The Gun in the Glove Box

Gun in the Glove Box

Below I explore all the various angles and issues surrounding firearm storage in the car with a specific emphasis on the glove box or glove compartment.

Cars Are Legitimate Places Where You Need to Keep a Gun

Outside of our homes and our place of employment the next place where we spend the most time is in our vehicles. Additionally, our cars often carry us to places of greater amount of risk than our own home or work. The reasons for needing a firearm with you for defense in the car abound.

Where to Store Guns in the Car

Further, since every concealed carry permit holder should feel empowered and encouraged to carry every day; just by using a vehicle for any transportation the vehicle becomes a transporter of the firearm as well.

In addition to the ability to respond to threats the gun also has need to be stored for a short while or long term in the vehicle on occasion. When a gun owner visits a “Gun Free Zone” like the post office or travels across state lines it becomes critical to have a secure and accessible storage system for the gun in the car.

The Most Common Solution is the Glove Compartment or Console

For most gun owners the glove compartment seems a natural solution to the issue of storing a firearm in the car or truck. Every vehicle comes equipped with a glove box which would generally fit a firearm. But as we explore the idea of storing a firearm in the console or glove box consider these major drawbacks:

It is the First Place Thieves Look

Car Break Ins

Theft from vehicles accounts for 36% of all thefts according to the department of justice. 1.255 Billion dollars of personal belongings are stolen in 1.85 million car thefts each year. That essentially calculates to a 1 in 100 chance that any US citizen with a drivers license will experience a vehicle theft each year.

When the thief breaks into your car where is the first place they always look? The console and the glove box. Thieves know these are the most common places to keep electronics and the best place to find your home address (via the registration and insurance cards). Keeping a gun in the glove box is a sure way to invite it to be stolen.

It is Not Secure

The glove box may have a lock on it but it isn't made to withstand force. A little bit of leverage with a crowbar and that very weak lock will give way. Add to this that should you lock the glove box and then begin to drive away, forgetting to retrieve it, you will be forced to stop the car in order to retrieve the key needed to unlock the glove box and access the gun.

Hard to Make Discreet

If you are in a position where you need to secure your firearm in the car when entering a premise where you can't have your firearm or when transporting the firearm across state lines you don't want to be seen shoving something into the glove box. At the parking lot of the post office, you don't want the people in the car next to yours seeing you slip that gun into the glove box.

Specifically Restricted in Federal Law 926a

The greatest reason why the Glove Compartment and Console are poor places to count on for storing the firearm is that they are specifically called out in the Federal Interstate Transportation of Firearms Law as not qualifying:

Under FOPA, notwithstanding any state or local law, a person is entitled to transport a firearm from any place where he or she may lawfully possess and carry such firearm to any other place where he or she may lawfully possess and carry it, if the firearm is unloaded and locked out of reach. In vehicles without a trunk, the unloaded firearm must be in a locked container other than the glove compartment or console. Ammunition that is either locked out of reach in the trunk or in a locked container other than the glove compartment or console is also covered. (Source NRA Guide to Transportation of Firearms)

So if you intend to leverage the federal firearm protection act in your favor in order to transport firearms across state lines you need a lockable container that is dedicated to that purpose.

You NEED A Portable Gun Safe Dedicated to the Car

Every gun owner needs a gun safe to be kept in the vehicle. Here are key attributes to look for in that safe:

Strong: Strong enough to prevent unauthorized entry by thieves, children, or other unauthorized persons.

Secured: Secured to the car be either a security cable or by mounting it to the frame with screws.

Easy and Fast to Operate:  Able to open and close readily with limited time.

Check out Our Safe Line-up!

About Jacob Paulsen

Jacob S. Paulsen is the President of provides in-person and online firearm training for American gun owners. The Company is currently teaching in-person classes in 25+ states with a team of more than 55 instructors. Jacob is a NRA certified instructor & Range Safety Officer, USCCA certified instructor and training counselor, Utah BCI instructor, Affiliate instructor for Next Level Training, Graduate and certified instructor for The Law of Self Defense, and a Glock and Sig Sauer Certified Armorer. He resides in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado with his wife and children.


  1. Ron on March 25, 2016 at 11:08 am

    I have a FL concealed carry. I have a gun safe cabled to the front seat when I’m going to leave the gun in the car. My normal concealed carry is difficult to get to in a seated, seat belted position. When I asked the state about other places to carry my gun when I’m driving and I was advised that as long as it wasn’t visible from outside the car, any place was fine. My solution was to mount a holster inside my console to hold my hand gun while I’m in the vehicle.

    • Byron Rashed on July 24, 2019 at 11:03 am

      I have a steering column holster and it works great!!

  2. Austins on March 25, 2016 at 11:44 am

    According to Louisiana Law your personal vehicle is an extension of your HOME. There are no limitations on where in the car for ammo or the firearm. If you are on a campus such as the LSU campus or any public area that is “gun free” as long AS IT REMAINS IN YOUR VEHICLE it is still within your “home” and legal.

    Some of Louisiana’s laws/customs are often view as “quaint” or “quirky” by folks form other states but on this I believe we are leading the way. [By the way – we are also an “open carry” state.]

    • Derwyn Hinton on March 27, 2016 at 5:16 am

      Right on Austin, La is friendly to gun owners and yes our cars or trucks are an extension of our homes!

    • Jan Franceschi on March 27, 2016 at 3:51 pm

      The same in GA, our vehicles are an extension of our homes.

    • Jim on July 4, 2016 at 3:35 pm

      Wouldn’t it be great if the entire country had this same law. Your automobile is an extension of your home.

    • Cindy on July 25, 2018 at 6:07 pm

      Same in Texas

    • Craig on April 14, 2021 at 8:04 am

      Some things are legal, but not necessarily the right thing to do. Texas has the same laws regarding firearms in vehicles. However, if you are not in the car with your gun, it is my opinion it should be locked in a hard safe. People break in to cars every day. I coworker just had his gun stolen from his car, parked in his driveway overnight. It was in a “locked” glove box, which is probably less secure than the packaging the gun came in when new. Add to that the police thing it was teens who broke in to the car, and now you have a teen running around with a gun, and the liability IMHO should rest at least partially on the gun owner.

      Gun ownership is a responsibility not to be taken lightly. Keeping them out of the hands of people who shouldn’t have them is on the owner.

  3. Michael G Spivey on March 25, 2016 at 1:00 pm

    In NM I have the ability to have a concealed loaded firearm in my motor vehicle irrespective of having or not having a concealed carry permit as NM also is a state that recognizes extended domain. My rights in my vehicle are exactly the same as my rights in my home or anywhere on my property.

  4. Gary M on March 25, 2016 at 7:05 pm

    I own the very same lock box shown above. It works wonderfully up until the battery (9V) begins to weaken, but long before the box signals the battery is weakened. When that happens it may take many tries with passing the appropriate finger over the sensor to get the box to open. If you need thagt gun in a hurry you do not want to have to deal with a stubborn lock box! Hence, either plan to change the battery fairly often or keep the manual key handy. If you travel with the lock box, start w a fresh battery and remember hot cars weaken batteries much more quickly. Otherwise, it’s the perfect traveling companion.

    • Jacob Paulsen on March 25, 2016 at 7:08 pm

      The one shown runs on 4 AAs

      • Gilbert on March 26, 2016 at 8:17 am

        4 AA is the same voltage = 9V so it’s the same power needed.

        • Hubert on April 25, 2016 at 1:16 pm

          4 AA is 6 volts, 🙂

        • williaml on August 1, 2016 at 10:43 pm

          Each AA battery output is 1.5 volt
          4×1.5v=6 v

        • Harlin on January 26, 2022 at 9:23 pm

          4 1.5 AA = 6 volts it takes 6 to equal 9 volts Gilbert!

    • Gerard Babin on March 25, 2016 at 7:51 pm

      It should be removed and holstered as soon as you enter the car.

  5. Tp on March 25, 2016 at 7:26 pm

    if you have a ccw, it better to carry on you under your jacket or in a holster in your pants , this Fedral law 926A IIS CONFUISING because it dosent talk about the ccw part. this is why we have so many problems every state is different I recently purchase the travelers guide to all 50 states its an educational book I suggest every gun owner buy one …to me its clear if you have a ccw permit and reciprocity in some or most states you have a right to carry that firearm and if you don’t have certain rights in some states then yes I recommend the 926a law I live in NY one of the toughest gun law states actually moving because of these laws and the safe act which helps the criminal in case of a break in and the law is confusing it says it has to be locked in a safe however if your a ccw holder you have a right to have that fire arm on you just as you do if you were in public as long as it is hidden in the public . these are left wing liberals that make these laws and make it easier for criminals to do bad things so be vigilant fols know your environment and secure your property you never know when you will need to defend your self

    • CSP on July 16, 2020 at 11:44 am

      “So if you intend to leverage the federal firearm protection act in your favor in order to transport firearms across state lines you need a lockable container that is dedicated to that purpose.”

      I am doubting your credibility now. It is very clear that the law implies you need a lockable container if your vehicle doesn’t have a trunk.

  6. jose on March 26, 2016 at 9:56 pm

    Well there is only one problem if you trsvel to new jersey or new york city they dont care if you have it in a box. In another words if you have a weapon in your car they will arrest you and confiscate the gun and they will file charges against you even prison time for having a weapon in your vehicle

    • williaml on August 1, 2016 at 10:48 pm

      I live in Texas and I Love it. I try to stay away from NJ & NY

      When we took our conceal carry class, the instructor clearly said that it is better to be judged by twelve than to be carried by six.

  7. JIM FEUERBACHER on March 28, 2016 at 10:42 am

    Reply to Gilbert,
    Did you not take math in jr/hs? AA batteries are 1 1/2 volts each, times 4 is 6 volts not 9.
    No one cares about how much power it takes. We all know we have to replace batteries on a regular basis.

    • Art Newpher on August 2, 2016 at 11:48 am

      It’s actually a good point about the battery. I live in South Florida and the heat kills the batteries quickly on my flashlights that I carry in the truck. I was thinking about getting that exact same safe, and maybe I still will, but now I do want to do some more looking first.

  8. Bill on March 28, 2016 at 4:22 pm

    I have a fingerprint lockbox at home with external charger but I mainly use it to keep children from accessing my weapon while still having it quickly available. Securing it in the car is another matter I think. Thieves don’t care if it is in a portable safe if they can see it as they will break in, steal the whole thing and pry it open at another place. So what to do? If you can’t carry concealed because of a gun free zone you need to enter you are left with other means to conceal it. There are places you can find where the portable safe can be secured out of sight and where it can be bolted down. I have a place but I leave that up to you to find your place.

  9. Nash Rich on May 17, 2016 at 1:55 pm

    I’ve always wanted to carry, but never really known where I would put it. I think a car is a great place to keep a gun, because I think you’re more likely to be in or near your car when a dangerous situation happens. I agree that you shouldn’t keep a gun in the glove box. Kids have access to it, and I think that’s really dangerous. I thought the gun safe with the finger printing lock was really cool. No one is going to be able to get in there but you!

  10. Steve on August 27, 2016 at 7:21 pm

    Check out Console Vaults on line.

    • william cecil on May 9, 2018 at 7:55 am

      I have a Calif CCW, and carrying any firearm in the glove box or console is a major no no! If I so happen to enter a “gun free zone”, I simply take my firearm off my side and put it in my Lock’er Down gun safe that is mounted in my truck console. Mounted or attached is the key word.

      • Jared Hawkins on August 19, 2018 at 4:47 pm

        William, I’ve been trying to get a answer to a question . I too a licence ccw permit holder in California . Can I carry a gun on my person while in a car. Yes or no. I’m not talking about a lock box but as a carry.

        • Yogi on July 21, 2020 at 8:54 pm

          Jared, if you haven’t already gotten the answer to your question the answer is yes! I have had a California CCW for several years. I carry everywhere and every day in the places I can. The only place I go that is forbidden is the US Post Office.

      • Rob on January 12, 2022 at 9:07 pm

        Cecil, I too have a CA CCW. I believe you are partially incorrect about the glove box. My LEO source said as long as I am in the car I can have to where ever I want. If I get out. Fed law rules out glove boxes.

  11. TR Hunter on September 19, 2016 at 8:00 pm

    If you’re going to spend THAT kind of money for an electronic safe, consider having it powered by the vehicle battery (yes, math fans, you CAN convert 12 DC volts to other voltages) and then the dead device batteries will be a much lower probability.

  12. Greg on October 27, 2016 at 8:38 pm

    The round Ace type lock like the one pictured can be picked with the barrel of a plastic “Bic” pen.
    The plastic tube is pushed into the lock wiggled and turned until it opens. That is why soda machines and U bike locks don’t use them anymore. I tried it on my stack on gun cabinet and had it open in less the 3 minutes. Needless to say I don’t use it anymore.

  13. Dale on November 20, 2016 at 8:50 am

    Time for trump to give us a federal cow permit

  14. AJ Folger on June 8, 2017 at 4:09 pm

    You deleted my comment.

    • Jacob Paulsen on June 21, 2017 at 8:01 am

      AJ, we don’t delete any comments. Perhaps there was a technical issue or something similar. Please resubmit your comment.

  15. Lestat on August 11, 2017 at 10:47 am

    We were allowed to CC and open carry while hunting in Vietnam. No better hunting grounds.

  16. Gunner on September 5, 2017 at 3:26 pm

    I have a single gun safe mounted in my truck console. My company allows the gun on the property with a CCP. I lock it in the safe when I get to work and unlock when I get off work. Same for other places I can’t carry. The console is always unlocked for easy access.

  17. Big Mac Esq on April 5, 2018 at 4:46 pm

    I would never leave my gun in a car, safe or no safe. The car can be driven away and there goes my gun. I have a carry permit so I keep the firearm on me in the car and out of the car.

    • Shell R Simac on April 15, 2020 at 11:15 am

      There are some places that don’t allow a gun. Post office, courthouse etc. So having a secure place in the car or truck makes perfect sense.

  18. Fred Smith on April 6, 2018 at 9:03 am

    We need two things to happen. Number one get rid of all gun free zones period and we can start by setting an example by eliminating the post office as a gun free zone. I believe that is an obsolete law and needs to catch up with current society. Second we need nation wide right to carry as you should have the right to protect yourself no matter where you are PERIOD.

    • Randy on April 6, 2018 at 11:30 am

      I’m with you Fred. Interesting posts though.

  19. Edward on April 6, 2018 at 5:47 pm

    Unfortunately, Post Offices aren’t just gun free buildings, they are gun free property also. You can not have a gun even in the parking lot. If you get caught you are doing jail time.

  20. Kara R Martin on July 21, 2018 at 5:05 pm

    Luckily I reside in Georgia and we are able to have handguns in the glove box, etc. Considered an extension of home. No carry conceal needed. I do a lot of driving in Ga and my gun is in my car more than anywhere else. And there have been a few occasions where I felt better knowing it was there.

  21. Lori on February 13, 2019 at 9:16 pm

    My husband said it was ok to leave a gun in an unlocked glove box at the tire repair. Is this ok? I said no and he says they would never look in the glove box.who is right?

    • Jacob Paulsen on February 13, 2019 at 9:30 pm

      I would say my opinion is evident from the above article

    • Dave on May 26, 2019 at 6:34 pm

      Why would u leave a firearm in an unlocked compartment at all much less when u know someone will be in the car….thats how u get robbed, raped, and murdered with ur own gun

  22. Dave on May 26, 2019 at 6:35 pm

    Why would u leave a firearm in an unlocked compartment at all much less when u know someone will be in the car….thats how u get robbed, raped, and murdered with ur own gun

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