In response to the rising number of gun thefts from vehicles, the National Shooting Sports Foundation has produced a brochure designed to remind gun owners to take precautions when they must leave a firearm in their car or truck for any period of time. Preventing theft is, and should be, a paramount concern of every gun owner.
The “Firearms Safety in Vehicles” brochure joins NSSF’s lineup of educational materials reminding gun owners that it’s their responsibility to keep their firearms out of the wrong hands.
The brochure emphasizes this key safety rule: “Your firearm must be under your control at all times; when it’s not, it should be placed in locked storage and out of sight.”
NSSF notes that vehicle door locks and trunk locks don’t turn cars and trucks into gun safes. The same goes for glove boxes and console compartments.
“If you must temporarily store a gun in your car or truck, for your safety and that of our community, we encourage you to take steps to properly store them,” reads the brochure. “Use a secure storage device, keep [the gun] out of sight, try not to be away from the vehicle for an extended length of time, and, when you arrive home, take the firearm inside with you to your secure home storage area.”
The most practical device for storing a firearm temporarily in a vehicle is a lockable gun case or a lock box, which come in a range of sizes and prices. Some lock boxes can be secured to the vehicle with a steel cable, for example.
The new Firearms Safety in Vehicles brochure is available in print and downloadable pdf versions on the NSSF literature website. A discount is applied to volume orders of the print version.
Storing Firearms in Vehicles While Preventing Theft and Misuse
We travel with our firearms all the time, taking them to the range, on hunting trips or carrying them on our person, as permitted by law. As a result, there will be times when you might have to leave your firearm in your vehicle. This creates a situation that deserves careful consideration—the last thing you want is to have your gun stolen and potentially misused by a criminal. In some states, you could even be subject under the law to serious penalties and fines for failure to properly secure a firearm.
Unfortunately, thefts of firearms from vehicles are on the rise. Thieves commonly steal cars and trucks even when they don’t obviously contain firearms—a reminder that vehicle door locks are not totally secure. As a responsible gun owner, concerned about your firearms falling into the wrong hands, it’s best to always remember this rule: Your firearm must be under your control at all times. When it’s not, it should be placed in locked storage and out of sight.
Locking the doors on your vehicle does not constitute secure firearm storage. As one writer put it: “Cars and trucks aren’t safes. And they’re not holsters. They’re not storage containers.” The glove compartment or console of your car or truck, even if lockable, should not be considered a secure storage device either, as it can be pried open too easily. If you need to leave your firearm in a vehicle, here are some important safety considerations to keep in mind to help prevent theft and unauthorized access.
- Take note of and safely control the muzzle direction of firearms in vehicles. This is one of the main rules of gun safety and applies to the inside of vehicles as well as any other location.
- When finished using your firearm outside your vehicle, unload it before you reenter your vehicle.
- Even after a long hunt or a day in the sun at the range, always check, and then double check, that guns are unloaded before placing them in a car or truck.
- Be very careful if you must unload a firearm in the confined space of a vehicle so as not to have an accidental discharge. If your location allows, it is safer and easier to unload the firearm outside the vehicle.
- Never leave firearms in an area of the vehicle where they are accessible to children or pets.
- Use secure temporary storage for firearms in vehicles.
- A lockable gun case or a lock box may be the most practical choice to securely store a gun in a vehicle. These come in a range of prices and models.
- If you’re concerned about quick access to your firearm, many types of lockable safes allow for extremely fast access of your gun while at the same time helping to prevent unauthorized access.
- Secure the lock box to the vehicle, if possible. Some companies make custom concealed compartments for specific model vehicles.
- Keep firearms and ammunition out of sight to avoid tempting thieves
How do you secure your firearms in your vehicle. Do you have a built in safe system? Share your answers in the comment section.
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