The Hidden Dangers of Removing Your Gun in the Car

If you've been reading our articles or listening to the podcast for any period of time now, you've likely heard at least one of us say that car holsters (and magnets) are generally a bad idea. In fact I'll go out on a limb and take it a step further by saying you should just leave your gun holstered on your body all day, every day.

The only time you should take it off is when you're going to bed at night.

In fact, I don't even take my gun off when I'm in the bathroom. Of course, something like this depends largely on your holster and where you carry on your body. If you carry appendix (in front) you may not have a choice. Jacob goes more into going to the bathroom with your gun in this article. Check that one out, as I attempt to get back on target in this article.

When you make the decision to carry a concealed gun you do so with the understanding that there is a give and take relationship going on. You get the ability to protect yourself with your gun if ever needed by giving up some of your comfort.

I know I'm about to upset some of you and that's okay because this needs to be said … if your holster or the place where you carry your gun is so uncomfortable that you can't sit down with it for long periods of time then you need a new setup.

It's that simple. You should be able to sit for longer periods of time with your gun. And if you can't you need to figure something out.

I've driven from Pennsylvania to Florida and back again while carrying a full size pistol on my waist. If my 300 pound rear end can do it then so can you.

The danger of removing your gun:

There are several things going on here that we don't like. First and foremost on the list is that you don't retain control of your gun. One of the most important aspects about concealed carry, and doing it responsibly, is that you retain control of your gun at all times.

When the gun is holstered on your body you have control of it. It's not just going to willy nilly dislodge itself from you. It's stuck to your body until you take it off.

However, if you take your gun off your body, either by removing the entire thing with the holster or just the gun itself, you lose control of it unless you secure it in an immoveable safe (and even this can be a problem if it somehow comes loose during an accident).

The reason why I word things the way I do is because, while you may set out in the morning to not get into an accident, you cannot control the people around you who may be under some influence of a substance or sending text messages or Lord knows what else behind the wheel.

If you get into an accident your gun may go flying. It may land outside of the vehicle, or anywhere else around you. In a rush of adrenaline who can say that they wouldn't accidentally pick their gun up by pressing the trigger? You know better than that, and you know you shouldn't touch the trigger, but can you prevent it after getting into an accident?

If there is any question in your mind, and there should be because even the most calm of people are a mess of emotions and adrenaline after getting into a car wreck, then you need to keep your gun holstered on your body.


I think I beat that previous topic into the ground so I'll move on to the next one. If your gun is not on your body and you need to defend yourself with it, your chances of being able to do so go down.

For example, if you're suddenly the victim of a car jacking and your gun is in your glove box on the other side of the vehicle, you will not be able to use it to defend yourself at any point.

So we recommend having your gun on your body and hopefully you've also trained getting it out of the holster at least a few times, as well, so that you know what you're actually doing.

Check out this page for more information on drawing your gun while sitting in a vehicle.

You may not put it back on, if it's a quick run:

The reason why you carry a gun is for self-defense. If you're at a gas station and need to run in to use the restroom, are you really willing to strap your gun to you first? I mean, you know it's just going to be a quick thing so, is it worth it to put your gun on?

A lot of folks may not justify the time it takes to put their gun on for a short time. But what happens if the store is robbed while you're in there and you walk out of the bathroom to find a few masked robbers holding the clerk at gun point?

Yeah you just found yourself up that creek.

But if you never took your gun off to begin with you wouldn't have that problem.


At the end of the day you have to do what you're comfortable with. However, we strongly suggest that you carry on your body even when in your car and if you're not comfortable with your current rig that you find a setup that you are comfortable with.

This is easier said than done, however, but is worth the effort. Leave your thoughts on this in the comments below.

And here is that page on drawing your gun from your vehicle, one more time.

About Joshua Gillem

Josh is a lifelong practitioner and student of the gun. He grew up shooting/hunting with his dad, and was given his first gun, a 12 gauge shotgun, when just a small boy. After high school, he joined the Marines where his love for firearms blossomed as he qualified with an M16A2, an M9, and a 240G. Josh has been writing about firearms and tactics for several years, owns the blog Gunners Den, is a staunch supporter of the Second Amendment, and believes that each individual person has the right to self-defense by any means necessary. Currently residing in gun-friendly NC, he carries a concealed gun on a daily basis, even in his own house.


  1. Arthur Packard on December 2, 2020 at 12:41 pm

    I totally agree with what you had to say about the topic. As you stated, the second your weapon is any where but on your body, you loose control of it.

  2. L on December 2, 2020 at 1:03 pm

    My chosen side arm is always on me, or within 6″ when I’m home. Train, practice, drill. That is what can save you or innocents from an assailant.

  3. Don on December 2, 2020 at 4:44 pm

    Completely agree.

    The main impediment to this advice are those facilities where carry is not allowed, such as government buildings or businesses who have elected not to allow weapons. In Texas, some businesses don’t allow open carry but do allow concealed carry.

  4. Brandywine8753 on December 7, 2020 at 11:56 pm

    Laws of your state on usimg a firearn for concealment, carrying, and using a firearm for protection at anytime.

    Please review your state laws.
    I know there are many good people out there in the country, you and your family are priceless.

  5. Kyle Crawford on December 8, 2020 at 3:04 pm

    If you carry (seriously), it is a fore gone conclusion & an already decided fact you should carry everyday & all day (even in your own home). As the author advises. It goes on in the morning and comes off when you got to bed, except if you wear pj’s in the evening. Then have a gun under control within 6″-1 ft. at all times (all door & windows locked, etc.)

    If I’m not on a plane (pre-covid) I carry everyday and I office from home. Paranoid, no just prepared. In my area, they have had day time break-ins and a few folks in the last year, have had fake delivery people push their way into homes.

    When you have to use the bathroom, put you CW in your underwear while sitting.

    If you take your role for providing defense for yourself & family seriously, this is the only option. I’ve done it for 20+ years and you get used to it with the proper belts & holsters.

  6. Jeff on December 9, 2020 at 1:54 pm

    As an appendix carrier, I find it more comforting having a dash mounted kydex holster at my right knee, than trying to draw out from under a seat belt.

  7. WILLIAM RICE on January 17, 2021 at 10:49 am

    This article overlooks the issue of needing to go someplace where you are not legally allowed to carry, such as any federal building. So, you need to go into the post office. It’s a federal offense to carry inside the post office. I’ll take my weapon off before I go inside. Also, sometimes I want to drink a beer with wife or friends. I Florida, I must remove my firearm before I can even go into the bar area, whether I’ll drink or not. Again, I am required to remove my weapon before I enter a bar or consume alcohol. Reality bites!

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