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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