Question of the Day: Do You Keep a Gun In Your Car?

“A submachine gun is among the gear missing after an Orlando Police officer’s unmarked patrol car was stolen Saturday.  The officer, who is a part of the agency’s SWAT unit, woke up Saturday morning and noticed his patrol car was missing from outside his apartment complex in Baldwin Park, police spokeswoman Wanda Miglio said.” And with it, his department-issued UMP 45. That’ll ruin your whole morning.

Plenty o’ gun owners keep a gat in their vehicle during the day as they go about their appointed rounds. Some leave one (or more) in their whip at all times. The biggest drawback to that: the possibility of theft. Like the Orlando SWAT officer, you might think your car is safe in the driveway in front of your house. But as Sportin’ Life would advise, it ain’t necessarily so. Do you leave a gun in your car?

comments

  1. avatar Joe R. says:

    The ‘theft’ sounds like a fire at sea I once had.

    SWAT needs SMG’s for when they get called to a crime scene that’s at least 10 minutes old. The people at the crime scene immediately previous, and during a crime at a crime scene, NO. It detracts from the need for SWAT (and other more = pigs) to have weapons to sell, err… “lose”.

    1. avatar Peter Goznya says:

      One of these days you might be able to write a comment that makes sense. Today is not that day.

    2. avatar RustyNutz says:

      Wut? I’ve read that 2nd sentence 4 times and still have no idea what you are trying to say.

  2. avatar former water walker says:

    No…but I may start. Right now I have an axe and a knife in my car.AND what I carry…

  3. avatar bLoving says:

    I tell customers this all the time, “your car doesn’t need a gun, you do”. It isn’t the possibility of theft, it’s the probability. Takethe gat with you or at least get a car lock box that can be bolted down.

    1. avatar YAR0892 says:

      No argument, but a word of caution on the vehicle box. I have a friend whose box was bolted into his truck cab. Not only did the biometric lock fail to stop thieves from breaking into the truck, but they didn’t even bother to unscrew the box before they removed it and his Glock from the truck. His truck was in his driveway, not more than 100ft from where he laid his head on his pillow. Anything can be stolen, it just takes time.

  4. avatar Mike says:

    Great reference. Thanks for the video clip.

  5. avatar Renner says:

    I don’t leave anything in my car that I am not willing to lose.

    1. avatar Tex300BLK says:

      Bingo! Car locks are laughably simple to bypass. Even the lowest level thief can be into your car with nothing more than a screw driver almost as quickly as you could open the door with a key. My old GMC got broken into in broad daylight by some hack who punched the lock cylinder through the door handle and then pulled the linkage from the inside so the alarm didn’t even go off because it was as if it had just been opened by the key.

      Heck, sometimes all they need to do is pull the handle. I have had more than one car old and new that the central power locks failed on. On some
      You don’t even know immediately. Most modern European cars there isnt even a visual mechanical indicator that a door is locked or not. The electric locks on my wife’s old car wouldn’t engage sometimes and the only way to tell when the car was parked was the cadence of the red anti theft light in the dash would blink slightly faster when one of the doors failed to lock. The locks were 100% electric with no manual latch so who knows how long it was like that before we noticed one night when one of the kids got impatient and pulled the door handle before I had hit the unlock button and the alarm went off but the door still opened.

  6. avatar Cucamonga Jeff says:

    None in my truck, just some in my boat. But you already know how this story ends.?

  7. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

    I keep my EDC in my truck when I’m working. Most of my work is outside so the truck is usually in sight while I’m working and I’m pretty anal about locking it up.

  8. avatar YAR0892 says:

    I would consider it if I didn’t live/work on a US Military Installation. It tends to make carrying difficult to say the least.

  9. avatar pwrserge says:

    Only if it’s inside the garage. I now own a rifle that slips nicely into a small innocuous bag along with two 30 round 7.62×39 magazines and a single point sling. The absolutely awesome thing is that the bag slips unobtrusively right under the front passenger seat and is held in place by a simple velcro buckle sufficient to keep it from sliding. I refer to it as my “Crusader Bag”.

    I’m thinking of adding a low-profile chest rig with some soft armor, but that might be a bit excessive.

    1. avatar Ebby123 says:

      This.

      I keep a bookbag with a Folding 8IN barrel 300BLK AR under the center console. With all the junk I have floating around in my car, if a smash and grab thief can find it, he’s earned it.

      I don’t keep a car gun as replacement for an on-person gun, but as an escalation of force. If I don’t think 16rds of 9MM are going to get the job done, I’ve got 20+30 of 300BLK in the gun an arms reach away, with two more 30rd mags in the front pocket.

      Mostly I envision this being useful for:
      (1) A vehicle-to-vehicle situation where penetrating two windshields and still having lethal force may be necessary to stop a road-rage attack.
      (2) An Aloha-snackbar coordinated gunmen attack, where being able to put multiple gunmen down hard at 5-150 yards might save dozens of lives.

      I’ve often though about adding a plate carrier, but I just cant envision a scenario where I’d have enough time for that to be practical.

      Maybe the best thing to do is put a plate in the laptop compartment of the bookbag, and wear the bookbag like a plate carrier if need-be…. but that’s a stretch.

      1. avatar Ozzallos says:

        “Aloha-snackbar”

        I admit, it took me a bit to get from point A to B.
        +1

      2. avatar Joe in San Antonio says:

        I would say that your scenarios might be a bit much. Call me a FUDD but I don’t see carrying an ak/ ar in rule of law scenarios in urban or suburban surroundings. Your just gonna get caught up when law enforcement arrives.

  10. avatar Jonathan Long says:

    I work for the local sheriffs office so carrying is a no-go as im not a uniformed officer, that being said my glock is in my locked truck during my work day which is all of 50ft and one door away from me.

  11. avatar Noishkel says:

    Well I don’t even have a car anymore… ssoo. :p

    Well actually for a time I did carry a ‘trunk gun’ as a back up hidden in my car; legal where I lived then. But I had corrosion problems too much to keep it up.

    1. avatar Swilson says:

      That seems to be the big problem (outside of possible theft) with keeping one in the vehicle. Especially living in a high-humidity area. My ex-wife’s father kept an old 870 under his truck bench and apparently just left it there for a long time. When he took it out, the receiver was really rusted.

      1. avatar pwrserge says:

        It’s only a problem if you didn’t properly CLP the gun before you put it up. Whenever I put a rifle up that I won’t be shooting for a while, it gets a liberal spray of CLP on all components, a nice rubdown, and then gets put in either a vacuum sealed bag (I found a new use for my kitchen vacuum sealer) or in a bag / gun sock. So long as there is some method of keeping the CLP on the gun, you should be good on corrosion for years, possibly decades.

        1. avatar Swilson says:

          Well, obviously no precautions were taken by the man!

        2. avatar Noishkel says:

          Well I tried that myself, but even then I still had occasional rust problems even with CLP treatments. Where I was it was just too humid most of the year or I had to keep everything oiled enough to make it a problem for quick access.

        3. avatar strych9 says:

          Your vacuum sealer also works great for shrinking down a spare set of clothes as well as hats, gloves, socks etc.

          They protect road and pen flares too, and will shrink something like an emergency bivvy by 40% as well.

      2. avatar Noishkel says:

        Oh theft is always a risk of storing a gun in a car. Although in my case I had mine tucked inside some dead space between the the body shell and the interior.

        Not too sound too shady here, but if your going to do something to store a weapon like that you need to know how to do it right.

  12. avatar Rick the Bear (now in NH!!) says:

    Too many years in MA where it’s verboten. Now in NH where I carry on person, but have a couple of extra mags in the car…just in case.

  13. avatar Swilson says:

    Nope, no dedicated truck gun. I was born and raised in a big city and am pretty cautious about leaving anything remotely valuable in my truck. I always have my EDC, and when I am driving it is within easy reach. Where I live now, I have seen people literally walking the streets and parking lots checking for unlocked doors.

    The only time I leave any gun(s) in my truck is when I have return from hunting or shooting and there are a lot of neighbors out and about. Then I leave them for just long enough for it to either get dark or nobody appears to be out, then I take them back in the house. My neighbors seem to be pretty good people, and they have never given me a reason to think they are ardent anti-gunners or thieves. But at the same time, why let any more people than is absolutely necessary know how much or what you have?

    1. avatar Ebby123 says:

      My experience is very much the same.

      When I was living in the ghetto of Akron, OH I wouldn’t leave a stick of gum in my car.
      Now that I live in the middle of nowhere in Alabama, I’ll keep one or even 2 ARs in my car for convience’s sake.

  14. avatar KCK says:

    If I’m in my car, yes.
    if not, no, except for the quick run into the post office.

  15. avatar Locke_n_Load says:

    cheapest ar15 pistol I could build, in a very cheap looking tennis racket case.

  16. avatar C.S. says:

    It would be on my person were it not for the gun-free zones.

    1. avatar Dave M says:

      You mean that you participate in the ‘unarmed victims zones’ crap?

  17. avatar John Boch says:

    In my vehicle, I have a little stack-on tool box bolted down. In it is a whole G19 rig and a S&W Model 65 rig, both. If I’m going to Chicago, I’ll usually throw in an AR-15 as well. Better to have it and not need it…

    As for theft: I lock the car. If someone breaks in, it’s on them, not me if they steal that gun.

    And for the record, the only gun I’ve lost to theft was taken in a home burglary.

    John

  18. avatar Higgs says:

    Yes. a Marlin 75 hidden with 200 rounds of ammo in a water tight container in a the compartment where jack and tire iron is stored. It fits great and is out of site. Between that and my carry gun I am covered for a lot of bad situations. Not as good as an AR but I won’t cry if some one steals a gun I paid $60.

  19. avatar BierceAmbrose says:

    If SWAT guys are tooled the whole way up all the time, the tooling up ain’t all that “special” is it?

  20. avatar Dan l says:

    I worry bout theft but not as much as yall. Im lazy have a cheap 45 in the car andcheap ar in the trunk. The car is cheap too, and i keep a nice layer of trash inside for camo. Id be sad if someone stole my car or guns, a little. I could be dead if i needed a firearm one day and it wasnt there cause i was too worried it would get stolen.

    1. avatar Ebby123 says:

      “I’d be sad if someone stole my car or guns.
      I could be dead if i needed a firearm one day and it wasn’t there cause i was too worried it would get stolen.”

      *slow clap*

      Too many people get hung up on the idea that their favorite gun is going to last forever.
      Its a disposable tool. Ultimately it will wear and break, or get lost or stolen.

      The only thing that matters is that you have the right tool in the moment you need it. Everything before and after that is a far lesser importance.

      1. avatar Shallnot BeInfringed says:

        Disagree. Quality firearms are not disposable; with proper (or even minimal) care, they will last a lifetime or more.

        And at $500 plus for many of the quality firearms, I’m certainly not going to treat them as throwaway items, either!

  21. avatar DMJ747 says:

    Here in San Francisco some poor FBI agent had his unmarked car broken into and they got his H&K MP5 in 10mm. I live in Oakland so I’m sure someone will offer it to me for sale in the next week or two in the parking lot of a Safeway.

    So yes I will have a trunk gun very soon!

    1. avatar Mark N. says:

      There have been MULTIPLE firearms taken from unmarked police vehicles in SF, incluoding one that was intentionally or negligently discharged, the round ricocheting and killing a tourist.

  22. avatar tjlarson2k says:

    Nope, my jeep has doors and top off. EDC is on my person and if I think I will need my AR, I can bolt a quick release system on the door hinges — but I wouldn’t leave it or any firearms on or in the jeep.

  23. avatar Jon in CO says:

    I would really like a UMP…

    1. avatar LarryinTX says:

      Sounds like there’s one for sale, not even subject to NFA crap!

  24. avatar Kapeltam says:

    Too many break ins around where I live to leave anything in my SUV.

  25. avatar BierceAmbrose says:

    Well, I have two problems here.

    1 – What is The Swatter doing running around with the full-auto submachine gun, all the time? *Special* weapons and tactics, as in for *exceptional* circumstances that don’t happen all the time. Resolving a situation right now, through maximum applied force ought to be the exception for peace officers. It’s less so for an occupying army, although would that our internal SWAT and similar followed rules of engagement half as nuanced as those of the regular military occupying foreign lands.

    2 – Stuck in the car, somewhere? Out in the driveway? Most “unmarked” cop cars scream “cop” given the models and mods they prefer. Then there’s the license plates, ID stickers, and frankly, the way they drive and park.

    Get-cher cop gear here. Step right up.

    Seriously. In the driveway? Would that The Swatter showed half the care and responsibility of the fine folks commenting above on this article: lockbox, only when the vehicle is in sight, sometimes when in a secured garage, etc.

    At the base, I’m ever less comfortable with our gendarmes swaggering about in tacti-cool, tooled up like soldiers, imposing their dominance on every situation from a question or investigating a report to the 4th amendment free zone that is w/in 200 miles of a border, and now treating these most powerful of personal violence machines casually, like a flashlight. Me, I wouldn’t treat a chain saw that casually, and one of those can’t project risk nearly as far as a gat.

    They want to ban guns from everybody, because they think everybody is as clumsy, domineering, and dumb as cops who leave full-auto machine pistols in their cars overnight, to get stolen.

    Sheesh.

    1. avatar Ranger Rick says:

      Many agencies have a “no overnight vehicle storage” policy, wonder if Orlando does? Hopefully this isn’t used in a crime.

      1. avatar The Gray Poseur says:

        He has no skin in that SMG. Why would he/she care? I had a relative that carried an SMG in the back of his unmarked SWAT SUV. Just threw it in the big lock box in the back with the rest of the shit. Scratches, dings, stolen, so what? Not his money.

        This is how .gov works. Nobody gives a shit about taxpayer money.

        Meanwhile, us in small businesses shine up our shit every evening.

        1. avatar Arc says:

          Seen rifles thrown across squad bays, RCOs hit on pillars, scratched on with cleaning rods, etc. Crowns are totally destroyed on .mil rifles for the sake of ‘inspections’.

          Seen some guns held together with DUCT TAPE!!! Really, duct tape! The takedown pins kept coming out or were completely lost so the doc taped his M4 together!

          When people don’t have a stake in the game, they usually don’t care. Its all good if they don’t “lose the weapon”.

  26. avatar Dan l says:

    He has to have it in his car at all times, or else it would take more than 3 hours to take on a loan gunman in a nightcub. Duh

  27. avatar ActionPhysicalMan says:

    Nope. Too scared.

  28. avatar KCK says:

    I would think it a good idea to have an OnStar type tracking in cop cars where heavy duty arms are left in the car.
    Heck, my iPhone tells me when she leaves work. Maybe his car should tell him it’s leaving the driveway if he is still in the house. Tech has solutions.

    1. avatar Twisted Swifter says:

      The obvious technological solution is that all cop’s guns should be smart-guns.

  29. avatar Kevin says:

    I have to say it’s amazing what car thieves will take and leave. About 25 years ago I had my car broken into at work. Parked on the side of the building near a major road in the area. Window was busted out and the contents of my glove box were taken. In the back seat, I probably had about 20 CDs and pair of shoes and some clothes.

    Just the contents of the glove box. Some laminated maps and a blue, plastic pencil box about 5 inches by 8 inches.
    The contents of the pencil box.

    Condoms. Yup, CONDOMS!

    It still cracks me up to this day.

    1. avatar Curtis in IL says:

      The thief must have been the same size as you.

    2. avatar Renner says:

      If it will save the life of just one child, its worth it.

    3. avatar The Nothing says:

      Reminds me of an incident that happened to a girlfriend 15 years ago. She didn’t lock her Honda Civic and someone rummaged throughout and took only a flashlight, bottle of Pepsi and a tampon. Left behind my box of CDs and $400 pool cue.
      Must have a been blind, thirsty and bleeding.

  30. avatar Curtis in IL says:

    If the “prohibited areas” in your state and your occupation/lifestyle preclude carrying in most of the places you go on a daily basis, then a vehicle gun becomes the next best thing.

    I’m thankful to have a garage and to live and work where vehicle thefts and burglaries are rare during daylight. I would not want my Glock to fall into the hands of the local thugs, but it is mostly state law to blame. Both my truck and my Glock are insured.

  31. avatar Dean Carpenter says:

    Can’t help but wonder what it will sell for and what a cop earns. Cop cars are usually avoided by thieves. Marked or not the market for hot cop car parts is limited.

    1. avatar LarryinTX says:

      A similar question would be “How long will it take him to have it replaced for free?”, and the ever popular “Has this happened to him before?”

      And with stolen machine guns, who cares if it’s marked?

  32. avatar SouthernPhantom says:

    OPSEC.

  33. avatar uncommon_sense says:

    No … been thinking about it.

  34. avatar Valdez says:

    “But as Sportin’ Life would advise”
    Tapped on the blue in the article and it linked to Porgy and Bess on YouTube ?

  35. avatar Valdez says:

    Appears that Swatsucker is too mentally unstable and Lazy to have control of firearms period!
    Which state is it that wants to pass a law making it possible for your arrest if your firearm is stolen from your home?

    1. avatar LarryinTX says:

      Dunno, but I’ll bet there’s a carveout for LEO, even if the stolen article is a machine gun. Or a bazooka, for that matter.

  36. avatar Bryan says:

    I see the Orlando SWAT guys are still dedicated to the proposition that they will never make themselves look good.

  37. avatar jimmy james says:

    You damn skippy I do leave at least one gun in my whip at all times. Center console drink holder. Covered with a baseball cap.

  38. avatar Specialist38 says:

    Yes.

    I just know that nothing is totally secure to a criminal.

    Especially if it’s easily available to me.

    I don’t lose sleep over it. It can be replaced.

  39. avatar Paul53 says:

    Only while in the doctors office. No NRA or any other kind of sticker alluding to weapons. Seen too many cars ripped apart by people looking for hidden weapons.

  40. avatar Ralph says:

    Never.

    1. avatar Curtis in IL says:

      So if your destination is a GFZ (courthouse, post office, etc.) do you leave the gat at home?

  41. avatar Sidney Collins says:

    So, I guess I should watch Craigslist for a UMP .45 for the next few days….. probably get a deal on it…

  42. avatar Bugman says:

    +1 on no gun/political related stickers. EDC on my hip, Hi Point .45 +3 loaded mags in an under dash holster in work truck or personal vehicle when in use. Sub 2k +5 loaded mags of various size in a Dora the Explorer backpack(hell of a suprise,if I ever have to use it!) All of that goes inside every night.

  43. avatar Mark N. says:

    Never ever if it is at all avoidable. I have a garage and work from home, so it’s not like it is a big issue most of the time.

  44. avatar strych9 says:

    Generally, only if some part of my day takes me to an enforceable GFZ such as a courthouse. Then I have a safe in my car. I don’t worry about it too much because I doubt someone is gonna try anything and if they do they’re doing it in the courthouse/Sheriff’s Department parking lot.

    If I’m driving a long distance, out to the mountains, down to NM, up to Wyoming or something then I’ll put a rifle in the trunk for emergencies, usually a .30-30 lever gun.

    Other than that it’s usually only if I’m transporting a gun somewhere I intend to use it.

    A side note on the story, stealing a cop car sounds ballsy but the FBI agent around the corner from me had his FBI issued car stolen too. I dunno if that’s ballsy, stupid or ignorant but, we’re I a car thief, I think I’d leave vehicles with federal tags on them alone.

  45. avatar Chris T from KY says:

    I carry a rifle in my car everyday. But it never stays in the vehicle over night.
    My 22 caliber Henry AR7 is better than no rifle at all.
    Yes, I know some of you are laughing. But after several months of research on firearm web sites, gun podcasts, and youtube videos, I choose the Henry.
    Why?
    Because when stowed inside the stock its only sixteen inches long. To the uneducated it does not look like a firearm.
    I hope I never have to use it, but I will have it when that time comes.

  46. avatar Randy in Indiana says:

    When I’m in rural areas I always carry a 12 gauge shotgun in the trunk: Mossberg 590 marine loaded for bear (literally). I usually just leave it there when I’m in the flatlands, as well. I don’t worry about it.

  47. avatar Dave Lewis says:

    “Unmarked car” yeah right. Probably a lowered high speed Tahoe or Explorer with no chrome, strobe lights mounted inside the windshield, wide tires, three or four radio antennas, and maybe a spotlight on the door post. Let’s not forget the city or county plates and the big police console with a radio and about a dozen toggle switches.

  48. avatar Holdfast says:

    Dude needs to hang. There is no excuse to have an unsecured submachine gun in a vehicle where someone can steal it. If the whole car was stolen, I’d be more forgiving- but not by much.

    Ask any soldier or marine what happens to your entire unit if you lose your weapon.

  49. avatar steven says:

    no of course not

  50. avatar James Wilson says:

    Yep. Ruger AR 556.

  51. avatar TheUnspoken says:

    When I clicked on this article I was mostly just thinking there was something really messed up with that UMP… It is some kind of left handed half mp5/half ump cross breed. Mp5 rear sight, with mp5-like molded grip, weird vents in the receiver. Is that really the best UMP photo they could come up with? Even the Orlando sentinel actually got a real UMP photo, props to them for not showing an Uzi or ASK. I am guessing unlicensed air soft copy, don’t sue us HK, see this isn’t exactly your UMP…

  52. avatar Lhshtr. says:

    I have a wife and a girlfriend, you better not touch either. My girlfriend carries a Kel Tec 2000 .40 cal. If you want to have a bad day touch either of them. I am 76 yrs. young and love them both and they both will kill you!! Just saying! be cool and watch your back!

    1. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

      do they live in your car?

  53. avatar Adub says:

    I keep a PT111 G2 with a spare mag in one car. It’s cheap and disposable.

    A spare AR sounds like overkill, but it’s got me thinking.

  54. avatar Paul Short says:

    I never leave it in the car….

  55. avatar Tom says:

    Unfortunately I am in the (un)Armed Forces so that’s not an option. When is President Trump going to get around to making military gun free zones go away?

    1. avatar Joe in San Antonio says:

      Check out this link for some info about military carry. http://www.dtic.mil/whs/directives/corres/pdf/521056_dodd_2016.pdf

  56. avatar Tx says:

    When at the post office or court my daily carry goes into a lockbox in the cab.

    I’ve considered putting an AR under the rear bench seat, but would like a simple quick release lock to secure it from a quick vehicle break in. I wouldn’t leave it in the truck overnight.

    If the whole truck got stolen while I was out and about, I’d just call my insurance company.

  57. avatar hllm says:

    I lock my pistol in a lock box in my vehicle while at work. Employer prohibits all weapons on the actual work premises, but the parking garage is OK. There’s a whole lot of more attractive vehicles than the one I drive, so not an obvious target. Too close to retirement to risk the pay check and the pension. Just hope nothing happens at work and all I have to defend myself is a stapler or pair of scissors. No NRA, CCDL or SIG stickers on the vehicle to draw attention.

  58. avatar Ozzallos says:

    Once I have the spare funds, I’m thinking an Extar 556 or PAP m92. Either is a superior caliber to any pistol. Throw on a red dot, maybe a light and you’re ready to rock. Max you’re out is $550 if it gets taken with the vehicle.

  59. avatar WILCO says:

    Nah, only for quick stops at post office etc. Don’t like the ideal of nothing but glass being in between my gun and a bad guy. And I typically don’t park my car in my garage but if I did then I wouldn’t be opposed to a pistol being stashed away.

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