn the wheel slightly right and be out of there in an instant.

      I keep a gun within reach under my center console, but I think I’d use my engine as a defensive/avoidance measure before drawing that.

      Also, helps to have a truck with decent ground clearance for going over curbs, but I have made it over curbs in a little Saturn coupe. It’s not fun, but certainly preferable to having your face bashed in or having to shoot someone.

  2. Stopping for food is fairly common when you get off work or work through the night. Fuck I put on 30 pounds from fast food when I worked 4 – 12. No good options open, you’re tired and dirty, it’s McDs for dinner tonight.

  3. In the car the gun is either on my hip or in the glove box. Neither are ideal places to draw from, and I’d rather just drive away.

  4. An ideal oppurtunity for a small, 5.5 inches blade length in TX iirc, point object for those who reach into your car to do you harm.

    As one of the above comments states, if you work unusual shift hours, you may end up getting some kind of fast food late at night.Not a stupid things in stupid places, you just happen to get an over abundance of stupid ass humans. It was Whataburger in BOTH of my unfortunate occurrences in this type of situation (no honking needed), the latter of which was inside the restaurant and is why I choose to carry a firearm daily.

  5. Medium sized cavity in the center console below the radio, forward of the gear shift. This little cubby has a folding little door that makes for legal carry (out of sight), but can remain open and within easy reach.

    • Hmm, I have one of those in my new car, I’ll have to check to see if my gun fits there. I’ve been thinking about buying one of those under-dash mounted holster things, since I pocket carry and that’s very difficult to draw from in the car. Or even maybe an ankle holster for driving purposes.

  6. With regards to the food – even the refrigerated sandwiches at 7-11 are better for you than McDs.

    With regards to the gun, it’s actually a great question. I appendix carry and sometimes hip carry, both are not ideal positions to draw from if you are seated in a car. The first commenter, C, has it right. If you sense an impending assault while in your vehicle, move in whichever direction is the clearest and get the heck out of Dodge. If it’s in a drive-thru at 3 AM and you are in line, get out of line, even if it means hitting another car. The damages can be sorted out later. The important thing is you’ll have a higher likelihood of getting out of the situation unscathed. And at the least you can change your position and have time to draw and ready your weapon.

    In not so many words – “move!”

    And don’t have your gun in the center console or glove box.

    • “And don’t have your gun in the center console or glove box.”

      Are you saying we’re supposed to carry illegally??? In Florida (also where this happened) it’s required by law to have your firearm in a closed container if transporting it by vehicle.

      • Only if you don’t have a carry permit. BTW, in Florida it’s a concealed weapons permit. Gun, blackjack, sap, brass knuckles, switchblade, etc. Whatever you can conceal, you can carry.
        But, who the hell would let someone to take a gun out of their hand. He is lucky to be alive.

  7. Have taught my lovely bride to always be ready to shift into 4 wheel drive and just push your way out of any jam involving people doing what these 2 did. And keep the gat close by just in case.

    It does two things, keeps the bad guy [s] on foot And you have received and left evidence of contact with bad guy vehicle

  8. The people saying that you should just drive away need to understand that’s not always an option. This guy was in a drive through with a car stopped in front of him and likely a car behind him also known as being boxed in. On a personal note I once had a group of scumbags slam into a car I was riding in thereby disabling it before they attempted to rob and or kill us. Sometimes you can’t run, sometimes there is no avenue of escape and often there is no time even if you could. Stay vigilant and stay safe.

  9. If he already had his gun, and they took from him, why does it matter where he pulled it from? Did they retrieve it from his glove box or from him?

    • I’m guessing the idea is that if it were in a more accessible place than the glove box he could have gotten it and brought it to bear more quickly, before they had time to reach in and snatch it from him.

  10. Is it possible the 50 y.o. man waved the gun at them and they felt threatened enough to respond? Just saying, the trial of the two ‘attackers’ could 180 on itself.

  11. What happened reminds me a lot of http://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/2014/06/daniel-zimmerman/p320-entry-ill-minutes/ . The original news article doesn’t describe exactly how the son got to the victim. I don’t hear anything about the glass being broken, so I’m guessing either the window was left down, or the door was unlocked – ALWAYS LOCK YOUR DOOR WHEN YOU GET IN. I’ve been telling people that, but noticed that I also sometimes forget to lock it right away when I’m “just heading over to WcDonalds for a few minutes.”

    I’m also in Florida, and while it is required to have the gun in a closed container, I , like the author, also don’t recommend placing it in the glove box. The glove box is way to far away to be able to get it effectively in the short time a dangerous situation can come up. You can still place it in your center console though and have quick access to it. I’ve been told that’s not illegal in FL, cops just don’t like it.

    • A snapped holster is also considered securely encased. Mine rides tucked in a jacket right behind the bitch seat of my truck. Of course that truck also looks like it’s survived Ragnarok so I have no hesitations about ramming if need be.

  12. I carry OWB in the 4 o’clock position, so drawing is not an easy task. I keep it in a cubby under the radio, its a short trip to the center consloe should red light start flashing.

  13. Ah, like father, like son.. Douche bag Sr. and douche bag Jr. are no doubt questioning their decision making paradigm right about now. Should we or shouldn’t we, commit aggravated assault and battery on a complete stranger we know nothing about, who could be armed, willing, and able to relieve us of our miserable lives? For these two – until just recently – that decision once fell squarely in the “toss-up” column. Now, not so much.

    • People like this don’t question their decisions. If they ever expended “thought” on the subject, they wouldn’t commit such crimes in the first place. Much more likely that they are even more angry at the guy behind them in the drive through line who had the audacity to honk at them. These people just blame everybody else for the situations they “find themselves in” I mean cause. Bet we can guess who they voted for, if they bother to vote.

  14. Well, we Kali residents can’t carry in the glove in CA, its against the law, even it its a locking type.
    http://wiki.calgunsfoundation.org/Transporting

    And that might apply to “utility” compartments, such as the built in box in the middle of the seats in the SUV.
    Crazy, huh? Lacking case law, its a crap shoot for some cops and citizens to figure it out.

    http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?t=900113
    See this is what you get with Democrats in power for the last 40 years…

    Beyond that…what would I do, if I could do, hypothetically, …well, OPSEC rules.

    • With a CCW it does not matter. Without, it has to be unloaded and in a locked container, and the utility compartment between the seats is, along with the glove box, specifically excluded by statute as being locked containers. The basic idea is that they do not want the gun to be anywhere where you can quickly access it. For officer safety of course.

  15. Yep keep your doors locked. Keep your windows cracked. I’ve worked in the middle of the night and more than once got out of line because I saw trouble coming. I still don’t carry YET-but I have a pepper blaster,a knife, an extremely sharp AX, a baseball bat and a screwdriver at my disposal. The ax is a skull splitter 🙂

    • I still consider axes and large blades in general to be some of the best weapons. I don’t know many people who would hold their ground against an ax or machete charge.

  16. 1. They are eating at a Mickey D’s at 3 AM, so all three guys have a death wish and are committing slow suicide to begin with. Only half-joking on this one.

    2, Fast food places, gas stations and convenience stores at 3 AM are always potential shooting galleries. No matter what hours I’m working, I plan ahead to not be in those situations.

    3. The drive-away options mentioned are smart, if they are possible. I have seen some of those lanes where you are pretty much trapped, even if you have a 4WD.

    4. There was a similar situation in Richmond, VA not too long ago. The fact that the defender honked his horn to start the argument was used against him as having initiated the confrontation. He got off only because he attempted to get away from the BGs, who followed him and forced him to shoot. The guy in this situation might have had a weaker SD case than he should have. I think carrying means you go the extra mile to be patient and polite.

    5. Once you decide to go for a gun, you better get it out quick and be ready to use it immediately. If lethal force was the right option here, it sounds to me like this guy didn’t react fast enough and/or didn’t start pulling the trigger when he needed to.

  17. I appendix carry in a sticky holster. That method provides easy access seated in a car and seat-belted in. I would have simply drove forward though and watched them chase my car on foot. When they get close, you pull even farther ahead and call them pussies and watch them chase you even farther while driving just enough to keep them chasing you on foot, then drive away and go snarf down your Big Mac.

  18. “In this unusual Florida case”

    It’s Florida, so it’s not really unusual. I’m more surprised that there wasn’t someone on bath salts or dressed up as the Easter bunny. This was Florida after all, home of the craziest news stories.

  19. Florida’s Finest are at it again. The glove box is too far away, and a motion towards the glove box is a clear giveaway of intent. Center console is better, but not ideal. I live in north Florida, and have a CCWL. When it’s not on my person, it’s in a Console Vault bolted into the truck’s center console. I do need to get a cross draw holster specifically for better access while seated/driving.

  20. I’m a lefty so the side door pocket is convenient as any place else.

    At 3AM you might not have a choice but as a general rule, if I have to eat fast food, I avoid drive thrus. I can’t understand the gibberish on the squawk box, and I don’t find it any faster. I don’t like being boxed in because if the service is extremely slow, I want the ability to drive off. That being said, I’m not the fastest out of the gate either, putting away change and getting things situated, so if some clown starts blowing the horn at me after I’ve had to sit breathing someone else’s carbon monoxide for seven or eight minutes, I’m going to be plenty annoyed. I won’t get out of my car and start beating someone, but he’s going to find that he’s not going to like the speed I start moving at any better than the one I was moving at previously. An all night diner brings in more interesting people anyway.

  21. I still carry on my body , I want to control the gun. The best weapon you have when you are in a car is the car itself. Hit the gas, hit the brakes, whatever it takes. By all means keep all doors locked & at 3 am I’d keep my window up until the cashier was there at the window.

  22. First of all, the reports above are incorrect. What actually happened is this:
    The Fulhams went to the first window to pay for their order, but no one was there, so they pulled up to the 2nd window in question. They paid, received their order and yes, “lingered” while looking through the bags. The man in the SUV behind them was annoyed and was yelling at them to move. He started his honking and then lightly bumped their BMW. The son got out of the passenger side and headed towards the SUV. The father followed in an attempt to stop his son. The man reached into his glove compartment and grabbed his gun. The son saw the gin and yelled, “gun!, gun!”, at which time the father punched the guy in the face and the son reached through the passenger window and grabbed the gun from the man’s hand. Not knowing what to do, they left the scene. They turned the gun in the following morning and we’re immediately arrested.
    The charges are bogus and the media is making them out to be monsters who had burglary on their minds, which was not at all predisposed motive or intention here. Hot tempers and bad decisions are the only things involved here.

    • We all know there are at least 2 sides to every story, or as many versions as there are participants / witnesses. Regardless, there is much to be learned from this situation. Basic rules for civility dictate don’t be an obnoxious jerk; don’t get out of your vehicle to attack (as an obnoxious jerk) or confront (as the aggrieved) an obnoxious jerk. There was ample opportunity for both parties in either possible scenario (yours vs. the one presented in this blog entry) to de-escalate and “not be a jerk.”

      I personally hate horn-honkers, tail-gaters, headlight-flashers, etc. They’re generally impatient jerks, concerned only with themselves and their precious time tables. I am one to check my drive through orders (food, pharmacy, etc.) for accuracy before departing the line, been shafted too many times before (no stinking mayonnaise!!). I usually try to get out of the way of the jerks on the road, I’d rather they go wreck their cars somewhere besides with me. Amazing the peace of mind that can be had for the price of a little patience.

  23. When I’m driving any distance, I have a Serpa holster attached to the front of my drivers seat between my legs. I remove it from my owb and drive with it handy. When I arrive, I re-holster and go. Works great. Secure, fast to reach and mostly obscured to those outside my car. Much more comfortable without my 1911 poking me in the side the whole way.

  24. Under the steering wheel there is a slot for the car manual. I’ve got a kydex and leather holster secured in there. Retention is tight and it’s a small light Kahr pistol so it isn’t too likely to come out of the holster. If I just ride my arm down the wheel, my hand falls onto the grip (lefty is a bit harder because the gun is oriented for right hand). Continue that motion to draw driver side or change direction to draw passenger. Really easy to do without sweeping myself or a passenger.

  25. I pocket carry, but sometimes carry a “car gun” either on the passenger seat or under my right thigh.
    We should all practice drawing and shooting while sitting in a car. While out of the house I am in the car most of the time.
    Also consider how your gun/ammo will perform through car bodies and glass.

  26. lock your doors. close your windows. don’t get so impatient that you bump the car in front of you while they check their order.

    some problems are really easy to avoid.

  27. everyplace there is a mc d there is a denny’s open all night with real food i wont go to mc d or jack in the crack i work security mid night to 8 and usually pick up frozen jimmy dean brkfst bowls to nuke or stouffers dinners i carry an xd 9m sub iwb and it draws fairly easy seated

  28. Story reminded me of…
    Back in early 70’s, I was around 18 taking a shortcut in my mothers Suburban though the indian reservation near our home in upstate NY. Apparently too fast for one of the local braves who slowed to a crawl in front of me in an area I could not pass him at. Then he stops, flagging over another brave in a pick-up coming the other way towards us, so they were blocking both lanes now. I’ll never forget seeing the rifles in his rear PU window gunrack, remember those? The first guy jumps out of his vehicle and races back towards me and I put it in reverse as I look behind me and another car had just innocently pulled up behind me, inadvertently blocking my retreat. My window was down and the first brave is there then punching me through the open window, but his buddy, in the oncoming lane, had crept his pick-up forward to watch better, I’d guess, and had opened a small gap then between the two vehicles and I got it back into forward and hit the gas scooting between their two vehicles with the punching brave hanging on with one arm and trying to carry on punching me with the other free hand, as I picked up speed as quick as I could. We’re both yelling bloody murder at each other and if a truck happened to be coming towards us right then I’d likely have scraped him off onto the side of it. He started punching less and hanging on more as I got up about 60mph and I looked in the rear view mirror and could see his buddy in the pickup (the one with the rifles) way back but racing to catch up to us, so I jammed on the brakes, stopping quick and shoved the hanger on, who looked more pale faced now, off and took off. The whole family was apprised of the incident so all knew to not use that reservation shortcut anymore, especially with that Suburban. Moved to Texas by the end of that decade where my guns are always close at hand and I have more options and am hopefully a little wiser to better recognize and avoid developing situations where they might be needed, too.

  29. Though not justification for the attack, I have to wonder if the victim would have bothered to honk his horn if he did not have his weapon with him.

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