Concealed Carry on Summer Road Trips

Taking to the open road with a gun doesn’t have to be difficult with a few alternative concealed carry options. (Photo: Eric Jezierski)

With weather changing and warm, sunny days replacing cold and dreary ones, many of us will be taking to the roads in search of family-friendly destinations across the country. Whether you plan to visit national monuments with your children or world-class fishing destinations, most of us who concealed carry know that wearing that pistol in the car is uncomfortable and often puts the handgun in a place that is hard to reach. In short, we can all agree that driving with a handgun can be a huge pain in the rear end. There are ways to mitigate the trouble though, and we’ve got some tips on how to concealed carry in your car during those summer road trips.

Consider Alternative Holster Options.

A belly band brings versatility to concealed carry. (Photo: Eric Jezierski)

If you’ve never tried a belly band, you are sure to be surprised by how comfortable they can be – especially on long car rides. The belly band allows for a wide variety of placements on the body. I find that wearing it high on the waist offers comfort when seated for long periods of time. Belly bands are also inexpensive, fitting a wide variety of handguns. The flipside to these holsters and their versatility is that they are awfully warm when worn for long durations. They can also be difficult to draw from depending on placement and size of carry pistol.

For people looking for another alternative to the holster conundrum, shoulder holsters are worth considering. They fit various pistol models, and many have a spare mag pouch built in. The shoulder holster keeps your handgun on body in a very concealable manner; however, this method requires more planning when it comes to outfits. Also, shoulder holsters may cause wearers to potentially flag those seated behind them.

A shoulder holster is an option for those looking to conceal on the road.(Photo: Eric Jezierski)

Finally, if you carry a smaller firearm, but still have trouble reaching it during waistband carry in the car, ankle carry might be another solid option. Sitting in a car may be one of the few times that ankle carry makes your gun more accessible than in the waistband. This method keeps the gun on body, not to mention it’s a relatively easy method of carry. Learning to draw from the ankle may take some practice, and wearers will be more limited in exactly how much gun can be carried comfortably. This method also cuts shorts or skirts out of the wardrobe — a deal breaker for those that like to beat the heat.

Gun Storage on the Go

Putting the gun in the center console keeps it out of site but still within reach. (Photo: Eric Jezierski)

If your vehicle comes equipped with a center console, it may offer a stealthy place to keep your pistol during travel. Using a spare holster mounted into the console, the concealed carry pistol is concealed and secure during travel while remaining within easy reach. Where this method falls short, though, is the elimination of storage space. Storing a gun and holster takes away valuable space that could be used to store other needed vehicle items. Additionally, using the center console to store your gun means that it might be all too easy to leave your gun in the vehicle, so a heightened level of discipline is required.

Those that want to take it a step further can opt to mount a holster to the car itself using some screws and washers. This modification is easy and can make traveling armed more comfortable. Mounting a holster under the dashboard or to the front of the driver’s seat, the handgun remains handy and doesn’t dig into the hip during travel. While this allows gun owners to put the pistol in a position that is readily available it requires a minor modification to your vehicle and your handgun will not be fully concealed if you are parked or pulled over.

Mounting a gun to the car itself introduces access but doesn’t aid in concealment. (Photo: Eric Jezierski)

Final Thoughts

Driving with a concealed firearm is not a new problem but it can present challenges. I recommend considering budget and the security of the firearm when shopping for alternatives. Many of the options available today in terms of holsters and mounts can be expensive. Furthermore, some of them do not have integrated trigger protection.

Whether you use one of the aforementioned methods or let innovation drive you to find your own method, don’t let the challenges of concealed carry in the car dissuade you from protecting yourself or your family this summer. Minor discomfort is not worth giving up your ability to protect yourself and your family and you shouldn’t feel obligated to compromise security in the name of summer travels.

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