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Glove Compartment Guns: 5 Things You Should Know

by James Tarr   |  February 5th, 2012 54
  • JCoop

    A 1911 is just fine in the glove box. The thumb safety can be knocked off but you'd still have to compress the grip safety at the same time the trigger was pressed. You ought not have too much junk in your glove box if you have any firearm in there. I keep my 1911 in the glove box but I keep it on top where it's accessible. And safe.

    Good article!

    • George DeLapp

      I carry a cocked and locked 1911 myself and I can tell you from my experience that it not a good idea to carry any handgun loose in a glove compartment. A 1911 is the worst handgun to do this with in my opinion it does not take much to knock the safety off and the main spring can lose its tension over time or even break all together then the grip safety is useless, any gun you keep in a glove box needs to be in a holster that retains in firmly and covers the trigger.

  • jeff r

    bad move to keep gun in glove box….. in most states ive been in a concealed weapon in a car must be "on your person".
    if you leave that gun in your car glove box and go into the minimart to pay for your gas you just pumped that can be considered a felony (improper storage of a firearm) in some states…. and a definite problem if your car is stolen… i teach firearms safety in connecicut and do not advise my students to every have a loaded gun in the glove box… buy a good cross draw shoulder holster if you are going to spend alot of time in a car carrying……

    • Baker

      Missouri, not your most states. Our law allows any resident over 21, who can own a handgun, to have a concealed weapon in your auto. I also don't approve of glovebox carry. (I would be lucky to get a cartridge in mine) I use a gunvault nanovault. It is a steel box with a cable to loop around seat support. It small, like a CD box. I've had people ask where I got that CD case.

    • Scott

      In Kentucky, you can store a gun in the glove box (and due to a recent change, any other compartment installed in the vehicle by the manufacturer for storage), and it's not considered concealed- eg you don't need a CCDW to be allowed to do it. If you go out-of-state you're bound by local laws, of course, so a CCDW is always a good idea.

    • Dennis

      In Michigan the sidearm need not be "on your person". I sometimes put in in the console or muzzle down into the built in cup holder.

      • don

        i understand that is against the law in michigan if there is a unlicensed person in the car

    • Patriot

      CT, MA, NY. Lib Nation. u guys can still carry? what a joke!

  • Rod

    If for any reason I'd have to draw my gun during driving or while in the car, I'd rather reach for my holster than across the car to the glove compartment. The first reason is that that is always how I've practiced. The second reason is if the car is still in motion (be it 5mph or 50mph), reaching over to the glove compartment may make the driver pull the steering wheel far enough to get into an accident… If I can CCW, I'm guessing the only reason I'd keep a gun in the glove compartment is for my co-pilot…
    Finally, having a gun in the glove compartment where I live is not a good idea unless you're very very careful about where you park, as the car can be broken into and the car stereo and gun would go into the wrong hands.

  • Tracy

    A Grassburr mountable holster with a concealment sleeve is way better solution than having a loaded pistol bouncing around unsecured in your glove compartment with a bunch of unsecured junk. I've used these holsters for years in my vehicles and on my ATVs. In my opinion, Grassburr mountable holsters are a great product. Check out http://www.grassburr.com.

    • Gail

      Thanks for that web site. Gail

  • T.D. Honeycutt

    All good points. I refer to it as my car gun. I keep mine in an Eagle Creek bag, which also contains reloads, a holster and a Spyderco knife. It sits upright on the floorboard behind the passenger seat, within easy reach of my right hand. If I have to remove it from the car for any reason, it's in the bag.
    Also, you should consider a good, serviceable revolver – not too expensive, and doesn't throw hot, expended shells all around. If the gun is stolen from your vehicle, it's not considered a vehicle part, and therefore any insurance claim must be made against your homeowner's or renter's insurance, not the auto insurance. And your homeowner's insurance probably has a high deductible – thus you won't get paid for the $500 Beretta 92FS if your deductible is $1,000. I keep a nifty S&W Model 65 as my car gun. I love it, but it only cost me $175. So I'll cry if it's stolen, but not as much as my Glock. Another consideration is if you encounter someone breaking into your vehicle – the first item he will find is a loaded gun. Another topic for discussion here?

    • ckerst

      Anyone breaking into your car and finding loaded gun is now armed. Also there are much bigger issues than getting insurance to pay for your stolen firearm such as who and how many people will be harmed by your negligence. I have a CCW and the only way i leave a gun in the car is in a gun vault bolted to the floor.

      • BJC

        Absolute words of wisdom. The only time you should leave your weapon in your vehicle is if you have to go into a place where it is illegal to carry, and then it should be locked in a mounted vault. T.D. not only are you taking a chance of arming criminals but what about kids, you are basically handing a loaded weapon to any kid who might ride in the back seat of your vehicle, not good.

  • Bob

    I never keep a gun in the clove compartment and never leave a gun in the car when I leave. Most firearms instructors will tell you never leave a firearm unattended in a vehicle. I carry on my side and am considering a shoulder holster to carry while driving.

    • Greg

      There are some places a firearm is not allowed. It must stay behind in the car or at home. I would prefer the car. Some companies offer locking boxes or safes in a counsel. Secured in the bottom of the council or bolted to the seat or floor. You should not want a gun flying around the car in an accident, so it should be secured somewhere.

  • Kelly

    I have always been told that the gun "cannot be under your immediate control" ie…in the glovebox. That it has to be stored "unloaded and kept seperate from the ammo." At least that is the way it works out here in California, so I am told. I don't know what it is like out in "Real America" where I plan to retire too.

    • Alan

      You're absolutely right about TRANSPORTING firearms Kelly , but this article is aimed ( AIMED , get it , aimed ? hahahaha … yeah , I didn't think I was that funny either ) at people with carry permits who by definition are allowed to have loaded firearms .

  • Bobd

    Never a good idea. Cars do get broken into and now you have introduced a gun into criminal hands.

  • bikerbill

    I keep a Taurus 85 and a speedloader in my glovebox. The gun's in one of those silicone-impregnated gunsocks … it's been in there for years, comes out when I go to the range so I can keep my skills shooting it up to speed … In Texas, you can keep a gun in your vehicle without a CHL as long as it's concealed … I carry every day, but I like the added safety a second weapon provides … I normally carry a PM9 in a paddle holster on my strong (right) side … I just slide it around to my left side, making it cross-draw, which is far easier when belted …

  • David Warnock

    I disagree on the 45. I carried one for years in the glove box, cocked and locked, and the safety was almost always deactivated by the movement in the box. I was in a Milt Sparks Summer Special IWB holster. I now carry a Taurus 27/7 Pro C DA/SA in the box and feel it's safer.

  • Roger the Dodger

    If you ever have younger children in the car leaving a gun in the glove box is a surefire step towards a tragedy. Kids, especially kids in the pre-school age group, can find anything hidden in moments even if you are with them. If there are kids around carry on your person same as home.

  • Lopaka Kanaka

    Glove compartment for a gun is not a place you want to leave your gun. It is too far out of your reach and un safe for someone to steal. A shoulder holster is the way to carry your gun for a fast easy draw when needed. All Life NRA Members, Hunters, and Target Buffs, Keep doing what you are doing best. We need a new commader in chief who will propect "Our Rights To Bear Arms" and every American Citizen can have guns in his home and a CCW or a GPL.

  • Tommy

    Most newer vehicles have a center console in them. Much closer than the glove box in a pinch. I also keep my registration and proof of insurance stuck on the sunvisor, so if you carry in the glovebox you don't need to open it. This also makes the police less nervous if they should pull you over. Instead of reaching across the car (and possibly pulling a gun out), you lower the visor and you're all set.

  • Hugh

    Keeping a gun in your car is a NO,NO. I know of two police officers who should have known better, but left their weapons in their vehicles and had them stolen. First lets look at accessibility; if someone is carjacking you won't have time to reach into a glove box to get your weapon. Secondly lets look at your liability, if someone breaks into your car, steals and unsecured firearm and it is used in a crime, you may in some jurisdictions be charged with a felony. You will also most probable sued by the victims family. That could cost you everything you own and then some. Lets also look at the moral issue, do you want to be responsible for letting your firearm fall into the hand of someone who uses it to take the life of another.

  • Larry

    I guess I could go either way; keep one in the glove box or out of the glove box? If I keep a revolver or pistol in the glove box what about the ammunition and heat. I live in Utah and our Summers get pretty hot? We are talking 125+ degrees in the vehicle. I like the little toat I made that sits right in front of me when I drive, It right there and when I get out of my vehicle I can pull the weapon out and holster it right away.

  • Scott

    Great debate, guys. I'm new to he CPL scene (live in MI),'so I appreciate the chance to benefit from the experiences of those with knowledge acquired from practice. Thx!

  • Eaa10

    Here in MN you are creating not just a liability from a stolen standpoint, but you are putting your passengers at risk of a major ticket. They have access to that weapon, and if they do not have a CCW permit, they can get in quite a bit of trouble. IMHO glove box is great for storage when when running into a place where you are not allowed to carry, but that is about the longest I would leave it in there for.

    As for the heat, that is an old wives tale. Your ammunition will not get hot enough in a car to go off. (I am not referring to a car fire)

  • Eaa10

    I teach the same thing to women who carry in their purse. You are not always with your purse, and purses do get stolen. Carry it on your person, and if you carry it in a purse, don't take the purse off and if possible carry it across your shoulder versus on your shoulder.

    An unattended loaded weapon is a problem waiting to happen, with the possible exception of your home.

    • ckerst

      I told my wife the first, or second thing a criminal will go for is your purse. The only good way to carry is on your person.

  • Jack Webb

    I have extra insurance that doesn't cost me that much money that protects me. It's called an umbrella policy.

  • SGT79

    HERE IN MISSOURI YOU CAN CARRY ANYWHERE IN YOUR CAR AND THAT INCLUDES ON YOUR BODY, AND UNDER YOUR HAT IF YOU WANT EVEN IF YOU DON'T HAVE A CCW. HOWEVER, ACROSS THE RIVER IN ILLINOIS, YOU HAVE TO HAVE THE GUN AND AMMO LOCKED-UP AND SEPARATE FROM EACH OTHER! AS MANY YOU MAY KNOW ILLINOIS IS A CLOSE SECOND TO THE COUNTRY OF CALIFORNIA. SO KNOW THE LAW IF YOU CROSS STATE LINES. SO FOR THAT ALONE KEEPING A GUN IN YOUR CAR CAN GET YOU IN A SLING! I'VE BEEN TOLD THAT IF YOU GET PULLED OVER IN ILLINOIS WITH CCW ON YOUR LICENSE THE TROOPER'S ARE TO ARREST YOU ON THE SPOT AND HANDCUFF YOU UNTIL THEY CAN CHECK YOUR CAR FOR FIREARMS, SO WE'VE BEEN TOLD TO GET A STATE ID CARD FOR YOUR CCW TO PREVENT STUFF LIKE THAT. BESIDES LIKE A LOT OF YOU SAID, IF YOU LEAVE THAT GUN AND IT GETS STOLEN, EVEN IF YOU ARE NOT GOING TO GET INTO TROUBLE, YOU HAVE TO LIVE WITH YOURSELF IF SOMEONE GETS SHOT FROM SOME LOW LIFE. NOW MY SON IS DRIVING AND IS 16 AND HE GETS PULLED OVER WHAT HAPPENS THEN? AND HE HAS ONE OF HIS FRIENDS IN THE CAR SITTING INCHES FROM A LOADED GUN. NOT A GREAT IDEA. PLUS MOST GLOVE BOXES DO NOT LOCK LIKE THEY USE TO OR IF THEY DO THEY ARE MADE FROM PLASTIC NOT METAL SO GETTING INTO THE GLOVE BOX IS EASY. GET A CAR GUN SAFE THEY HAVE ON THE MARKET SO IT KEEPS EVERYBODY SAFE! REMEMBER THIS, HAVING A GUN IS A RIGHT AND A RESPONSIBILITY LET'S NOT LOOSE SIGHT OF THAT MY FRIENDS!!!

    • Guest

      Please don't comment in all capital letters. It is considered SHOUTING and is rude. It's also hard to read. Thank you.

    • Captain Bob

      You say you can carry concealed in MO without a license? I thought that was only in VT, AZ and AK?
      We all kniw about IL, the last holdout of the 50 which has NO PROVISION for carrying a concealed handgun. However, that will change and maybe as soon as the next election…
      Every state has diffenet rules and it's your responsibiluty to know those rules if you are carrying somehwere other than your home state (under reciprocity) and to follow them.
      I beleive that a gun should not be left in a glove box, even when you are driving, as you have reduced control and reduced access to it. As one fellow sugested, a crossdraw holster is a great idea for vehicle carry. A vehicle-mounted holster is also good (remove from belt holster and place in vehicle holster when entering; Reverse on leaving the vehicle). Disadvantage is people may see the gun.

    • Greg

      Do business elsewhere. I will never vacation in Illinois. I finally am able to travel in Wisconsin now. They accept 29 states and two territories. Why vacation in a place that doesn't treat you like an American. My families safety is worth more thAn anything Illinois can offer me. Wake up and throw the bums out of office. I feel Wisconsin will reap the benefits of tourism as a free state.

      • Alan

        Greg we've have been trying to throw the bums out , but the Democrat Part of Illinois led by The People Socialist Republic Of Chicago ( home to President Obama …. gee …. ain't dat da coincidence …. ) has had a death grip on us !

    • Dennis

      Here in Michigan we need a carry license(CPL) to carry. When in your vehicle the weapon can be on you, anywhere else in the vehicle, hidden or in the open. When I drive to Florida on I-75 I am legal to carry in all the States that I pass through. In Ohio the weapon if not on your person, must be in a container & I believe unloaded.

  • jim

    I always keep a loaded .357 in the glove box with 2 speedloaders. I may never need it, but it is there, just in case. And a Surefire flashlight in the driver side door compartment.

  • bubba

    yall must have a democrat problem you cant leave a gun in the car when you get out never had that problem here in south bama

  • Dan

    I live 9 miles south of the New York state border. If I get stopped or am in an accident in NY, my CCW from PA is as good as toilet paper. I'm a felon as soon as I cross the line. if I get caught it is a mandatory jail sentence. As a felon all my gones will be taken away from me. Unfortunately, many day to day things are done in NY. If I'm carrying, it is easy to get myself in a bad situation. It actually prevents me from carrying as much as I would like. I cannot wait for the 2nd amendment to become valid in every state in the US as it should be.

  • Woodrow Call

    I live in one of the counties in California where it's nearly impossible to get a CCW. What I do while I'm out and about is put my unloaded XD and mags in a lockbox with an electronic keyboard on the outside. The lockbox is cable locked to the metal that attaches the seat to the floor, but allows the lockbox to sit on the passenger seat. I can get into it pretty quick, and it only takes a second or two to load up if I need. It's not the best, but it's better than nothing. When I get home the lockbox and pistol come inside with me. California really sucks as a state, but I can't move to a real state yet.

  • jerry

    In NC I can have a firearm loaded and in plain view, on the front seat, I have it in a Uncle Mike Holster.
    No CCW needed because it is not concealed.

    If it is in the trunk or other locked compartment, it must be unloaded, or you better have a CCW.

    Many NC residents get a ccw not just to carry but for transporting to and from the range or the
    hunting locations. If you leave one round in the magazine or cylinder that firearm is loaded and
    the CCW makes you legal.

  • Randal

    I must say I am surprised at this article even being posted. Where are the editors who should be reviewing these articles? I turn to Guns and Ammo’s publication to keep me up to date on best practices. From the tone of most of the replies, the majority think this is a bad idea. It shows lack of thought about the risks involved and a lackadaisical attitude toward firearm safety. If Mr. Tarr ran this article past his friends, then he needs to get new friends. I expect Petersons publications to be the voice of the reasoning for all things firearms related. G&A has a responsibility to monitor their authors to ensure the information presented is levelheaded and contemporary. As a certified NRA Law Enforcement Instructor I have a responsibility to impart wisdom and knowledge to my students. I have years of training and experience, what about the new firearm owners? At first glance you walk away with the feeling that Mr. Tarr uses thus endorses this method of carry. Do you not see how the advice of nationally recognized publication giving poor advice can cause problems? When you carefully re-read this posting, the author’s own words show placing a firearm in the glove box is a bad idea.

  • Alan

    I have a lock box with a cable that secures the box to the frame under my truck seat. Its for those times when you want a gun in the car or have to leave one in the car and is not very accessable in an emergency. But, it is locked safely when I'm not around.

  • Tom

    The secured lock box in my opinion is the answer. Being CC legal carries responsibilities. even the local sheriff deputies appreciate having legal citizens armed. However, there are places you cannot carry, banks, schools ect. If you consider your gun as part of your normal "clothing" as I do, the lock box works to keep things safe and legal when you temporarily have to leave your gun in the car.
    Tom from NC.

  • jeffadaklin

    In SC it's legal, even without a permit, and just like most issues, one size doesn;t fit all. Many folks do not have permits and their best option is to have one in the glove compartment. Your car can get stolen, sure, but like someone else said, you don't keep a $1500 pistol there. Anything can be stolen, and we can come up with bad scenarios for everything. I see nothing wrong with it, as long as you're careful, just as you are when you concealed carry. You don't leave a gun lying around your house- you don't let kids near the glove box unless it's locked, etc etc.

  • John C

    While driving, I keep my .38 hammer-less S&W in the seat pocket behind the passenger seat. Very easy access from the drivers seat, hidden from prying eyes, and not involved with getting things out of the glove box. I think keeping a gun in your car when you're not in the car is a very risky move.

  • Jim

    What if I have a CCW and leave my gun in the glove box and leave the car with my wife still in. Does that mean she is in possion of a loaded hand gun without a CCW. (Ya I know she should get one)

  • Big Tex

    Only in America is the daily carrying of a handgun considered a civilized topic of conversation. Of one were to believe the articles and comments one reads in Luke magazines one could only reasonably conclude that the decision to leave the confines of one's bed for a glass of water from the kitchen sink is a life and death decision. Incredible.

    • A Constitutionalist

      I smell an Obama lefty.

  • Chaz

    Being a southpaw does have its drawbacks. I think this is 1 area where we have and advantage.
    I have been trying out carrying my weapon in a paddle holster, and attaching it to the
    Side pocket of the driver door. It fits nicely in the pocket, and easily accessed with my left hand.
    Still tweaking It, but is my best option. I've drilled holes in it so the catch on the paddle
    Hooks into place. Just an option for us lefties.

  • Pheasant815

    I wonder how many people actually read all the pieces of this article prior to commenting? It seems a number of people are not considering the issues considered in the other pages as addressed. The heat of the vehicle – addressed. The liability of another driver or passenger – addressed. For you to read and make your own valid position based on the laws where you live – implied, but in a day in age where coffee has to worn you it is hot . . . well who knows.
    I have nothing but conjecture on this interesting story for I live in IL. We are still fighting for our 2nd amendment rights to become reality when it comes to CC. The NRA and ISRA have been fighting for us!

  • Sherm

    I agree with the majority: The glove box is difficult to access while belted into a full size vehicle, it is dangerous to access while moving, it makes your handgun assessible to anyone in the passenger seat, and it is vulnerable to theft if stored in the glove box. Some people elect to keep their handguns in the drivers door storage of newer cars, some attach a holster to the seat, either between their legs in front or to the door side. While these locations offer easier access they may leave you unarmed in unexpected situations such as an accident. I like to keep my handgun on person whenever possible. If I am forced to enter a gun free zone I have a lock box that is locked to the drivers seat for my weapon; car thieves normally have limited time. They are normally drawn to items left in sight, (never leave anything of value visible in your vehicle). Should they break in they will steal anything accessible, and they normally have time to look in an unlocked glove box.

  • John

    In Georgia you don't need to have a CCW to have a loaded handgun in the glove box.

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