Safe Carry While Driving Your Car
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We seem to focus on how to carry a firearm on our person, how to draw and fire, how to holster and how to conceal. All of this typically focuses our attention to carry on our person. What about in our car? The situation changes, and we examine the idea of safe.
There is safe, as in, your gun isn't flopping around under the seat, in the door panel or in your glove box. Safe, so that when you experience a wreck, that the handgun doesn't become a projectile, and doesn't get smashed between you and the airbag. Safe, meaning that your gun is readily accessible to you (and only you), while you are wearing your safety belt.
This becomes a very important topic now that Texas passed a modification to the Penal Code, making it possible for law abiding citizens to protect themselves with a handgun in their motor vehicles (without proving that we're traveling).
Below is a snippet of the current, updated, paragraph of the Texas Penal Code on Weapons, Chapter 46.02:
§ 46.02. UNLAWFUL CARRYING WEAPONS. (a) A person
commits an offense if the person intentionally, knowingly, or
recklessly carries on or about his or her person a handgun, illegal
knife, or club if the person is not:
(1) on the person's own premises or premises under the
person's control; or
(2) inside of or directly en route to a motor vehicle
that is owned by the person or under the person's control.
(a-1) A person commits an offense if the person
intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly carries on or about his or
her person a handgun in a motor vehicle that is owned by the person
or under the person's control at any time in which:
(1) the handgun is in plain view; or
(2) the person is:
(A) engaged in criminal activity, other than a
Class C misdemeanor that is a violation of a law or ordinance
(B) prohibited by law from possessing a firearm;
(C) a member of a criminal street gang, as
defined by Section 71.01.
This is just a snippet of the Penal Code on Weapons, the full text of which can be found at this web address: http://tlo2.tlc.state.tx.us/statutes/docs/PE/content/htm/pe.010.00.000046.00.htm - I encourage you to read that and also to take a course on handgun safety if you haven't already.
From this snippet we can see that we're able to carry a handgun when we're inside of or directly en route to a motor vehicle that is owned by the person or under the person's control. Excellent, we don't have to prove that we're traveling or really jump through any other hoops. We're law abiding citizens and we're not part of a gang and generally we're doing good things. We just take some precautions, keep the gun out of sight and we're all set.
But how exactly does someone safely, and intelligently carry a handgun in their car? If you're used to having your handgun holstered on your person, then when you sit down in your car you may feel quite uncomfortable. On top of that, many holsters don't work well when a person is in a seated position. The gun is fairly inaccessible to you even though it is strapped to you. This usually leads to placing the gun in your glove box, in your door panel or center console.
Placed in a glove box, your gun is safely locked away from your reach. It is securely held in the glove box so that it won't become a projectile in the event of an accident, but what if you actually need the gun to preserve your life in the event of an attack? There may not be enough time to lean over, unlock / open the glove box, fumble for the gun, and finally remove it from its holster.
Placing the gun in your door panel is possibly a tragedy waiting to happen. Should someone unexpectedly open your door, the gun is lost to you. If that person becomes aware of the firearm, the situation just gets worse.
The center console is an option to those of us driving large vehicles or trucks. We still have to open a panel to gain access to the gun, which might have shifted, and the gun is at least as accessible to the passenger as it is to the driver. Still not ideal.
We have a problem of accessibility. In these locations, the gun is not accessible enough to us, and is too accessible to someone else.
The ideal solution would be to mount the handgun holster rigidly to one of the interior panels of the car. Mount the holster in such a way that you have easy access to it by simply reaching out your hand and making a natural motion similar to the motion you would make to draw the gun from a holster on your person. The holster will hold the gun solid so that it does not become a projectile in the event of a wreck, and will keep the gun accessible to you and inaccessible to anyone else (provided you mount it in a good place).
I searched high and low, across the internet and in our local Austin and San Antonio gun shows and could not find a holster that satisfies this requirement.
There are a few spins on the ideal situation, such as using velcro to attach the gun to your seatbelt in your lap. Or strapping a holster to your seat using a long belt or nylon strap. These solutions or devices have major flaws. If the gun is velcro'd in your lap then it will undoubtedly be smashed into you by the airbag if you get into a wreck. And if you strap it to your seat, then someone opening your car door has access to it. In both situations, the gun is in plain view so that wouldn't work.
That's a no go. Complete strike out. But we didn't stop there! We spent nine months researching holsters and holster making techniques. We designed prototypes, and we worked with a local leather worker and an engineer to produce and test these prototypes. We designed a holster mounting system simple and flexible enough to mount to just about any panel in your car. We even set up a small factory in Austin, Texas to manufacture the holsters.
This holster is ideal for car carry and will be available through our online shop shop.safecarry.com. We will be posting pictures of the first holsters shortly along with suggestions on mounting.
Look for us at the December gun show in Austin, we look forward to seeing you there!