Just Say No To Vehicle Holsters

Oh boy, I love shotguns, but I really don’t like most people who love shotguns. Shotguns attract fuddlore and bad beliefs. I have to think that Toyota Tacoma owners feel the same way. I mention that because it always seems like Toyota Tacoma drivers are the main fans of vehicle holsters. I’m not sure why. I thought they were Big Altima Energy, but a quick search shows lots of vehicle holsters in lots of Tacomas. 

Today isn’t about Tacomas. Today’s discussion is about vehicle holsters. Specifically, let’s talk about why vehicle holsters are a no-good, very bad idea. I’m hoping by the end of this article. You will ditch the vehicle holster and just carry like an adult. I try to be nice most of the time, but other times people just need to hear the truth, and I’m a care bear. An intensive care bear. 

What Are Vehicle Holsters? 

Let’s be clear here. A vehicle holster is a holster that attaches inside your vehicle that you drop your gun into. Maybe it’s in the cup holder. Maybe it’s attached to the center console or maybe under your steering wheel. Your vehicle is not a safe or lockbox. It’s not the holster on your body. It’s just a bad idea, and today we’ll explain why.

Ditch the Vehicle Holsters 

I would love for you to just take my word for it, but that wouldn’t be very smart of you. Instead of taking my word for it, let me explain, in-depth, why exactly you should ditch your vehicle holster. 

They Encourage Unnecessary Handling 

The first problems vehicles holsters have is that they encourage you to needlessly handle your gun. You have to remove your pistol from your on-body holster to deposit it in the truck holster and then repeat the process when you exit the vehicle. This is a lot of admin handling that isn’t necessary. More handling is more risk inherently. 

Additionally, you risk someone spotting your gun as you unholster and reholster as you run your daily errands. It just seems like a lot of extra work with no real benefit. You might whine that it’s uncomfy…to that, I say buy a better holster. Check out the Phlster Floodlight if you want a high-quality concealed carry rig. 

You Might Be Breaking the Law 

Depending on your state and its laws, you might be breaking the law. If your state prohibits open carry, you might be open carrying by leaving your gun exposed inside your car. In Florida, for example, a vehicle holster without an active retention device would put you in a perilous legal situation. 

Your firearm could be considered openly carried, and you would be subject to some form of legal action. I don’t aggress with these laws by any means, but you need to be aware of them. If your state isn’t very gun friendly, then you need to be 100% sure you aren’t breaking these laws. 

Turns a Vehicle Into a Loot Box 

Let’s say it’s been a long day. Your boss is a jerk, you have a long, traffic-filled commute, and you plop your Xd Grip Zone first into your vehicle holster. You get a sudden craving for a sugary, carbonated beverage. You pull into a Chevron and decide to run in. You’ll be in and out. It’ll take just a second. Do you really need to strap the gun back on? You leave it…and now your vehicle is a loot box waiting for someone with sharp eyes and a rock. 

I absolutely guarantee that nine out of ten people will absolutely do that at least once, if not way too often. Vehicle holsters inspire complacency. You’ll eventually leave in there, just for a minute, and potentially arm a criminal. This isn’t necessarily your vehicle holster’s fault, but it’s a symptom of their use. 

People forget their living children in cars because we are not infallible. How easy is it to leave some polymer and metal in your car? 

In the Event of An Accident, Your Have a Projectile That Shoots Projectiles 

Over 17,000 vehicle accidents happen per day. Think about that for a second. That’s an absolute ton, and it’s statistically likely it will happen to you one day. You and your Tacoma are not exempt from other idiots on the road. Imagine you have a holster holding a gun and get into an accident. 

Will your holster stay put? Will your gun stay put inside the holster? A car accident is not a good time to find that out. Imagine driving your vehicle, getting t-boned, and your gun flying across the cab. That’s not a good time for anyone. It might be completely drop-safe, but the impact isn’t the only risk. A truck full of whatever can between the gun’s trigger and cause it to fire. 

A truck flying around a vehicle is a lot like pocket-carrying without a holster. It’s a risk you shouldn’t be willing to take. This is not a good recipe. You have a projectile flying around your vehicle that shoots deadly projectiles. 

Hell, what if you just have to leave your vehicle quickly? Do you have time or the wherewithal to grab your gun as you escape? 

It Won’t Help You Anyway 

What’s the purpose of vehicle holsters? They aren’t any faster on the draw. Sure, it might take some training, but drawing IWB, OWB, or appendix is plenty fast and just as fast as any vehicle holster can be. 

If you are getting carjacked and the bad guy has the drop on you, do you think you’ll be able to draw fast enough for it to matter? Nah, and admittedly if you carried AIWB, or IWB, or OWB, you wouldn’t be able to draw fast enough on him. However, if you use a vehicle holster, he gets your car and your gun! 

Let’s say he hops in your car, no weapon, just out of the blue pops in and demands your car. Maybe he yanks your door open, and you guys start getting physical. Your gun, sitting in a vehicle holster, is open for him to grab. It might be closer to you, but it’s a helluva lot more accessible to a carjacker than it would be if it was on your body. 

Ditch Vehicle Holsters 

Ditch vehicle holsters, ditch those stupid magnets, and don’t even get me started on that cup holder holster. It’s a bad idea with no real advantages and plenty of real-world, realistic disadvantages. If I’m wrong, pipe up in the comments, but please explain your position succinctly. Maybe you can change my mind, but I doubt it. 

Travis Pike
Travis Pike is a former Marine Machine gunner who served with 2nd Bn 2nd Marines for 5 years. He deployed in 2009 to Afghanistan and again in 2011 with the 22nd MEU(SOC) during a record setting 11 months at sea. He’s trained with the Romanian Army, the Spanish Marines, the Emirate Marines and the Afghan National Army. He serves as an NRA certified pistol instructor and teaches concealed carry classes.