Concealed Carrying in the Car

Concealed Carrying in the Car
If you peruse the gun forums or Facebook Groups long enough, you’ll eventually see people talking about their options for what they do with their guns while in the car while they drive. Many firearm instructors have the firm opinion that it’s best to leave your gun holstered on your body anywhere you may be, to include in your car.

The primary reason for this, is because it’s the safest option for a number of reasons, which we’ll discuss below.


Believe it or not, the car is a popular place for crime. Because of this, people tend to have to use their firearms in defense of their lives in and around their vehicles more than many other places. Think about it, you drive to work, the grocery store, restaurants, etc.

Because so much time is spent in and around cars means that your chance of having to get to your gun goes up when you’re in one.

Having easy access to your gun where it’s not in the open, easy for an attacker to see, is key to ensure you a successful self-defense outcome. If it’s in your glove box or center console, you’ll likely struggle to get to it more than you would if it was already on your hip.

Auto Accidents

Accidents happen, and we have no control over them.

The last time you or a family member got into an auto accident, did you (or they) wake up saying: I think I’m going to get into an accident today! No? And that’s why they’re called accidents.

Because we can never predict when we’ll be in a car accident and we don’t want our gun to go flying in any direction it may go (which can happen regardless of how you have secured that gun), is just another reason for you to keep your gun on your body while in your car.

It stands much less of a chance to go anywhere it’s not supposed to when it’s strapped to your body.

So what? Who cares if it goes flying into the passenger compartment? You’ll just reach over and grab it?

Things happen to the human body after it’s in an accident (depending on the severity, of course) giving an adrenaline dump, tunnel vision, causing fine motor skills to disappear, and just wreaking havoc on your physiology. If you were to reach for your gun, who is to say you wouldn’t accidentally grab the trigger?

Who is to say that someone who intended to help doesn’t see your gun as you struggle to live and take it for himself?

If your gun is on your body to begin with, it remains in your control. You won’t have to reach for it, nor will you have to worry that someone else may take it.

It Stays In The Car

This next one is a mindset challenge that many people face, not necessarily something that has to do with the car itself.

But, let’s say you’re not carrying your gun on your body, but in your car. Maybe you’ve got to use the restroom and decide to stop at a gas station. Because it’s a “quick” stop in your mind, are you going to take the extra time to holster your firearm?

You’ll only be in there for a few minutes, right? What could happen during that time?

If a robbery takes place while you’re in there you’ll quickly regret not having your gun on your body.

Or, let’s say you’re using one of those fancy car holsters or magnets that hold your gun in place, and as you go into the store, a criminal looking for a car to break into just happens to see your gun sitting there all pretty under the steering column?

If your gun is already on your body, none of the above can happen.

Unintended Discharges

Automotive accidents aside, there are a number of unintended discharges (AKA negligent discharges) that have occured during the time when a firearm is not holstered on a concealed carrier’s body.

This can be caused by any number of reasons, but most of these discharges are likely happening because of complacency in firearms handling AND the fact that you’re handling your handgun when you shouldn’t have to be.

Each time you administratively handle your firearm your chances of negligence increase over when you’re not handling your firearm.

If your gun is already on your person and in your control there is almost zero chance of negligence.


Most of the concealed carriers who refuse to carry on their person when traveling choose not to because it’s not comfortable for them.

It’s always a good idea to test different carrying positions while in the car to know what works best.

And, if you know you’ll be in the car for an extended period of time, it may be worthwhile to carry in a different position than you normally would, just to retain a level of comfort that you might not otherwise have but still have the gun on your body and retaining control of it.

For example, some people will carry on their non-dominant side so they can still have their gun on their person. While not ideal, it beats any of the other potential outcomes.


While there is a lot going on in this article, it ultimately comes down to one word: Control. If your gun is on your body, only you are in control of it. If it is off your body, you lose control in any of the above circumstances.

Therefore, the best place for your concealed carry gun to be is always on your person, regardless of if you’re in your car, walking down the street, in the grocery store, or anywhere else. Your body is the only thing you can always control, and that’s where your gun should be.

Most of the instructors you could ever meet almost all recommend carrying your gun on your person in your car, regardless of how it feels. And hey, if you start with a comfortable holster to begin with, it’ll make it that much easier for you.

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  • Great idea…I have yet to find the perfect shoulder holster especially for those of us with a shorter stature, under 5’ 8”.
    We have several holsters we’ve tried for every day and out in the field use but have not found one which works well for anything other than when sitting at the desk? Maybe someday??

    Dean Compton
  • If you EDC you should keep your weapon on you in the car and that helps you stay in control that keeps you safe and responseable

    Donald Williams
  • I appendix carry on my non-dominant side, left. To me that is somewhat uncomfortable but is the most comfortable way to carry in the car on my body. I would much rather Carry higher up where a shoulder holster might be but I have not found a quality shoulder holster. Too many straps and it still tends to flap around, in other words it’s not held tight to my body between my chest and my abdomen. Maybe you could come up with something that would wrap around the With a strap above the dominant arm and below the dominant arm and come together in the middle of the back, The holster would be attached to the front of the strap on the left front just inside a jacket. The strap would split on the right side and go over the shoulder AND under the arm and come back together across the back. Maybe straps on each side going from the right strap from under the arm to your belt and another on the left strap under the arm at the front of the holster down to your belt. 😁🤔🇺🇸

    Bob Diana

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