Friday, April 29, 2016

Concealed Carry In A Vehicle

If you’ve read this blog long enough you would know that I like concealed carry. I don’t care much for open carry but I really like concealed carry. I must admit that I was carrying concealed for many years before it was legal. I have been legal for some time now and intend to stay that way. How do you carry concealed in a car? That is an intriguing question.
I feel the best way to conceal carry is on your person. That is the way I have done it for a long time. I do not carry where it is not legal like a post office or other federal building. I also do not carry where the proper signage exists, but otherwise, everywhere, all the time. And that is my recommendation. Learn the laws where you live or visit, and follow them. By your gun being with you, you would have the best control over that weapon. That is the safest way.
But there are those who cannot or prefer not to carry on themselves in a vehicle. It is too awkward or uncomfortable for them. The problem is, that most of the holsters and lock boxes out there are insufficient for concealed carry in the vehicle. So what do you do?
Regardless of what you do, your concealment should have some key attributes. The first being, accessibility. How can you get to it? Are there things it can snag on? Is it truly concealed?
Some may lock their gun in a lock box or a glove compartment. It is safe and secure, but how do you defend yourself with something locked away? This is a dangerous way to carry your gun in a car if you want to defend yourself. I’m being kind, it’s a stupid way to carry if you want to defend yourself.
Does your method of carry blend in with your vehicle? Is it obvious that you have a gun hidden? If a car-jacker sees that you are armed what do you think his response would be if he is armed? What if you are pulled over for a legitimate reason and the police officer sees that you are armed?
Some folks simply unholster their defensive handgun when getting in their vehicle and place it close by. While this is not a bad idea, one should really be careful that the handgun is placed in a secure location and that this is legal in the region of travel. Simply sticking it under your thigh can be a serious mistake.
One of the FBI agents that was involved in the Miami Massacre of the 1980s did that very thing. Later, when he rammed the bad guys' car, his gun went flying and he didn't find it until the resulting gunfight was over. The same thing can happen to you if your vehicle is rammed during a carjacking attempt.
If you choose to unholster your handgun, you should have a secure place to keep it. That secure location should also be out of sight for anyone who might look into the car. A holster located on the front face of the driver's seat would be a good location. A holster, especially one made of Kydex, fastened to the side of the console would also make sense. Just make sure that it is low enough to be concealed from view.
As with your regular firearms presentation, vehicle carry should be practiced too. Take the time to go sit in your car, buckle up and work on your presentation. Try it from various locations, on your person and secured in the vehicle. Based upon your personal situation and the physical aspects of your individual vehicle, you should be able to find a secure and relatively quick method for defensive carry. Once you've got an idea of how to carry, have someone give you the command and time your vehicle presentation. When you can present the handgun from a secure location in about 2 seconds, you know that you are on the right track.
You must have easy access to the weapon but it should be concealed.
There are some but not a lot of options. Most of what is out there is meant to be secure and hidden, without giving someone who needs to defend themselves a lot of reaction time to open up a locked safe or reach over to the glove box.
I think the best mode of carry is always on your body. But, for some drivers, on body carry can be extremely uncomfortable, or impractical, especially for long distances.
Whatever you do, make sure you understand the laws for your area and follow them. Defense from a car is different than any other place.
Remember the importance of practice. I have pulled alongside the range I go to and shot from my window. I wanted to know what it was like to shoot from there. If you are able to do this make sure it is done safely. I did it only when I was the only person at the range. I made sure I was not shooting next to any poles so that I had a clear field of fire. I can also drive down onto the range itself to be completely safe. This is not a bad idea but only do it where it is authorized and safe. While In the military during a training course I shot through a vehicles side window. It is weird and it really threw my shot off. I have since shot through old vehicle windows at a range to try and duplicate shooting in a vehicle. If you have the opportunity and can do it safely, I would recommend the experience.
Carrying in a vehicle has its challenges, but if you work them out now, when you need a gun in your vehicle you will be prepared.
Semper Paratus
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