I’ve been at this a while. I can remember when a box of .45ACP retailed for less than 10 bucks. I’ve seen people pay $150.00 for a new SKS out of the crate and a box of ammo and get change back. I remember when GLOCK was a new player in the market and the implementation of the AWB. Over that time, I’ve had a lot of conversations about disaster preparedness—we used to use the word “survivalism”–and those conversations often included a discussion of the trunk gun.
An in-car survival/preparedness kit is a must for all of us, and many preppers insist that this must include a long weapon to supplement your CCW in the event of an emergency. I am not opposed to this idea—depending on your circumstances, it might be a necessity. If I lived on a ranch in Montana or a homestead in the Alaskan wild, I’d be damn sure to have a rifle handy. If I were working a farm in the rural South, I’d like keep a shotgun in the truck “just in case”. Moving away from those obvious extremes, the situation is a bit more complicated for urbanites and suburban dwellers. I can’t tell you what to do; I simply don’t know enough about you and your life. However, I can make some suggestions and offer some considerations.
Gun safety and security are first and foremost, as always. In addition to always obeying the rules of gun safety, it’s incumbent upon you to keep your trunk gun both concealed and secure. There are a host of ways to do this, so make sure you choose one that’s effective and appropriate.
Secondly, choose an appropriate firearm for your needs. There’s a lot to consider here: geography, the law, your personal tastes. A long weapon that fits the needs of a wilderness dweller might be overpowered and unwieldy in the tighter confines of the city. Likewise, a pistol caliber carbine might be a great choice in the suburbs but fail miserably against a charging bear. Pick something that fits the bill, that you can shoot well, and that is reliable.
Speaking of reliability: don’t neglect maintenance. A firearm left in your vehicle needs more care, not less. The temperature changes can lead to condensation, and subsequent rust. This can affect the gun, the ammo and where applicable the magazine. Make sure you take steps to give all three the TLC they need. Take care of your gear so it can take care of you.
Finally, because it has to be said: stay mindful of the laws and rules. Each state has its own law about storing and transporting weapons, so make sure you know what they are and stay within the law. Likewise, your workplace may have its own policies about guns, both CCW and in your vehicle. You’ll need to take those into account and perhaps make some hard decisions around them.
I do not at present have a trunk gun, but I’m strongly considering it. Please get in touch and share your thoughts and experiences; we can all learn from each other. So until then, stay safe out there.