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Thread: Packing heat in your car

  1. #1
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Packing heat in your car

    I recently decided to get a concealed-carry permit so that I may legally keep a loaded handgun with me most places I go - including in my car. Part of the application process included a state-mandated safety course - and a talk by a state trooper about legal and other issues related to firearms and motor vehicles. Some of it may interest you - whether you "carry" or not.

    * If you carry, the cop will know -

    In Virginia (my state) and most others that allow concealed carry, if you have a permit, the permit is tied to your driver's license and vehicle registration. So, if you get pulled for a traffic stop, the cop will probably know you're carrying (or might be) before he even approaches your vehicle to ask for license and registration.

    * Don't sweat it -

    The trooper who spoke to my class told us that most cops are not worried about citizens with concealed carry permits - even though they may have a loaded pistol on their hip. Reason? People who go through gun safety/proficiency courses and who have been vetted by state and federal criminal background checks are by definition non-criminals. They're the least likely category of people to point a gun at a cop - even though they may be armed. Cops are much more worried about people who do have criminal backgrounds - and who don't sweat laws denying felons the right to legally carry a firearm (concealed or not).

    * What to do if stopped -

    If you get pulled over for a traffic stop and have a permit the first thing you should do after safely stopping the vehicle and turning off the engine is the same thing you should do if you don't have a permit: Put both hands on top of the steering wheel - ideally, fingers up. This is something cops will really appreciate; it defuses tension and lets the cop know you know he's concerned about his physical safety during every traffic stop. If you have a permit, it can be a good idea to let the cop know, as he comes to your window, that you have a handgun and where it is located. If it is in the glovebox, where you also keep your paperwork, tell the cop you have a weapon there and ask him whether it's ok for you to get your paperwork - before you put your hands anywhere near where your weapon is. Again, if you have a permit, the cop's concern about your being armed will usually be minimal. But it is always smart to keep him feeling comfortable - permit or no permit.

    * Reciprocity -

    Many states that allow concealed carry permits also honor permits issued by other states to non-residents who may be traveling in or visiting their states. Here is a link to the Virginia Citizens Defense League (VCDL) which maintains a current list of states that have concealed carry laws and reciprocity agreements with other states: http://www.vcdl.org/static/ccw.html

    * Traveling with a permit and a gun -

    If you have a concealed carry permit it is legal for you to drive through a state that does not allow concealed carry - provided your destination is another state that does. However, you should put the unloaded gun in the trunk (or as far away from you as physically possible) with any ammunition you may be carrying in a separate part of the car. The safest thing of all - to avoid any possible hassle with gun-unfriendly states/authorities - is to at least partially disassembly your gun and store it in a locked container in the trunk. Carry no ammo. This should make you "bulletproof" - so to speak - in the event you happen to get pulled over in a place like Washington, DC - and they want to try to hassle you about your possession of a firearm.

    * Shotgun racks are still legal -

    At least, in Virginia. So long as the gun isn't concealed, you may still carry - provided you live in what's known as an "open carry" state (like Virginia). However, legal and prudent are two very different things. If you don't have a permit, carrying a gun with you in your vehicle - "openly" or not - is a great way to get arrested and thrown in jail. Maybe worse. Sure, it will probably get sorted out - later, after you've spent time in the clink and had to spend who knows how much on expensive legal help. Not worth it. If you want to carry a firearm with you in your vehicle, get a permit. It'll make your life a lot easier.

    * Know the legal minutia -

    Even if you do have a concealed carry permit, there are still many areas where you can end up in a boatload of trouble if you are found to have a weapon on you - even just ammunition and no gun to go with it. The trooper gave us an example. Because of Homeland Security rules, even those with permits may not carry weapons onto airport property - even if all you're doing is dropping someone off at the curb and you never step out of your own vehicle. The presence of a single live round of ammo in your car that rolled under the seat and which you forgot all about could result in a felony conviction - if your car gets searched while on airport property. It is very important to know the law; where you can carry - and where you can't.

    So, how come I decided to get a permit to carry a concealed handgun? Aside from the fact that we live in weird times and you never know when having a gun could be the difference between life and death, I also liked the idea that having a permit might help me get out of a ticket someday. As mentioned earlier, if you have a permit, it means you have passed a criminal background check - which means you're probably not a dirt bag. At the least, you've never been convicted of a serious offense. Cops appreciate that. Compared with the stuff they have to wade through every day, you're looking pretty good to them.

    And that little bit of breaking the ice can often lead to getting a break!


  2. #2
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    Re: Packing heat in your car

    The site:
    http://www.usacarry.com/

    has an interactive map that lets you see what states will honor your CCW permit.

    Note that there are still localities (Chicago and a few suburbs, San Francisco, etc.) that do not allow ownership of handguns, despite state & federal laws to the contrary. It's your duty to know the laws of the area you're in, or plan to be traveling through.

    Chip H.


    Former owner: 2012 Honda Civic LX, 2006 Honda Ridgeline RTL, 2000 Honda CR-V EX, 2003 MINI Cooper S, 1992 Honda Accord LX, 1999 Mercedes ML-320, 1995 VW Jetta GLX, 1991 Mercury Capri XR2, 1981 Mercury Zephyr, 1975 Chevrolet Impala

  3. #3
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: Packing heat in your car

    Quote Originally Posted by chiph
    The site:
    http://www.usacarry.com/

    has an interactive map that lets you see what states will honor your CCW permit.

    Note that there are still localities (Chicago and a few suburbs, San Francisco, etc.) that do not allow ownership of handguns, despite state & federal laws to the contrary. It's your duty to know the laws of the area you're in, or plan to be traveling through.

    Chip H.

    Good stuff, Chip - thanks!

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    Re: Packing heat in your car

    This article has been posted on the main site with pictures:




    http://www.ericpetersautos.com/home/...0&Itemid=10898

  5. #5
    Senior Member grouch's Avatar
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    Re: Packing heat in your car



    I always wondered where my permit was good. I had heard Kentucky honored it but wasn't sure since if someone who told me that was wrong and I got stopped.......

    I rarely carry a pistol anyway. however, I often visit my mother in Ky after I check some property I have. I've had a lot of trouble with under age drinking and meth labs up there and have found fish hooks in the trees at times. There is always a pistol in my pocket when I'm up there. I checked the second site and Indiana is honoered in more states than I thought. Illinois is well known as a place you DON'T want to get caught with a pistol in your car.
    Honk if you love Jesus.

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  6. #6
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    Re: Packing heat in your car

    Fish hooks in the trees?

    I'm not sure what that indicates.
    The Earth Firsties will nail spikes into trees to injure/maim loggers...

    Chip H.


    Former owner: 2012 Honda Civic LX, 2006 Honda Ridgeline RTL, 2000 Honda CR-V EX, 2003 MINI Cooper S, 1992 Honda Accord LX, 1999 Mercedes ML-320, 1995 VW Jetta GLX, 1991 Mercury Capri XR2, 1981 Mercury Zephyr, 1975 Chevrolet Impala

  7. #7
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: Packing heat in your car

    Quote Originally Posted by grouch


    I always wondered where my permit was good. I had heard Kentucky honored it but wasn't sure since if someone who told me that was wrong and I got stopped.......

    I rarely carry a pistol anyway. however, I often visit my mother in Ky after I check some property I have. I've had a lot of trouble with under age drinking and meth labs up there and have found fish hooks in the trees at times. There is always a pistol in my pocket when I'm up there. I checked the second site and Indiana is honoered in more states than I thought. Illinois is well known as a place you DON'T want to get caught with a pistol in your car.
    I began thinking seriously about a CWP after the Tech shootings (we live not far away from Blacksburg) and some similar ugliness in our own county. I used to think that so long as you stayed away from "bad" neighborhoods and avoided certain situations, your chances of ever encountering a violent criminal were pretty low. However, I no longer like the odds - and have come to the sad conclusion that it's not at all unlikely that an Ordinary Joe or Jane, just minding their own business, may have to deal with a life or death situation where a handgun and the ability to use it could be all the difference in the world.

    I was confirmed in this belief during the state-required CWP class I took, when the Va. state trooper revealed an interesting tidbit of information to the students. He asked us where we thought it was most likely a regular citizen might encounter a violent criminal in the Roanoke area. No one knew the correct answer. Guess what it was?

    Valley View Mall - the major shopping mall in the area. It is not in a "bad" neighborhood - or a low-rent mall, either. It's a new mall, very suburban-esque, upper/high-end retail, etc. But that is why it is such a perfect Happy Hunting Ground for street thugs, who know there's an abundance of affluent doughy suburbanites (and women especially) there for the easy pickings.

    Anyhow, I decided that obtaining my permit was a prudent step to take - and certainly has no downsides that I can see.










  8. #8
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: Packing heat in your car

    Quote Originally Posted by chiph
    Fish hooks in the trees?

    I'm not sure what that indicates.
    The Earth Firsties will nail spikes into trees to injure/maim loggers...

    Chip H.
    Hey Chip,

    Do you own any Sig handguns?

    I have been looking at the P220 "Carry" in 45 ACP. Seems like a really nice pistol for concealed-carry; light and compact but plenty of punch and from everything I read, very accurate, too.



  9. #9
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    Re: Packing heat in your car

    I don't have any Sigs, but I have friends that do, including one with a P220.

    There are a couple of production variations that they have made over the years. Mainly differences in slide construction. The earlier ones used a breech block that was pinned into a folded-metal slide. The new ones are solid machined steel (for cost savings). Both are good, but the new ones will likely have a longer life. They're very nice pistols and would be a good choice.

    If you're looking for something that's really a good concealment pistol, take a look at the Kahr PM9 series. They're really thin (much thinner than a Glock), and very reliable as long as you use the recommended ammunition. Again, I don't have one, but I have a friend that does and he uses one as his backup pistol (his primary being a custom Ed Brown 1911 that costs more than some used cars)

    As with most things mechanical, proper maintenance is key. Buy a 'Bore Snake' which is an all-in-one brush and swab. Use it with either Remington Rem-Oil or Break-Free CLP. Store the pistol after wiping it dry. Re-oil it prior to going to the range. With most concealment pistols, it's the case that they're carried a lot, shot very little. So you want to oil it as part of the cleaning process to get the lubrication into the pores of the metal, but then wipe it dry so that it doesn't accumulate dirt & lint, or cause oil stains on your clothes.

    Get a good holster and belt, too. For the most part, you get what you pay for in a holster. Kahr resells Mitch Rosen, which are good.

    Chip H.

    Former owner: 2012 Honda Civic LX, 2006 Honda Ridgeline RTL, 2000 Honda CR-V EX, 2003 MINI Cooper S, 1992 Honda Accord LX, 1999 Mercedes ML-320, 1995 VW Jetta GLX, 1991 Mercury Capri XR2, 1981 Mercury Zephyr, 1975 Chevrolet Impala

  10. #10
    Senior Member grouch's Avatar
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    Re: Packing heat in your car

    Quote Originally Posted by chiph
    Fish hooks in the trees?

    I'm not sure what that indicates.
    The Earth Firsties will nail spikes into trees to injure/maim loggers...

    Chip H.


    Fish hooks are booby traps drug dealers use to protect their stash or crop. I've found unwrapped lithium batteries, cans of starting fluid with drain holes, empty packages of cold medicine and so on. The pile of empty Mountain Dew bottles eluded me until a narcotics officer I know told me the meth users use it for the sugar and caffeine. This is all the hallmarks of a meth lab. I keep an eye out for "Hanoi Hobbles", also known as "Toe Poppers" in the trails. I've wandered those woods since I was a child, although I don't remember the hills being that tall. A toe popper is a booby trap made from a mousetrap, a nail and a shotgun shell. They will knock you a$$ over tea kettle if you step on one.
    Honk if you love Jesus.

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  11. #11
    DonTom
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    Re: Packing heat in your car

    "I recently decided to get a concealed-carry permit so that I may legally keep a loaded handgun with me most places I go "

    Why? What type of places do you go to? I have a hard time buying that VA has that much crime.

    Carrying a gun everywhere I go would remind me of the army!

    Except in the army, "gun" means only a machine gun.

    -Don-

  12. #12
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: Packing heat in your car

    Quote Originally Posted by DonTom
    "I recently decided to get a concealed-carry permit so that I may legally keep a loaded handgun with me most places I go "

    Why? What type of places do you go to? I have a hard time buying that VA has that much crime.

    Carrying a gun everywhere I go would remind me of the army!

    Except in the army, "gun" means only a machine gun.

    -Don-
    See my earlier post a couple of posts above this one.

    In a nutshell, crime has become more random and unpredictable than it used to be. The Tech shootings being a case in point. You might be out for a movie or dinner and encounter some nutcase who has decided to go on a rampage.

    I'm a believer in being prepared. I'm a fairly big guy and can defend myself physically - but faced with an armed assailant it doesn't matter if you're Hulk Hogan or Bruce Lee. A gun is the only thing that might save you.

    Police can't be everywhere - and are under no obligation to protect you as an individual, either. If it comes down to it, your safety and well-being are up to you.

    There's no downside as far as I can see. A "carry" gun is typically compact and very light weight. For example, my Taurus Millenium (or the Sig P220 I may buy; see post to Chip). No one can tell you have it on you - and it's not a burden to have it on you, either. But it could be a lifesaver someday - literally.


  13. #13
    DonTom
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    Re: Packing heat in your car

    "In a nutshell, crime has become more random and unpredictable than it used to be."

    I agree, but I still think you're being a bit paranoid. And perhaps having a gun increases your odds of getting killed when there's a crime being committed. I guess it depends.

    Lately, in Oakland, CA, a lot of Chinese restaurants are being robbed, along with the customers. Some of these restaurants Tom & I have had dinner in at around the same time as they were robbed (but fortunately, on a different night!)

    Story here:

    http://www.ktvu.com/station/17117305/detail.html

    So far, nobody has been hurt and it might be because so far, only the robbers have guns.

    But it would feel good to blow all those scumbags away, wouldn't it? I wish somebody would. But I had enough combat in the army.

    -Don-

  14. #14
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: Packing heat in your car

    Quote Originally Posted by DonTom
    "In a nutshell, crime has become more random and unpredictable than it used to be."

    I agree, but I still think you're being a bit paranoid. And perhaps having a gun increases your odds of getting killed when there's a crime being committed. I guess it depends.

    Lately, in Oakland, CA, a lot of Chinese restaurants are being robbed, along with the customers. Some of these restaurants Tom & I have had dinner in at around the same time as they were robbed (but fortunately, on a different night!)

    Story here:

    http://www.ktvu.com/station/17117305/detail.html

    So far, nobody has been hurt and it might be because so far, only the robbers have guns.

    But it would feel good to blow all those scumbags away, wouldn't it? I wish somebody would. But I had enough combat in the army.

    -Don-
    The thing that worries me the most is that today's scumbags are more apt to just kill you - as opposed to the past when they mostly just wanted your money, etc.

    "F" that.

    And: People with permits are usually pretty good shots. They're not just random idiots who spray bullets everywhere; and more importantly, they're not the type to even produce their weapon unless they believe it is literally a question of life or death. I have no desire to shoot anyone and hope I never am in such a situation. But if I am, I would have no hesitation about defending myself - and would not feel bad about having done so, either. 8)

  15. #15
    DonTom
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    Re: Packing heat in your car


    "The thing that worries me the most is that today's scumbags are more apt to just kill you - as opposed to the past when they mostly just wanted your money, etc."

    Usually those scumbags are on drugs or have some other mental problem.

    But is there really that much crime in VA?

    -Don-


  16. #16
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: Packing heat in your car

    Quote Originally Posted by DonTom

    "The thing that worries me the most is that today's scumbags are more apt to just kill you - as opposed to the past when they mostly just wanted your money, etc."

    Usually those scumbags are on drugs or have some other mental problem.

    But is there really that much crime in VA?

    -Don-

    The Tech massacre was too close for comfort; we also have had spate of random attacks - and I am not into being a victim. As a practical matter, I would carry a weapon with me whenever and wherever I felt necessary.

    But having a permit means I can do so legally.




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    Re: Packing heat in your car

    The hard-core Meth users are easy to spot -- they're the ones with the bad teeth and look like zombies.

    The just-getting-started Meth users, unfortunately, look like everyone else.



    Chip H.

    Former owner: 2012 Honda Civic LX, 2006 Honda Ridgeline RTL, 2000 Honda CR-V EX, 2003 MINI Cooper S, 1992 Honda Accord LX, 1999 Mercedes ML-320, 1995 VW Jetta GLX, 1991 Mercury Capri XR2, 1981 Mercury Zephyr, 1975 Chevrolet Impala

  18. #18
    DonTom
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    Re: Packing heat in your car

    "As a practical matter, I would carry a weapon with me whenever and wherever I felt necessary."

    I have not felt that to be necessary since I was in Vietnam.

    "But having a permit means I can do so legally. "

    I know. But even if I had such a permit, I don't think I would ever "pack heat".


    "and I am not into being a victim."

    IYO, are you more likely to be a victim of violent crime or a 140 MPH motorcycle accident? ;D

    -Don- (Reno)

  19. #19
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: Packing heat in your car

    Quote Originally Posted by DonTom
    "As a practical matter, I would carry a weapon with me whenever and wherever I felt necessary."

    I have not felt that to be necessary since I was in Vietnam.

    "But having a permit means I can do so legally. "

    I know. But even if I had such a permit, I don't think I would ever "pack heat".


    "and I am not into being a victim."

    IYO, are you more likely to be a victim of violent crime or a 140 MPH motorcycle accident? ;D

    -Don- (Reno)
    I hope you never are a victim, either!

    That said, I believe in preparedness. Having a discretely carried handgun doesn't hurt me or anyone else; but it might be very nice to have someday.

    As far as the 140 mph motorcycle accident:

    First, it'd hopefully be closer to 160!

    Second, it's the same deal. I try to prepare for contingencies.....

    There are just too many maggots out and about these days. I agree the odds are low I'll ever need a gun for self defense. But not so low that I wish to risk not being unarmed, either!

    I wish more honest citizens would carry; it'd give the thugs something to think about....


  20. #20
    Senior Member J. ZIMM's Avatar
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    Re: Packing heat in your car

    Here on the West Coast, Washington State, my dad allways carried a side arm. He didn't have a permit, but he didn't have it concealed either. He wore it on his belt, out in the open, and never had any problems. That is called an unconcealed weapon, which in most states is perfectly legal. I can't say for the state of Oregon. Haven't tested the waters yet. And at my age, I more than likely would sink. I do know that some states are real butts when it comes to guns. Even with a permit, you can get into a wrath of crap IF you don't abide by the laws concerning a concealed gun permit, even from one state to another. If there are any links to guns, permits, the whyfores and whatevers on this side of the main land, put it out so some of us yahoo types know where we can pack our equalizers without filling up some good ol' boys gun display. :

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