Featured In-car Security for Travel Jody Lewis January 15, 2015 Join the Conversation This summer my family took a road trip to Yellowstone National Park that had us driving through several states. I try to prepare for every trip by planning for the worst possible scenario I can imagine; this one was no different. My pack list often includes items we will need in case of emergency and supplies to help us if stranded, etc. Traveling through several states poses an issue for concealed carry holders such as myself because the laws for concealed carry vary vastly from state-to-state. I rarely leave home without my sidearm so I had to research what my options were in each state we would pass through. Our trip started in Washington State and led us through Idaho, Montana and Wyoming. With my Washington concealed pistol license being recognized in Idaho and Montana, I was able to keep my concealed pistol hidden, but in Wyoming I had to ditch concealing it to stay within the law. Wyoming allows open carry and while in Yellowstone I would do just that when out of the car. While in the car I was required to remove it and I often found myself leaving it in the car. I had not planned for this situation and found myself finding places to secure it. This proved very challenging with little kids and my frustration for lack of options grew steady. I had not planned on how I would lock up my firearms when left in the car and that presented a serious conflict for me. Do I leave it in the car or open carry it everywhere? What if I was going into a bar and could not bring it, what then? This dilemma had me researching options for how to safely securing my firearm in the vehicle. It makes sense really; we use a safe at home to lock them up, why not your vehicle? Duh! With over 11-million current concealed permit holders in the United States, I imagine I am not the only one with this dilemma. Concealed carry has become more prevalent than ever before. With that in mind, it is a very convoluted topic to discuss due to the varying laws in each state. At this time, there is no national or federal law governing concealed carry or storage, so please refer to your local laws for in-car firearms carry and storage. Once of prevailing thoughts in my head while doing research was the speed in which I could access a secured firearm, limiting access to my children and potential theft loss. As a father of little ones, it is at the forefront of my mind to ensure my kids don’t have access to my guns at the same time, when I need it fast; I don’t want to have to fumble to get it. There are essentially two primary options I found for in-car firearms storage. The first being unsecured storage while in the car, such as a mounted holster under the steering column or on the dash. If you opt not to carry the firearms on your body, this is a potential solution, but you really need to remain with the gun at all times. It is not meant to keep children or thieves from gaining access. Unsecured holsters provide quick and easy access to the firearms while you are in the vehicle. While this is not allowed in some states, it is an option that is viable for some. Unsecured Holster Options Safariland – $30 (http://www.safariland.com) http://www.safariland.com/quick-attachment-systems/quick-locking-system-kit-23136.html Quick Locking System (QLS) from Safariland is a quick detach system that can be mounted in-car using a QLS quick detach fork and receiver plate. The plates allow for quick and easy transition from your carry holster to a mounted vehicle solution in a matter of seconds. This system is fairly universal and can be mounted just about anywhere. FAST – $30 (http://www.fastholster.com) Firearms Access System Technologies (FAST) is an in-car mountable strip utilizing three rare earth magnets over-molded in polyurethane plastic. This platform allows for a secure, non-marring retention device that allows you to locate your firearm almost anywhere. I have used the FAST system under desks and vehicle installations. It is fairly simple setup that is fast, no pun intended. Secured Lockable Solutions The 2nd option in vehicle retention and a more long-term solution is having the ability to lockup your firearms. In many situations, having a solution that is easy, readily available and quick is a must. These are just a few of many options available on the market that this author has tested and likes for one reason or the other. Again, not all of these options are legal in every state and it is up to you to read and know the laws in your state. ShotLock – $169 (http://www.shotlock.com) The ShotLock Solo-Vault is a 1911-sized portable safe that can be secured to the vehicle with a cable lock or can be permanently mounted utilizing the pre-drilled holes in a horizontal or vertical position. It is made of 14-gauge steel and features a push-button battery less combination configurable to your preferences. One thing I like about the ShotLock is the ability to fit it in many little nooks and crannies in your vehicle and if needed, you can transport it into your house or hotel room. The dimensions are 11.375 x 7.5 x 2.375. It is made in the USA. The lock mechanism features an oversized rubber dial to quickly pop the door once the combination has been successfully entered. In a stressful situation, this provides thoughtless intervention to access the firearm. ShotLock makes several in-vehicle options for many different scenarios and weapon types from AR’s, Shotguns and full-size pistols. The Solo-Vault is on the California DOJ approved list which is requirement if you want to carry your firearms in the vehicle in California. Titan Security – $349 (http://www.titangunvault.com) The Titan vehicle gun safe is similar to the Shocklock Solo-Vault in that it is also a portable 14-gauge steel safe with battery less combination. So why is it nearly double the price? The Titan safe offers features that are very unique and aid in its ease of use. First and foremost it includes a mounting bracket that allows the user to quickly secure it in the vehicle and remove it on the go. Additional mounting brackets for your bed or home is $34, making it a viable solution for going from the house to the car and vice versa and not having to deal with cable locks. Another unique feature I found rather useful was a feature that presents the gun to you when the door is opened rather than having to reach in and grab it. The Titan safe is also California DOJ approved and measures in at 11” L x 8” W x 2” H. Tuffy Security – $86 (http://www.tuffyproducts.com) Tuffy manufacturers a simple utilitarian security box that is uses a 3-digit combo style knob. Dial in your code and turn the knob to open. It is pretty simple not a solution I would employ for speed. It is made from 1/8” steel and comes with a cable lock and foam lined enclosure. The dimensions are 11 3/8” L x 7 1/4” W x 1 4/5” H not including the height of the knob. Its low price makes it viable for someone needing a more permanent solution for long-term storage in the trunk. It does not come pre-drilled for mounting. GunVault – $164 – $349 (http://www.gunvault.com) GunVault has a long-standing reputation as an industry leader in quick access firearms storage. The MiniVault is what I have used at home next to my bed for years and it has never failed me. That being said, it’s kind of a bulky solution to use in a car and would best be suited permanently mounted in a larger vehicle. The GunVault MicroVault MV500 is better suited for vehicle use. It comes with an included cablelock and is mountable. It is 9-volt battery operated key code access using a series of finger touch controls that are very fast in comparison and I really like the no-eyes keypad design. Over all dimensions are 11” x 8.5” x 2.5”. The only downfall I see to the MiniVault is the use of 20-gauge steel, which by comparison is fairly thin. It is also California DOJ approved. Please advise if you've considered additional options or have relevant experience! Explore RECOILweb:Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and MuseumThe Gift of Clearing UXOsThe Hoodrat Hot Button; DIY Unity TacticalPreview - soldier of fortune NEXT STEP: Download Your Free Target Pack from RECOILFor years, RECOIL magazine has treated its readers to a full-size (sometimes full color!) shooting target tucked into each big issue. Now we've compiled over 50 of our most popular targets into this one digital PDF download. 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