Do you normally carry a gun with you while you drive? Unless you have a criminal history, a violent reaction to road rage, or an irrational fear of firearms, I think you should…given you meet your state’s legal requirements. For example, in Ohio, where I live, it’s legal for a concealed carry permit holder to have a loaded firearm in the car with them as long as it’s holstered on their person, or locked in a case or glove compartment visible in “plain site”.
That said, I normally stick to the first option – keeping my pistol on me, holstered and well-within reach. There are, however, times when I have to park the car, and run into a building that prohibits possession of weapons, even with my CCW permit (ie – schools, government buildings, church, work…), so I’m forced to leave the gun in the car. It never ceases to make me feel uncomfortable leaving it behind, even in a locked car. Smash and grabs happen all the time, and there’s always a chance that some punk carjacker might find the tool he needs in the glove compartment to graduate to a stick-up kid. I don’t really want that on my conscience.
And of course, there’s always that horrible feeling you might get when you’re watching TV on the couch, listening to your kids play in the garage, and your heart stops when you remember that you left your chambered piece sitting in the console. Like you, I don’t make negligence a habit, but we’ve all heard the horror stories – all it takes is one stupid forgetful moment.
This is why I’m specking out a car safe for my Sequoia – a Console Vault, in particular. Console Vault is a security storage company that has quite a few relevant product offerings, including wall safes and secure brief cases, but what they do incredibly well is design what are essentially car gun safes to fit over two dozen different vehicle models – everything from Harleys to Hummers.
What they have is a rather simple design, operating, in essence, very similarly to my eVault bedside gun safe. They build a 12 gauge steel security container that installs directly into your existing vehicle console frame. Its spring-assisted door can be opened with either a barrel key lock, or combination keyless entry, depending on the model you opt for.
These are extremely practical and easy to install, and I’d almost recommend them to anyone driving a car that will accommodate one – even non-gun owners. You wouldn’t have to take your radio faceplate in with you to the store, and you could leave your iPad or GPS unit in the car while you run an errand. Any shiny object that you don’t want a jerkoff-thief to steal can be safely locked away while you’re shopping…errrr…ummm…lifting weights.
Now, I’m sure you’re thinking that regardless of what you choose to lock up, be it a gun or otherwise, a thief who wants to get in badly enough can do so. I would say with confidence that that is indeed the case, however, we are talking about a car here – a valuable asset that can literally be driven away. Most car break-ins, not including theft of the car itself, happen very quickly – a thug walking by sees something in the window that he likes, breaks it, grabs it, and you never see it again. Chances are pretty darn good that he’s not going to tool around, trying to pry the car safe’s locking points open while the alarm is going off.
Smith & Wesson QuickDraw
While the Console Vault is incredibly practical, you may be looking for something a little more stylish…sexier if you will. The good folks at TruckVault offer a very cool product, branded by Smith & Wesson called the QuickDraw, a vehicle gun safe right out of an action flick (I saw one a lot like it in The Expendables). With the QuickDraw, your sidearm sits in a fully adjustable holster, encased in 16 gauge steel. Upon unlocking it through its quick-access key-less entry, its gas-operated lid springs up, and delivers the gun directly into your hands.
It isn’t custom tailored to fit snuggly into your vehicle’s console like the aforementioned Console Vault, and doesn’t offer the extra space for additional valuables, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. It’s slightly cheaper as a result, and it’s a nice alternative for those who don’t drive a car built for a Console Vault. Of course, if I haven’t already mentioned it, it’s also really freakin’ cool.
For those of you who need a lot more vehicle storage security – namely you who travel around with your livelihood in the back of your car, TruckVault also offers something special just for you. Whether you’re a police officer, firefighter, handyman, avid hunter or photographer, you probably have a whole lot of disorganized expensive crap improperly secured between your trunk and the back seat. If that’s the case, you’re rolling the dice every time you park your car.
Regardless of your vehicle, and the stuff that you need to secure within its walls, TruckVault put a storage solution together for your needs. Unlike the aforementioned console safes, TruckVault units are constructed from Medium Density Overlay, the material most commonly found making up road signs. It’s stronger than plastic, lighter than steel, won’t draw moisture, and the manufacturers at TruckVault can work wonders with it. Their slide out-action compartments will secure everything from long guns to chainsaws – great for any tool of your trade.
Of course, they’re pretty expensive. You may find a gently-used lightweight sedan model for $750, or a brand new, full-featured SUV rig for $5000, and everything in between. These car safes carry a heavy price tag, but you need to decide how much your equipment and convenience is worth to you. If you’re going to be hauling it around with you anyway, you might as well store it properly.