Fear & Loading: Preventing Vehicular Theft

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posted on February 27, 2018
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The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) has produced a “Firearms Safety in Vehicles” [PDF] brochure with tips and precautions for shooters who sometimes have a gun in their car, SUV or truck. Whether you’re heading to the range for a day of trigger time or carrying concealed, the reminder’s applicable.

“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,” it explains. “As a result, there will be times when you might have to leave your firearm in your vehicle.”

Whether it’s a fast stop at the bank, school or another prohibited place—for just a few minutes or hours—precautions need to be taken to minimize the chances of an opportunistic criminal breaking into your vehicle and stealing your firearm(s) in a quick smash and grab. “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 explains. “Locking the doors on your vehicle does not constitute secure firearm storage.”

Tips include selecting a lockable storage system that’s securely anchored to the vehicle. Anchoring it solidly to the frame is the best approach, but a heavy steel cable also goes a long way in deterring criminals.

For those who carry, fast access is critical though, and manufacturers like Hornady have come up with some cutting-edge solutions. Its RAPiD Vehicle Safe mounts solidly, keeps the gun secure and out of sight, yet access is RFID or keypad fast. GunVault also has a wide selection, and owners of a compact or sub-compact will appreciate the low profile of its NanoVault line. The ABDO’s version is also lighting fast and secure.

Sooner or later, the law abiding citizen will find themselves subject to unexpected emergencies where one’s carry gun or favorite tack driver may wind up spending time alone in a vehicle. Today, more than ever, there’s no reason unauthorized access should be easy, or even possible without a tow truck and nearby chop shop.    

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