The “Best Car Holster” Doesn’t Exist

I live in Florida. Aside from orange juice and theme parks, Florida is known for having some of the worst drivers and the most incidents of road rage in the United States (the two are probably related). Statistics like these make people think that having a readily accessible gun in the cab of their vehicle is a good idea. The thinking goes that if road rage is so common, then I need a gun in my car to deal with that potentially violent encounter.  Many people then think that the best way to have a gun at the ready in the car is to use a “car holster” or something similar. But it’s not, as I will explain below. 

Car Holster Problem Number One: Your Vehicle Is Not A Gun Safe 

The sleepy little town where I live recently had a rash of burglaries, especially car break-ins. For a town of just over 3,000 people, 6 car break-ins in one month is a crime wave of unspeakable proportions. People were upset that our tightly-knit community was no longer “safe.” What people weren’t talking about, though, was how all of this started. About a month before the break-ins became commonplace, my neighbor posted on social media about how someone had stolen a Glock 30 and other valuables from his car in the middle of the night. The next thing we knew, all of our cars were fair game for crooks. Why? To a criminal, guns are worth more than cash. If a thief can steal a gun, he or she has quite literally hit the jackpot.

Car Holster Problem Number Two: You Don’t Live In Your Car 

Yes, it’s a car holster, and it’s very, very American, but it’s still a bad ideaWe’ve all seen advertisements for “car holsters” pop up on the internet. At first glance, they seem like a good idea. Road rage is a real thing, we say, so it’s a good idea to have a gun at the ready in case someone approaches our car with bad intentions. But what happens when you park your car? We’ve already established that leaving the gun out and unsecured is a bad idea because it’s a crook magnet. So what do you do with your gun if you’re using a car holster?

You have two options:

  1. If you’re leaving your car for somewhere you can carry your gun, then you can holster your gun and take it with you. This is the better of the two options because life-threatening incidents can happen anywhere, not just on the freeway.
  2. Otherwise, you can place your gun in a more secure location inside your car, such as a lockable gun safe.

In my opinion, neither of these options is all that great because they both require administrative gun handling.  Statistically, the more you handle a loaded gun, the better your chances for a negligent discharge. Increasing administrative gun handling increases your risk of a negligent discharge.

The Best Way To Carry A Gun In Your Car Is…

How can you safely carry a gun inside your car? It turns out that the best way to carry a gun inside your car is also the best way to carry a gun outside your car.  That is, on your body, in a good holster that is secured by a good gun belt.

Carrying your defensive pistol on you solves the problem of leaving your gun in your car overnight to be stolen by thieves. It also eliminates administrative gun handling inside your vehicle. As an added bonus, your gun will be with you should you need it, rather than languishing in your car as you go about your business.

But Kevin,” I hear you say, “what about draw speed? If I’m in my car, how can I quickly get my gun into play if it’s in my holster?” The answer is simple: the same way you learned to quickly access your firearm when you’re walking down the street.  That is, with consideration for your environment and plenty of practice.

Staying Safe No Matter What Happens 

Drawing from the holster inside a car is easy, as I’ll now show you.

When carrying your gun in your vehicle, it’s important to remember that you are far more likely to be injured in a car accident than in a gunfight.  So, vehicle safety considerations should always come first. Always wear your seat belt and make sure your carry method doesn’t interfere with your seat belt or your car’s airbags.  

With that taken care of, it’s actually quite easy to quickly access your gun in a holster when you’re in your car.  This is true whether you carry at the appendix position or on your hip.  

When it comes to carrying at the appendix position inside your waistband, I’ll let my friend Jon of PHLster holsters describe the best and safest way to carry a pistol in that position inside your car.

Things change slightly when it comes to strong side hip carry inside a car. Because your pistol is tucked down on the side of your seat, you may have to negotiate your way past your seat belt in order to draw your gun. But just as you learned to clear your cover garment, get a firm grip on your gun, and safely present your gun when you learned how to draw from concealment, you can also learn to clear your seat belt and cover garment and draw your gun safely inside your car. 

Accessing Your Gun Inside Your Car 

The first step in a safe and fast draw from concealed carry is using your support hand to clear your cover garment. It’s the same idea when accessing a gun on your hip when you’re inside a car. The only difference is that your support hand must first disengage your seat belt.

The procedure for drawing from the hip inside your car is:

  1. Reach down with your support hand and unlatch the seat belt while your strong hand prepares to grip your gun.
  2. Lean slightly to the support side, clearing up space to easily access your gun.
  3. Use your support hand to clear your cover garment and your strong hand to get a firm firing grip on your gun.
  4. Bring your support hand and strong hand together and present your gun to your target.  

If this draw procedure sounds a lot like how you draw your gun when you’re outside your car, it is because the two are very similar. The only difference is that your support hand hits the buckle release as it clears your cover garment and you slightly roll your hips as you clear the gun from your holster.

So What’s the Best Car Holster?

Keep Your Gun On You, Not Near You 

Car carry has many problems. Fortunately, almost all of them can be overcome by carrying your gun on you (rather than near you in a car holster or similar gadget) when you’re inside your car. Your life is lived in more places than just your car. The need to protect what matters to you most can happen anywhere — not just when you’re behind the wheel. Choosing to carry a pistol for personal defense means carrying the pistol, not leaving it in your vehicle for someone else to pick up.