TRUCK GUN CONSIDERATIONS
TRUCK GUN CONSIDERATIONS
I wrote a previously published article titled The Truck Gun Concept (also Known as the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly”) in which I discussed some valid reasons that concealed carriers might benefit from keeping a “truck gun” (or “trunk gun”) in their vehicles as a supplement to their concealed handgun for those situations in which a long gun would be superior to a handgun for defensive purposes. Something like a Remington 870 shotgun or Marlin lever-action 30-30 works quite well for concealed carriers who must travel through states where concealed carry of handguns is unlawful. Popular truck guns in 2020 include the AR-15, AK-47 clones, and AR-15 pistols chambered in .223/5.56mm, .300 Blackout, and pistol calibers like the 9mm.
Keeping a truck gun inside the cabin area or the trunk exposes it to theft. A large percentage of violent crime in which firearms were used was with firearms that were stolen from vehicles. The best way to store a truck gun is most likely going to be inside a locked vault bolted to the floor of the cab or bed of a SUV, van, or pickup, or bolted to the floor inside the trunk of a car.
There are several options for securing a long gun in a vehicle depending upon the owner’s vehicle, current configuration, and even storage preference. Vehicle styles most typically encountered will be two-door coupe, four-door sedan, SUV, van, or pickup. Configuration might include owner aftermarket purchases such as a camper shell or tonneau cover. Storage preference is dictated by the owner’s preference. For instance, the owner of a pickup may want to store his or her long gun in the cab of the truck under the back seat or in the bed of the truck. It is important to note that it is unlikely that any of these methods will deny access to a motivated burglar or car thief (there is a difference) who has the time and tools to defeat the locks. I think such devices are best viewed as a significant deterrent to a “smash and grab” burglar, and under no circumstances would I leave a long gun so secured in a vehicle that is not garaged or parked in a manner that would deter car burglars and thieves. A long gun is just not as safe as it would be in a locked gun safe in a home that is secured by locked doors and an engaged monitored security system.
Set out below are several options for securing long guns in vehicles:
- Hornady RAPiD Safe AR Gunlocker (primarily SUV, van, and car trunk carry)
- Heracles Research Corp. TruckBunker (truck cab crew cab carry)
- Tuffy Security Products Rear Seat Lockbox (truck crew cab carry)
- TruckVault Secure Storage Boxes (various options for use in SUVs and open and covered pickup beds)
Locking mechanisms are typically a combination keypad, fob, or key. Consideration should be given to the pros and cons of each locking mechanism in terms of convenience and speed of access.
I know several persons who have had their vehicle stolen, but so far I do not know anybody that has had their house or apartment stolen. I do not know anybody that has had their house or apartment wrecked, but I personally have been in three car wrecks over the years. To that end, I prefer to leave my custom Lone Star Armory 6.8 SPC with a Leupold Mark IV Scope at home where it will never absorb some of the impact from being rear-ended unless I am taking it somewhere to shoot or hunt and then back to home. A far more replaceable long gun would get my nod for constant vehicle carry.
Before getting involved in a third-party defensive situation concealed carriers might ask themselves whether or not their intervention would actually make things better and what are the possible risks they may be assuming. The several minutes it might take to access a truck gun in a situation where every second might count means that if rapid action was needed by the concealed carrier in order to defend him or herself or others, immediately defaulting to the concealed handgun might be the better choice.
There is always going to be a chance that a concealed carrier with good intentions is mistakenly engaged by responding law enforcement or another concealed carrier. Of course, the same is true if a concealed carrier uses a handgun instead of a long gun, but the chances that it might incur because of the long gun are likely to increase because of its association with active shooters. Since it may take several minutes to access a secured truck gun, it might not hurt during that time period to reflect upon the advice of defensive firearms trainer Claude Werner, who suggested that concealed carriers might be well served to stick to the following four strategies when it comes to personal protection:
- I want to protect myself.
- I want to protect my friends and family.
- I want to remain financially solid.
- I want to avoid going to jail or prison.
Prior to going to the defense of unknown third parties, concealed carriers might be well-served to ask themselves if their motivation is to just be a hero or if what is taking place before their eyes is so shocking to their conscience that even if they had every intent of avoiding an encounter with the legal system and or a civil lawsuit they still would never be able to live with what they failed to do for the remainder of their life. This means being aware of the dangers that lies with misreading the situation, getting seriously injured or killed, or firing a shot that hits a bystander.
One last thing: concealed carriers who own truck guns but have not had prior formal training with a defensive rifle or shotgun should really give some serious thought to doing so. A good instructor will teach his or her students how to get a long gun quickly and safely into action, keep it up and running, and use it responsibly in a high-stress situation where seconds (and lives) truly matter. There is a reason that armed professionals who must be prepared to go into harm’s way with little notice take training seriously and are dismissive of those who believe that they will just “deal with that problem when they get to it.”
Am I pro-truck gun or not? The answer is yes, but I need to remember that I am adding to my list one more thing that I need to proactively keep up with.
Steve Moses has been a defensive firearms trainer for over 26 years and is a licensed Texas Personal Protection Officer with 7 years of experience performing as shift lead on a church security detail for a D/FW area metro-church. Steve is a co-owner and Director of Training for Palisade Training Group, LLC based in Dallas, Texas. Moses is a retired deputy constable and spent over 10 years on a multi-precinct Special Response Team. He owns multiple instructor certifications, including Rangemaster Advanced Handgun Instructor and Defensive Shotgun Instructor, Red Zone Knife Defense Instructor and Adaptive Striking Foundations Instructor, Modern Samurai Project Red Dot Sight Instructor, and State of Texas Personal Protection Officer Instructor. Steve holds a BJJ Brown Belt in Relson Gracie Jiu Jitsu. He is a content contributor for CCW Safe and writes weekly articles on various subjects of interest to concealed carriers. Moses shoots competitively and holds an IDPA Expert rating. Steve is an annual presenter at the Rangemaster Tactical Conference.