Kansas kris kobach
Kris Kobach (AP Photo/Douglas C. Pizac)
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No matter how good the laws are in your state, if you carry a gun, there will be times when you have to disarm yourself to comply with the law. Going to the post office? That’s a federal no-go zone. Carry in most hospitals and casinos is banned, too (check your local laws). And then there are private businesses that prohibit carrying guns on their property.

The result is these “gun-free” zones force law-abiding gun owners to leave their firearms unattended, usually in their cars. Criminals, of course, know this.

Most of us have an inexpensive lock box in the car that’s secured by a steel cable to a seat mount. There are other options, of course, but none are perfect and you’re at risk of losing your gun(s) to an opportunistic thief whenever you stash them in your vehicle.

That’s something a leading Kansas candidate for the U.S. Senate found out the hard way over the weekend at a Wichita hotel. From the AP:

U.S. Senate candidate and former Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach reported that he had four guns stolen from his pickup truck that was parked at a Wichita hotel.

Officers responded to a call from Kobach around 11:30 a.m. Saturday at a hotel parking garage, Wichita police said. Investigators believe someone broke into Kobach’s pickup overnight and took a rifle, two shotguns and a handgun.

A spokeswoman for the Republican’s campaign said he was in Wichita for a campaign event and had the long guns with him for a scheduled shooting event.

Campaign spokeswoman Danedri Herbert said Kobach also “always has at least one firearm with him for personal protection.”

How do you stow your mohaska when entering a “gun-free” zone?

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  1. Well, I sure don’t leave guns in cars overnight. In a parking garage. At a hotel.

    Serious lack of judgment there.

    • Agreed. If someone breaks into your car while you’re in the post office for 5 minutes (assuming you all properly disarm before going in the post office… right? ha.) then you hit the bad luck lottery. But leaving your guns in a car overnight like that?

      I wonder if he has a bunch of “NRA” stickers on there just to advertise it.

      • Technically you cannot have a gun in the Post Office parking lot if that is also Federal Property. I usually park across the street and put the gun in the center counsel. Its private land there and they have yet to say anything to me. Only exception is a Post Office that shares a common parking lot with other businesses like in a strip mall.

        Unlikely you will get prosecuted but it has gone to trial as far as the parking lot is concerned. The statute reads any Federal Facility, meaning building from what I recall but most prosecutors don’t care what the law says.

        • But that has nothing to do with a parking garage at the hotel you’re staying at.

          Take an odd shaped bag to your room at night.

          Whether the hotel likes it or not,

        • “Take an odd shaped bag to your room at night.”

          Zippered golf bag cases like when flying with golf clubs work wonders…

        • Geoff,

          …or those nifty cases that look like musical instrument (guitar, violin) cases. I have one, and used it today to transport my AR to a friend’s house, then back home.

        • ^ Illegal in Post Office parking lot?!
          Not in Florida.
          Castle Doctrine: The interior of your car is an extension of your home.
          If the firearm is locked in the car, in the parking lot, while you go into the Post Office, no problem.


        • As a Florida native and someone who know FS 790.XX pretty well I don’t know if federal law extends to the parking lot and overrides state law or or not. In Florida and I quote – An employer may not prohibit an employee from “keeping a legal firearm locked inside or locked to a private motor vehicle” parked in the employer’s parking lot, so long as the firearm itself is “kept for lawful purposes.” So what if you work for the Post Office here? Which law comes out on top?

        • What’s the difference?

          You leave your property in your car and someone steals it.

          Why is the post office “not your fault” and the hotel “your fault”.

          Victim-blaming pure and simple.

        • No discussion needed. State law doesn’t apply to federal property or agencies. They’d call a Postal Inspector or other federal law enforcement to arrest you, and you’d be charged in federal court — no state involvement at all.

        • Anymouse is correct. A state CANNOT nullify federal law. This argument was decided with a great deal of violence in the 1860s. You are committing a federal crime if you have a gun on USPS property absent one of the exceptions, no matter what state you are in.

          …that said, I am not aware of any time it has been prosecuted as such absent some other charge.

        • @ Klaus Von Schmitto: This was in response to Hannibals comment about the Post Office. Also bragging or insinuating committing Federal Felonies on a very public forum is not a very good idea.

          I do not agree with the law but the Feds can and will prosecute you for it. Unless you are a Federally Licensed Law Enforcement Officer you cannot have weapons on Federal Property. If you are a local LEO on Federal Property and not specifically invited there and told you can be armed by higher authority you are committing a Federal Felony. There is no carve out for anyone and there is no law anywhere that supersedes this as it is Federal Law. I am very well aware of this for reasons I will not get in to on a very public forum.

          I will say this; I am concerned enough that I make absolutely sure when I am armed and have to go on Federal Property it is in accordance with all applicable laws. Like my example of parking across the street when going to the PO or going directly to the Armory once on Base.

        • “Also bragging or insinuating committing Federal Felonies on a very public forum is not a very good idea.”

          I did no such thing. I said I bring my guns to a hotel not the post office. I asked a question (which has been answered) about working at the post office in Florida (which I don’t).

        • Actually there is an exception for non-Federal LEO or state/local in the performance of their duties.

          But you’ve gotta be mailing the firearm or picking up a package with one in it.

          Leave it in a package addressed to yourself, “oh, I am sorry. I forgot to take it in to the post office! Doh!” Cut open package and remove after having left the post office parking lot.

          Just leave a roll of packing tape in the car too. Deflect any questions about why it looks like the package has 37 layers of tape on it.

        • @Geoff “Guns. LOTS of guns…” PR & Klaus Von Schmitto

          re Odd shaped cases

          Right on. I use a purpose designed guitar case myself when subtlety is key. Covered with musical equipment sticker camouflage. No one gives it more than a passing glance. Except musicians, as one would expect. Only thing amiss is the Abus Granit 37/60’s, and few notice them.

          Overkill, I know. Easier to cut the case than defeat the locks…

        • For long guns, I leave them in the trunk. For handguns, I put them in my holster. That has worked for me for decades, now. Hospitals, Post Offices, don’t recall a casino, restaurants, bars, probably 10-15 states including NY, NJ, and NYC.

    • “Zippered golf bag cases like when flying with golf clubs work wonders…”

      A couple of years ago I did a 4 day a week gig for FPL in Jupiter for 6 months and stayed at the Jupiter Beach Resort the whole time. On Monday nights I’d check in with my golf bag and check out on Thursday afternoon with it. Haven’t played a round of golf in 30 years but that bag was perfect for an 870 and a rifle.

      BTW – For a weekend getaway, that place is super nice for less than 200 a night.

  2. “How do you stow your mohaska when entering a “gun-free” zone?”

    “Secretary Kobach always has at least one firearm with him for personal protection,” his campaign spokeswoman, Danedri Herbert, said in an email. “In this instance he was transporting long guns to attend a recreational shooting event. He was under the impression that the Drury Hotel garage was under 24 hour surveillance.”

    His impression of reality doesn’t make it so, and the Drury’s not a gun free zone. Leaving valuables in your car, bad idea.

  3. I have built a false floor into my last 3 work vehicles. Holds extra tools or 4 foot step ladder. When I travel it can hold two 48” double rifle cases and needs you to go through four locks just to get to the cases. That said I don’t leave firearms in any vehicle overnight.

      • Actually some of these anti hidden compartment laws go back to the Prohibition days of the 1920s. Rum rummers used them to hid their loads during transport across county and state lines.
        Unfortunately when prohibition was repealed. Those laws were not repealed as well.

        I found this out researching 2A history in Kentucky. In Kentucky the law specifically states a compartment must be built into the vehicle AT THE factory. No after market hidden compartments allowed.

      • What makes you think that? F.S. 790.xx says no such thing. A firearm in a vehicle must be kept in a snapped holster, a zippered case, a separate enclosure (box) locked or unlocked, center console or glove box. That’s it. It doesn’t say of those can’t be hidden.

        • Specialist38 – Holy moly that is a weird law. My wife is from South Ga and I’ve spent a lot of time up there and had no idea.

          Didn’t mean to sound like a jerk just knew it was not the case in Florida

        • Welcome to the war on drugs and assault on liberties of everyone in the process.

          No offense taken. Our posts reveals the difference in laws.

          False compartment laws stand on their own even if un-constitutional.

          I recalled reading an article where someone was stopped in a new-to-them used car and the cops found a false compartment.

          I thought it was Florida, but I guess it was GA.

          I used to think about that with my 2011 Ram truck with the hidey compartments in the floorboard of the back seat.

        • Ahhhhh. I didn’t think about a hidey hole for drugs.

          But I have no doubt Georgia State Patrol officers would have no problem tearing into your car with pry bars and razor knives trying to find one. Not a cop hater but know what they can do if they want to.

      • Took me a minute to find it though I had it pretty much memorized.

        Specifically FS 790.001 Definitions
        (17) “Securely encased” means in a glove compartment, whether or not locked; snapped in a holster; in a gun case, whether or not locked; in a zippered gun case; or in a closed box or container which requires a lid or cover to be opened for access.

        You could hide it inside your door panel if you met any of the above.

      • You would think that the drug legalization crowd would have worked to repeal. These bans on aftermarket compartments for cars??? Since they are associated with drug smuggling. But I have found they are really just Statists who like to smoke pot.

    • That is some amazing attitudes, here. I have left a .45 Kimber in my car since I brought the car home from the dealership in 2010. Other than occasional shooting, car servicing, and a few days I loaned the car prior to TX passing car carry. “I never leave a gun in the car overnight” leaves me wondering why not?

  4. Implying that this is due to gun free zones is disingenuous, Dan. Kansas has some of the most unrestricted carry laws in the country. This is due to Kobach being a lazy imbecile, and nothing more.

  5. 4 guns stolen from his truck? Running as a Republican for the Senate? Good judgement? I’m thinking NO…

  6. What an idiot. Lock em up and hide em. Nobody should know you have guns in the vehicle (or as little people as possible). And overnight in a parking garage? No. Why would it have been so complicated to take them to your hotel room with you? Can we get some more details on if they were even secured in a lock box or anything? You’d think someone in his position would make enough to outfit their vehicle with a decent lock box setup well out of sight, especially because I know people can do it on a pretty “low” income.

    • “Lock em up” so are we assuming the vehicle was not locked? What if the gun had been stolen out of a nightstand in his house? Still the victims fault?

      • Locking something inside an object with a entry point that only requires breaking glass isn’t exactly secure

      • Anything outside of your immediate possession is technically not secure (Army wisdom). That said, it seems you overlooked the fact that cars have windows, and by “lock them up” I meant inside a locked safe, ot of view (like under the seat or in a hidden compartment) inside the locked vehicle with windows.

        • (Non-army wisdom) words have meaning. Regardless of how they were locked up, they were technically locked up. I personally don’t blame victims when a crime is perpetrated against them. I would not blame a rape victim because she was dressed provocatively, but that is just me. Would I leave a firearm in a vehicle overnight? I have and do most nights. Would I leave a firearm in a vehicle overnight in a parking garage, no. I do agree however a lock box would be a good idea.

        • So… pretty much what I said. I am in an area where I can do so. If I was overnight in a city, anywhere, everything is coming with me to the hotel room.

  7. Have to wonder if his vehicle had any gun rights related stickers on it? Was he advertising his firearm interest on his pickup truck? Were gun cases visible in any way to someone peeking in thru the window?

    I stopped putting any sort of stickers on my vehicles a long time ago. Criminals may be stupid, but they ain’t so stupid as to see an NRA sticker and not think there’s something worth busting a window to get at.

  8. Gun free zone!? Nothin for me there. I’d sleep in the vehicle before I’d take a chance of arming bangers and antifa.

    • +10,000. Even the thought of leaving a firearm in a car unattended in public gives me the heebie jeebies. I’d rather leave it home on those rare occasions I might have to leave it in a parked car.

      • If you are going to a location where you would be afraid to leave in in the car (locked or not!), that is the location where you need it.

  9. Went to the PO today and stashed my gat (sorry, I don’t own a mohaska) in a locked box in my trunk. Totally legal even in MA. When I got back, the gun was still there but the car was missing.

    I don’t get no respect.

  10. At the very least, he should had a cabled keyed lockbox for the handgun. Sounds like probably did not.

    I know of a concealed carrier in East New Orleans who left his handgun “locked” in his cars console. He was a realtor showing a commercial property to a client and while they were inside, two thugs broke into his car and grabbed his gun. When the realtor came outside, the thugs used the realtors own gun to hold him up for his watch, wallet and jewelry and then they shot the realtor dead anyway.

    A cabled lockbox can be purchased for $9.99 at Academy Sports. Stupidity cost him his life.

    • No it did not. Even in a lock box or something, those thugs would have stolen it and probably found a way to open it. They are really not that hard to open, especially cheap ones. Same with cheap safes. Hell, now days, youtube can even assist.

      I have had multiple guns in my truck for years. Some locked up, and some easily accessible. Granted, not the smartest decision to keep some of them not locked up, but I also ALWAYS CARRY… so good luck! What killed your friend was not carrying… and two thugs.

  11. Hate that his guns were stolen….I imagine he does too.

    Just not that big a deal to me.

    Some piece of shit stole his shit. That’s in them, not on him.

  12. some guns were stolen out of an fbi car a couple hours before seth rich was shot in the back and killed and not robbed of his wallet or phone or watch
    that was after hillarys chief of staff stated in an email that leakers would be made an example of
    probably no connection there
    at all

  13. “someone broke into Kobach’s pickup overnight”

    Therein lies the error…
    WHY would you leave unsecured weapons in your vehicle overnight…???

    “How do you stow your mohaska when entering a “gun-free” zone?”

    I don’t go into “gun-free” zones…

    • Hey come on now… even I have had to drive through some dangerous areas labeled “gun free zones” every now and then. But yea… concealed is concealed and fuck your “no guns” sign.

  14. Anyone who leaves a gun overnight in a car is just wrong. I’ve stayed in a lot of hotels all over the country. High-end and low-end. And I have never seen a “no guns allowed” sign and any one of them.

    And why would you leave any valuables in your car over night???

    • You must not be looking very hard. I see them all the time, Texas seems to be particularly bad about them in hotels. But then again most businesses in Texas have no gun signs.

      Last time when I flew in to San Antonio (2018) and rented a Uhual I had to leave my Pelican cases full of rifles outside while I signed for the truck. Big no gun sign right out front. Now I call ahead it has become so much of an issue, especially in Texas.

  15. On gun free zones, if Antifa and the denizens CHAZ don’t have to obey the law why should we?

    Not all GFZ are created equal. If it is against the law I may obey the law but if it is just a sign on a door or window at the mall or a grocery store then IDGAF.

  16. Is what I did..

    I recently bought a 2018 4runner. Purchased the console safe that can be found pretty easy. Several manufacturers are making them for different vehicles. You can get from ebay or car dealerships…this thing can’t be broken in a smash and grab. It’s solid as a rock.

    Now for the back there was no way I was going to buy Truck Vault brand, just too much money. They are nice and all but I went instead and bought this. Smaller but does the job of stopping the smash and grab people. Thick cable secures it to underside of back seat frame, Plus the box itself is heavy and awkward.
    I bought it from Home Depot but again other manufacturers.

  17. This guy is clearly an idiot.

    With the right to own guns comes the responsibility to keep them secure.

    He could have easily brought them into his room with him. If they were AR style guns, pop 2 pins and bring the lowers in.

    Anyone who is more than a casual gun owner has (should have?) developed methods and rules around transporting and storing guns.

    Mine are that unless I”m driving my sedan with a secure trunk, I don’t stop and leave the car unattended. If I’m in my wife’s car with an unsecured cargo area, I don’t leave the vehicle unattended.

    The first commenter said it all. “Well, I sure don’t leave guns in cars overnight. In a parking garage. At a hotel.”.

    As for choice of vehicle, guns are one of the main reasons that I own a sedan. I can disable the remote trunk release and the back seat doesn’t fold. So the only way into the trunk is to crowbar the lid or hack your way through the seat back.

    If I’m driving that, I’m comfortable stopping off for dinner, groceries, etc.

    • Andrew, I believe you are correct. If so, “no guns” signs pertain to the office/lobby only. Oh, wait, not “castle doctrine”, some states don’t even have the law. What I was thinking of was it is your residence once you’ve paid for your room, you decide who or what is authorized inside.

  18. Anymouse and Hannibal, if it is true that states can’t override Federal law, then how is it possible that many states have overridden federal cannabis laws, making it legal for both medicinal and recreational use?

    • Because, so far, the feds have chosen not to prosecute users. Nobody has guaranteed that they won’t. And feds have their own courts to try you in, and their own prisons to hold you in. The state cannot override fed law, but they can refuse to enforce it themselves.

  19. I have not traveled with a long gun and stayed in a hotel. But I keep handguns in a gym bag in the trunk or covered in the rear compartment of the SUV. Gym bag comes into the hotel. I have not experienced a no guns sign in a hotel and I think I would take the guns in anyway. My greatest frustration is the state ABC stores. In both VA and NC they have no guns signs so I have to leave the carry piece in the car. As if a legal gun owner would rob a state store and a thug would care about a sign. I have no stickers on the car that would identify me as a gun owner but lately I have decided to make the ABC store the first stop so I can put the carry gun in the console at home, and not have to unload in the ABC store parking lot. Same with the Post Office.

    • Concealed is concealed. Fuck their no guns sign. What situation is ever going to present itself to where you’d need to utilize your weapon other than self defense? So you weigh the pros and cons of obeying a stupid sign vs. not being able to defend yourself.


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