Or, keeping a gun in the trunk of your car.
I’ve been reading a lot of information regarding keeping a rifle in one’s vehicle; like, say, in the trunk of your car. Reading various forums it’s apparent that some think it a good idea and others think it a bad or maybe not so good idea. Frankly, a lot of the reasons some people use to demonstrate that it’s a good idea are borderline nonsensical in my opinion. Like the hypothetical situation of an active shooter in a mall, school, or where ever. These people envision themselves running out to their car, grabbing their trunk gun and then engaging the shooter in a firefight to save lives. That concept, for the most part, has “bad idea” written all over it. Sure, there may be exceptions, but for the most part bad idea.
Arguments against having a trunk gun tend to fall into the realm of either security or practical convenience regarding an immediate threat. Some feel that having a rifle in the trunk of your car is not secure because if your car is stolen or broken in to, some bad guy now has a gun. That does have some merit. But then again that can apply to most anyone’s house as well. What’s to keep someone from breaking into your house and running off with your gun stash? Even a safe has it’s limits. I’ve read of people having their gun safe full of guns carried out of the house. I don’t think it happens very often, but it could happen. I suppose it’s a benefits vs. risk thing. Personally I feel that the benefits of having firearms far outweighs the risk of them possibly being stolen. Also, I suppose it may depend on the kind of place in which you live. Personally I don’t think that having a gun in the trunk of your car is all that unsecure depending on where you’re parking your car.
As far as convenience regarding an immediate threat, yeah, if you’re suddenly facing an immediate threat, stopping your car, running around to the trunk, popping the lid, and pulling out the rifle is, well, inconvenient. But that’s really not thinking outside of the box. In fact that’s firmly setting up shop inside of a little box. Legally carrying a handgun on your person is what is meant to deal with an immediate threat. And if a situation is threatening enough to pull your sidearm the chances of you being able to grab the trunk gun are slim. If you’re able to have the luxury of pulling Bess from the trunk, then I question the imminence of the threat. The law probably would as well. Again, we’re not thinking outside of the box.
So, is utilizing a trunk gun a good idea? It depends.
Where do you live? What are circumstances that are likely enough to occur or, if not likely, if they did occur, what are the risks? Do the risks warrant a plan of some kind? For example many families have a plan for if the fire alarm goes off at night. Some have a plan for if someone breaks into the house at night. Our plan is to gather in the master bedroom, arm ourselves, and call 911. No, I’m not going to go hunting for some bad guy or guys in my house. Having a plan is not unreasonable. In fact it’s quite reasonable. Is having homeowners insurance unreasonable? Is wearing your seatbelt unreasonable? Is having a fire extinguisher in the kitchen unreasonable? Do you expect your house to burn down or to crash your car? No, but if it does happen you want to position yourself to be able to address it in the best way possible.
Where I live it is highly unlikely that social unrest is going to engulf the city. Race wars aren’t going to happen here. ISIS terrorists coming across the border are unlikely to pick this area to do what they want to do. It could happen, but honestly it’s way off my radar. Some freak going on a shooting or knifing rampage could happen anywhere, but still not likely.
Where I live there is major fault line. It is one of the largest in the world. I don’t know when it will go off, but I do know that it will. When it does it’s not going to be pretty. This metro area of 1 million plus is going to take a beating. This is where thinking outside of the box comes in. During an average day, my wife and I work within about a 5 mile radius from our house. Our kid attends a school within that same radius. My wife and I have sort of discussed a plan if a major earthquake occurs. The plan entails getting home ASAP to reconnoiter and assess what to do next. The first meeting place would be our son’s school. From there, home. Driving would be optimal, but what if driving is not possible? Then walking it is. That’s where popping the trunk in your car and grabbing a go bag and rifle would be not only convenient but reasonable. If one is going to be walking five miles, picking their way through earthquake rubble, I think being armed with a rifle is a good idea.
So in my world even though I legally carry a handgun with me more often than not, having a trunk gun seems reasonable.
If after you’ve assessed your life you decide that a trunk gun sounds reasonable enough to actually put into practice, make sure that you’ve done a legal assessment as well. Depending on where you live, having a long gun in your car may or may not be legal. For example the state in which I live, even though I have a concealed carry permit, it is illegal to have a loaded long gun in your car. My state considers a gun two actions away from firing to be “unloaded.” That means an AR-15 with an inserted full magazine would be considered unloaded. The two actions required for firing would be 1: charging the weapon, 2: pulling the trigger. Speaking of that, I do think that an M-4 style AR-15 with three or four fully loaded 30 round magazines would make an excellent trunk gun set up.
But that’s another post.