What to Do When Travelling With Guns

By Home Defense Gun Staffer Ashleytravelling with guns

Traveling With Guns

Most people have a favorite way to carry concealed for everyday carry. But is that everyday carry right for road tripping across the state or across several states?  I bring this up because I travel a lot for work and visiting family. I have learned that how I carry at home and around town may not be the most feasible for road trips. This article is about what I found worked for me, and what I found won’t work for me.

We all know to lock our doors, not leave valuables in plain sight and to stop in well-lit or high traffic areas when traveling. When carrying concealed there are a few more things to consider. Where is the best place to carry? If crossing state lines what are all the laws in the other states? Will there be nights spent in hotels? Staying safe and keeping the family safe is the number one priority, enjoying the traveling experience whether it be business or fun is second.

 For those that carry everyday with an inside the waist band (IWB) holster they may find that this doesn’t work as well for long road trips. When getting into your car, turning on the tunes and traveling in the seated drivers position comfort starts to be something to think about. I realize that many feel that sacrificing the body’s comfort is just part of carrying; however, some people have bad backs and sciatic nerve issues. When the legs go numb or a person cannot stand without considerable pain when exiting the vehicle it is time to look at other options.

 I am a big fan of a belly band type set up for everyday carry as I find it works best for me. However, I found that my favorite position, about the 11 o’clock, is not conducive to driving as the barrel ends up pointing directly into my leg. I also discovered that the seat belt prevents me from drawing in emergency situations.

After a situation where I was rear ended by an individual, that was less than stellar, and had the individual attempt to crawl into the window, I really started to think about other options for my carrying. I considered using the side door pocket, as it would be easily accessible; however, I don’t have a holster that would secure it in this position and keep it in one place during an impact type situation. Not to mention that it would need to be moved, or concealed, each time you opened the door. I am not a big fan of leaving my gun locked in my car.

I considered an under the steering wheel holster for my husband, but realized this may not be a great option for long road trips that we both go on. It would work great for him, but my shorter stature makes this option unfeasible. I sit much closer to the steering wheel and would rack my knees on the holster. I also found that it was not easy for me to reach that area while being able to keep my gaze through a window. This is something that is a purely personal preference, and for other couples this may work great.

I have looked into other options and settled on a concealed carry mommy bag that is not name brand. This has a dedicated pocket for concealed carry, room for my wallet, a change of clothes and diaper and wipes. Mine goes over the shoulder and across the body making it easy to handle while carrying the little one. The concealed pocket itself is lined with Velcro and I have a Velcro travelling with gunsstrap that wraps around my gun. This keeps it in place while the bag gets jostled around yet allows for easy drawing if need be.

I have found that a holster for the bed is nice when spending the night in hotels. Rather than having a firearm on the dresser it fits into a nice snug holster. The holster I have has a paddle that slips between the mattress and box spring (or platform depending on the hotel). If someone, for some reason, does decide to make their unwanted way into the hotel room, they are more likely to expect a firearm on a night stand or in the night stand drawer.

During my travels I have found that it is helpful to get information from more than just the state guidelines. Some counties have specific laws for their county. For example: Open carry is legal in the State of Oregon, with the exception of Multnomah and Washington county. Here open carry is prohibited, but concealed carry is still acceptable with the proper licensing.

 One additional tip: While traveling with my husband we have found that naming our guns something innocuous is helpful. It helps for conversations in public places and facilitates communication that may be needed.  

What do you do for defense when traveling ? Let us know in the comments.

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  1. Helen Rose-Spino says:

    How do you get a permit to carry in other states? I travel a lot by myself and go through different states. I don’t carry out of mine because,well,I just don’t feel like doing 20 years for crossing state lines with a weapon. Is there a way to get a permit or license to carry in other states?

    • Steele Devers says:

      You can look up what states except the CPL from your state to make sure everything is legal

    • I live in Utah. Our CCW is accepted in 34 other states. You don’t have to be a resident to get one. There is an app for your smart phone or tablet called, ” Legal Heat”. It costs .99. It show which states have reciprocal agreements with other states plus other gun related issues for each state. Well worth the 99 cents.

    • Most states will give you a non resident permit. I live in Oregon and have a Washington permit as well as Oregon. If you google it you can find which states will issue and which may issue. Most states will issue. Before you do that see is those states honor the permit you have

    • Helen, Carrying a concealed weapon across state lines, depends upon the state. It is possible to get “non-resident” concealed carry licenses. Also, there are certain states in which you can obtain that non-resident license. Then these states accept/honor CCW permits from still other states. For instance, a South Carolina CWP is also accepted in Florida

  2. robert Leath says:

    Most states recognize CCW’s from other states. If you do a google search, or when you go take the CCW class, your instructor should be able to tell you. I live in Ohio and 25 or 26 other states will honor our CCW.

  3. richard austin says:

    get a conc carry permit and most states have resiprocity? with youe home state.

  4. TwinReverb says:

    Cobra OWB holster for the win.

  5. Helen, go to http://www.usacarry.com/concealed_carry_permit_reciprocity_maps.html

    There you can see what other states honor your states ccw/chl. Don’t forget to read the notes at the bottom.

    Good luck.

  6. I always have my 1911 handy. And I’m more than willing to make my way around states that don’t accept my ccw.

    • randy prine says:

      Live in Indiana travel to MO. to see in-laws. Illinois don’t accept anyone’s ccw. We cross at St. Louis that would be a long way around.

  7. I believe non-residents traveling thru a state not offering reciprocity requires a handgun to be secured in the glove box, console or luggage compartment.

  8. David Graham says:

    Get the app LEGAL HEAT for your smart phone. It is 99 cents and covers ALL states and DC and reciprocity and transport rules. WORTH EVERY PENNY !!!!

  9. A very interesting insight into your experiences travelling with guns. As a British citizen it appears we are worlds apart in regards to our travelling practices.

  10. Ted Carlton says:

    I use a belly band almost all the time. When on a trip, I wrap it across my chest and use it like a shoulder holster.

  11. randy prine says:

    I think your car should be the same as being in your home and not require a permit.

  12. Texas as well

  13. Dr David Dale says:

    In KY you can keep it in your glove box without a permit

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