Reader Question: Guns in the Car?

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Here’s the latest reader question, along with my reply!

Stan asks: I have a conundrum. It’s legal to “open carry” in my state but I’m very afraid of doing so in my car because of the hair-trigger attitude of armed government workers. If one sees a gun on my hip or on the seat next to me during a traffic stop, I expect I’ll be looking down the barrel of a gun. Or worse. Any thoughts?

My reply: I have the same problem, which I resolved by getting a concealed handgun permit (CHP). As in your state, in my state it’s legal – technically – to open carry. But it is also lethal to risk it, probably – in a car, at any rate.

I agree with you that having a gun in plain view (as legally required by open carry laws) when an AGW approaches your vehicle during a traffic stop is hugely dangerous. The AGW is likely to immediately pull his gun and point it at you, given the times we live in.

It doesn’t matter that you’ve committed no crime; that you are legally open-carrying. A Hut! Hut! Hutting! is the predictable response.

With a CHP, you don’t have to worry about that.

But you do have to worry – or should – about the reaction of the AGW if he finds the concealed gun on your person or in your glovebox, etc. Therefore, the first words out of my mouth when I am forced to deal with an AGW – and am carrying – is to advise the AGW that I have a CHP and am armed. This – so far – has worked well, and not just in terms of my not getting Hut! Hut! Hutted! 

You must have a felony-free record to get a CHP and the AGWs I have dealt with seem to appreciate me telling them I have the CHP before they ask. I agree this may be servile, but it’s practical and may just save your life and a piece of payin’ paper.  I’ve been “let off” several times  on account (I believe) of advising the AGW I have the CHP, asking how he’d liked to proceed, etc.

I am certain these stops would have played out very differently if the AGW saw a .45 on the passenger seat.

That’s my 50!

. . .

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  1. The laws may have(probably)changed in Texas but you used to be able to carry in a vehicle if you are going across a county line to spend the night. I had an extra set of clothes and personal items stashed in every vehicle just to CMA. It didn’t specify open or concealed carry but I normally had some hidey hole beside me to stick one. That was about the only thing I liked about Indian blanket seat covers. And Silverados always had that pocket with a stretch top to keep it closed on the inside of each door.

    I got stopped on the way home at one of those illegal search points, ostensibly for aliens, but actually to check for insurance(they don’t do that any longer except in Ft. Worth where all the commies now live). The deputy was wearing a Combat Commander that was stock. I commented on it and he said he had to buy his own and that’s all he could afford. I said I prefer them myself. I have much more expensive guns but I like the CC. Then I pulled mine out of that pocket, dropped the mag and handed it to him. He was impressed with all the features I’d changed along with some Pachmayr grips, a flat(instead of curved) main spring housing and removed the grip safety along with the slide lock that wouldn’t let it fire without the mag, hogged out mag well, a different hammer. I told him to try the slide and he was amazed and told him to go ahead and try the trigger. He was just going ga ga over it. He asked what it cost and I said just changing the main spring housing and the rest I’d done myself. Of course mine was .38 Super which few people had. I preferred it, nearly the exact same specs of the current .40. Obviously, that was a much different world.

    • Yeah the TX law changed quite some time back to basically give you the presumption of “travelling” at all times. I know because back about that time we were going down to see my dad in the Panhandle and I could finally be legal 😉

      I’ve had MHP stop me and never ask about the .357 shoved in the 60/40 seat crack, although I thought he was being an a-hole about the windshield because I thought cracked windshields were practically a legal requirement in MT – hah!

      I’ve talked with county sheriff and deputies while carrying both concealed and open and never had them bother me about it. They are pretty much worthless IMO but they do get the Second Amendment thing.

      • Hi Nonny,

        I worry that something ugly is slouching toward Bethlehem. By which I mean – the urban Clovers determined to impose “sensible gun control” measures are backing rural people into a corner. I suspect there will be a fight. If so, it will not end well.

        • Well, there’s not many corners to get backed into around here, but there are quite a few high vantage points … if you get my drift 😉

  2. Well that guy in Minneapolis said that he had a CWP so the pig just yanked out his gun and killed him. But that’s okay because the ossifer was afeared for his life.

  3. What I do as a chp holder, is if in a traffic stop, when he asks for license and registration, I hand him my chp with the other documents. As a way to show that I am notifying him that I am a law abiding citizen, and for his safety am conceding that I am carrying. It works great. Full disclosure.

    • Hi Joe,

      I do the same… but also advise the AGW that I have a CHP as I hand him that and my license, etc. I also make a point of keeping a relaxed posture and my hands visible and any movement slow and deliberate. I don’t put them anywhere near my gun, if I am carrying.

    • That’s exactly what Philando Castile did but the enemy killed him immediately after he disclosed that he had a licensed gun in the car. In fairness, the tactic of being compliant and polite (i.e. respecting their authoritah) generally works if you can pass the brown paper bag test.


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