A proper storage solution for a firearm in a vehicle can be as varied as the people who use them. However, many of us must go to gun free areas such as schools, post offices or government buildings which can require us to disarm before entering. Many simply stow their firearm in the glove box or console – the first place a thief will look – others exit the vehicle and place their firearm in their trunk, drawing attention. Instead, let’s look at some better solutions for vehicle storage.
Some people have jobs and employers that welcome employees to carry a firearm on the job, but this is often not the norm. As a result, many employees choose to leave their firearms in their vehicle. Most colleges also are gun free zones and do not allow faculty or students to carry on campus.
Not only do you need to know the laws regarding when and where you can carry, but you must also know the laws regarding firearms in a vehicle. For the purposes of this article I will suggest that you consult your local laws. Also consider the impact of what and where a CPL or CCW permit will allow you to carry and restrictions related to your vehicle. It is important to consult credible sources for this information. In some states, laws may be confusing. This is especially true in regards to carrying rifles or shotguns in vehicles, whether they can be loaded, and a host of other topics. For questions of this nature I recommend consulting a lawyer who is well versed in laws regarding firearms. This will provide the best understanding of what is allowed and how the law has been enforced.
Some may want to be able to be able to store a single pistol while some may want to secure a rifle or other sensitive items. While many options exist for storing firearms in vehicles, vaults seem to be one of the more secure options. For those looking for a small vault with easier access, a console vault might provide a good option.
Other companies provide relatively small and unobtrusive vaults that fit under your seat.
Need More Space?
Some travel and want to be able to have access to a long gun while others might take courses frequently. A small handgun vault will not provide the necessary room for a rifle or other large sensitive items. Some vaults are designed for rear seats and provide more space.
There are endless shapes and sizes but the basic concept remains the same. Some companies that offer vaults are TruckVault, Tuffy Security Products and Boss Strong Box. For those wanting to secure more than just a single rifle or pistol, larger vaults can be purchased that are a system or single or multiple drawers. These provide the greatest amount of storage space but will take up room in the truck, back of your SUV or bed of your pickup.
There are some key elements that should be considered when purchasing a vault for your vehicle. The first important choice is to find a brand that makes a vault for your specific vehicle. If you are driving a Ford Explorer you should be able to shop just about anywhere. However, some vehicles may be more difficult to find a vault for. Out of the brands listed, TruckVault appears to support the widest range of vehicles.
The second important element is deciding what you will be storing in the vault. Make sure to measure the items you want to secure. Also make sure the measurements you compare them to are the internal dimensions and not the external dimensions of the vault in question.
Another key issue to consider is access to a spare tire. In many SUV’s the spare tire is located beneath where the vault is placed. Some brands and models have ways around this issue. TruckVault makes a hydraulic lift for Ford Explorers to allow for the entire vault to lift up and give access to the spare.
Concealment is just as important as making sure the vault is made of quality materials. For example, with a single drawer vault many of the companies offer carpeting and covers. These look nearly identical to the OEM carpeting in your vehicle to an intruder’s eyes when glancing in your windows.
Obviously those with needs for larger vaults with have a harder time concealing, but refraining from slapping your favorite gun company’s logo or punisher symbol on your bumper will still be beneficial.
Even with a high end vault we need to remember that any level of security is only buying you minutes: the most secure setup can be broken into with enough time, dedication and tools. For this reason it is important to consider insurance. Some policies that you already have in place such as a renter’s policy may cover theft from a vehicle. Also check to see if your firearm, its accessories or other important items in question are covered under the policy.
Hopefully by now we have gotten past the idea of simply tossing our weapon in the glovebox and have found a good means of securing firearms in a vehicle. Some of the solutions above can get pricey but how we secure our firearms in vehicles is important. Even with safes made of quality materials, concealment is beneficial. Knowing what is insured and possibly even insuring items under a special policy are important to consider.