How Do You Leave Firearms In The Car Responsibly?

How Do You Leave Firearms In The Car Responsibly?

If you’re a daily carrier, it’s just a matter of time before you’ll encounter a place you cannot walk inside with your pistol. For instance, a lot of employers have no problem with an employee locking up his or her firearm in the vehicle – so long as it’s not visible by any passersby.

In general, that’s a fantastic idea from the get-go. Never leave firearms visible to someone who passes by. Thieves, when they break in, go for the glove box, center console, and under the seats if they suspect a firearm to be in the vehicle. If they have time, they’ll check the trunk as well.

This leaves us in the unfortunate predicament of having to be creative in where we leave our firearms.

Ideal: Locked, Concealed Container Fixed To Interior

Companies like Conceal Pro (and others) specialize in custom design concealed compartments which are opened by mechanical means. This means, when closed, they appear no different than any other facet of the vehicle – giving thieves no outward idea that a firearm is stored inside.

The companies that specialize in this work generally work with the specific model of your vehicle to ensure that the compartment is flush with the other panels. These compartments are generally opened by a secret button or code. They’re not meant to store your concealed carry pistol while you’re driving – when you may need fast access. Quite literally – they’re for when you need to exit the vehicle and either legally or practically can’t take your firearm with you.

For long-term everyday carriers who plan on keeping their vehicle for a while, this option makes the most sense. It’s an investment in responsible storage.

Also Ideal: Locked Safe Box

Locked Safe Box

If it’s not practical or possible to install a custom concealed compartment in the vehicle, it’s still affordable to install a vehicle-mounted gun safe perfect for storing a pistol or revolver, such as a Console Vault. While it could still be detected in the event your vehicle is broken into, the thief will consume an inordinate amount of time trying to get that safe out.

There’s also the convenience of knowing that when you go to a place where firearms are forbidden – such as a courthouse or a postal office – you’re able to store your pistol safely for that duration.

These compartments are also great for storing backup pistol magazines or quick-loaders for revolvers. While it’s generally suggested you always carry a backup pistol magazine for your daily carry concealed pistol, this compartment can also serve as the location for another backup.

Not Ideal: Locked Glovebox, Locked Trunk

Locked Glove Box

The glovebox and trunk are not ideal. Both the glovebox and the trunk can be broken into rather easily. A crowbar should be sufficient, in most cases. We do not recommend leaving a gun in any of these places even if it is for a short period of time while you run into the bank, post office or other area that you cannot carry. I hear news reports every week about car robberies where the thieves ran off with someone firearm that was left in the car.

Vehicle firearm storage is not for the benefit of your draw or self-defense – it is for the safe, concealed storage of your firearm. If you are in the vehicle, you should have your firearm on you at all times. If you are exiting the vehicle, you should have a locked, secure container to place it inside.

No Code Needed
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Luke McCoy is the founder of USA Carry. In 2007, he launched USA Carry to provide concealed carry information and a community for those with concealed carry permits and firearm enthusiasts.
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Berry J Griffin

Some states now make it a felony to install a hidden compartment. In california a locked box BOLTED to the car then becomes a utility box and it is illegal to carry a gun in it. The same box on a cable is not a utility box. A locked zippered soft fabric case meets california’s definition of a locked container. Madness. Just be sure of local law before installing anything. The correct solution may not be the legal solution.


Why are there still people, other than immigrants, in California?


Berry J Griffin: I don’t live in California. However, to the point of being concerned about gun security across multiple vehicles and even in hotel rooms when traveling, I purchased an inexpensive gun safe (about $25) with a cheap cable loop (cable so thin as to be practically worthless). Then I drilled a hole completely through the box near the key lock large enough to allow a heavy duty combination padlock to go through the box–preventing it from opening even with the key to the box. I purchased a combination padlock with a long shackle. I secure the box with a heavy duty (Kryptonite) bicycle cable lock looped through both the padlock and the bottom of the seat frame. A thief would have to break into the car and cut the cable or padlock. That is not likely to go unnoticed with a car parked near a Federal building or across the street from the Post Office (note: a felony is committed when the firearm crosses onto Post Office property–parking lot included).


What good is a gun inside your car? As a former LEO, I can tell you you are more likely to not only lose your pistol through theft if you leave it a car, but you add one more weapon to the arsenal of a crook. Both bad deals. Carry it with you. Even if it is illegal or not-allowed. Who is going to check, unless you’re suspicious. Its better to get forgiveness later, than permission up front. We are now that kind of society, like it or not. As far as I’m concerned, the 2 nd Amendment is your permit to carry anywhere. NEVER open carry. It makes you a target, and you’ll be attacked from behind. Criminals are cowards.

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Exactly. Never ever leave your pistol in the car unattended. Bad idea. Besides it’s always better to have it on you anyway….


Because taking a gun into a federal building is a felony! If found with a gun in the building, the least of my problems is getting fired. Yes, I would in a federal building.

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Jim McKinley

In Texas where carrying a gun is no big deal, even Federal Buildings have metal detectors. There are times when leaving a gun in your car is the only option. What do attorneys do?


I tend to agree, but normally just leave my handgun at home if I know I’m going to the post office or some other legally prohibited place. If out and about and faced with the choice of carrying or leaving the gun in the car, I’ll do a risk assessment and make a decision then. If I do carry concealed into a prohibited location, I make absolutely certain the weapon doesn’t show!

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Gene Steeves

I spend alot of time onmy motorcycle. What are the options for locking a firearm on a


What type of bike and what kind of saddle bag arrangement is available for you bike? Also if your motorcycle is equipped with a sidecar, that might provide more options. You might even consider one of those trailers I see being towed by touring bikes.