Whether you are driving your family along the east coast, traveling for a business trip, or just going to work in the morning you may be wondering how concealed carry works if you are driving.
First, to start with the basics, can you concealed carry while driving? Yes, if you have a valid concealed carry permit. Each state is going to have specific rules and regulations regarding concealed carry while driving so please check your state’s laws for more information.
If you don’t have a concealed carry permit and want or need to drive with a gun in the vehicle different rules may apply than if you have a concealed carry permit so please check your state’s laws about driving with a gun in the vehicle.
Now we’ve discussed that you can concealed carry while driving, but what does that actually mean?
What is considered concealed carry while driving?
Each state may have their own descriptions of what it means to conceal carry in a vehicle. In Florida as long as your weapon is not visible, aka concealed, it is considered concealed carry.
As previously mentioned, to conceal carry you must have a valid concealed carry permit. While you are driving no one unauthorized should be able to access it. Your 5 year old in the back seat should not have any chance of getting a hold of your gun.
No matter what, if you are concealed carrying while driving make sure you are carrying in a comfortable position and are doing so in a way that is safe for everyone.
What to do if you are pulled over while concealed carrying?
In some states you may have an obligation to disclose, also known as a duty to inform. This means if you encounter a law enforcement officer and are concealed carrying you may have to tell them you have a gun on your person or in your vehicle. Not all states have this requirement.
In states like California, Michigan, and Nebraska among others, you are required to inform the officer that you have a firearm on you. In others like Florida, New Jersey, Missouri, and many more you are only required to inform them if they ask.
There may be more specific rules and regulations per state as to when you do or do not need to disclose that you have a weapon on you. So we urge you to look up your state’s laws on this subject so that you don’t risk endangering yourself or others, or even jail time.
If you are going to conceal carry while driving it is best to make sure you know if you have an obligation to disclose before doing so.
Can you travel between states while concealed carrying?
Yes, oftentimes you can conceal carry while you are traveling between states. There are only a few states that will not honor permits from out of state or from certain states.
The states that allow out of state permits to be honored have a reciprocity agreement between them. Not all states have these agreements and some states have further requirements for the concealed carry permit to be honored.
States like Illinois, Massachusetts, New York, and a few others will not honor permits from any other state. Whereas states like Alabama, North Carolina, Ohio, and many more will honor any U.S. issued concealed carry permit. Other states like Florida, Georgia, and Washington to name a few, only honor permits from a select group of states.
If you are taking your family on vacation and want to carry so you can protect them if needed you may be able to, just check with the states you are traveling through for their reciprocity laws.
Is driving while concealed carrying comfortable?
It can be depending on how you carry. When you are driving you are in a seated position. If you appendix carry, your gun and holster may dig into your stomach. This can be very uncomfortable if you are traveling for more than a quick trip into town.
If you are driving for a long trip, like a family vacation, you may want to try carrying in a 4-5 or 7-8 o’clock position or placing your gun in a secure location rather than carrying it on your person.
So, if you tend to take long trips for business or with your family and prefer to carry appendix you may discover it can get uncomfortable after a while. If this is the case you might want to try a different position or place it somewhere else inside your vehicle.
Other things you may want to consider
In addition to what we mentioned above, there are a few more things you may want to consider about driving while concealed carrying.
- Getting a gun safe for your vehicle - If you find that you often need to leave your gun in the car while you are in a building, you may want to consider investing in a gun safe. Amazon has quite a few options for quality car gun safes that you may want to check out.
- Your seat could be damaged depending on how you carry - If you like to carry in the 4-5 or 7-8 o’clock positions your gun may leave an indent on your seat, especially if you have leather seats. So, if you have a nicer vehicle you may want to consider how you carry while driving.
- Rental companies aren’t always clear on their gun policies - If you are traveling by plane or renting a car for business you may want to check the rental car company’s policies about having a gun in the vehicle before bringing your concealed carry weapon. Some rental car companies may not allow weapons to be carried in their vehicles.
Let’s review, if you have a concealed carry permit you can conceal carry while driving as long as you follow state rules and regulations. Make sure to know if you are required to disclose that you have a firearm in your vehicle if you get pulled over before you drive with it. Some states have reciprocity agreements allowing you concealed carry while traveling in them. You may find some positions more comfortable than others when driving.
Ultimately, with concealed carrying while driving, it comes down to what you prefer and what meets your needs. We recommend visiting our Holsters by Gun Model page if you are looking for holsters that are custom made for your weapon of choice. For all of our belt and holster options and for more information to help you choose the carry system that works best for you, visit our Vedder Holsters website.
Looking for items beyond holsters and belts, check out our Resources Page for popular product links like lights, laser, first aid, maintenance, and more.