How to Travel with your Handgun

How to Travel with your Handgun

I have heard too many stories of people running into trouble with criminals when traveling.  I suppose that you are in unfamiliar areas, you probably look like you are not local (not to mention your license plate may be different) and your mind is not concentrating on safety (it is on driving or finding the McDonalds).  We often take a 4 hour road trip to see my in-laws.   I will always carry my Glock 27 on me while in the car.

While my in-laws are pro-gun, I need to still take care and secure my pistol from my children and other untrained adults.  Here are some thoughts on how and where to store your pistol when you travel:

  • Find out if your destination has a pistol safe.  You would be surprised that most homeowners have at least a conventional safe that they use for valuables and important documents.  Your hosts may be relieved or more than happy to put your pistol in their safe.  It might even be a great opportunity to discuss the merits of owning a handgun for personal protection (but that is a topic for another post).  Many hotels will have in-room safes or they may have safes that are accessed behind the front counter.  I would be very hesitant to turn over the gun to the front desk.  Make sure that you personally lock the gun in the safe and I would consider securing it unloaded.
  • Purchase a small travel Secure-It® Handgun Storage Safe works great as a gun travel case.  In fact, this is the small metal box that I recommend that people buy for a vehicle safe.  This little guy can be very versatile.  You can simply put your pistol in this box and then leave out in plain view as you have the key in your pocket.  And at only $30-40, it is a pretty cheap investment.
  • If there are no other options or you are going somewhere that won’t have a safe, like camping, here is a cheap idea.  Most police stations give away free gun locks.  These are small cable locks that have a keyed lock on the end.  They open and slide the cable through the open chamber on your pistol and then lock.  While these are not best pistol safes, they will prevent the gun from being used by a child.  I have even wrapped the cable around something else to keep the gun safe from theft (again, a determined thief could steal this, but a casual one may not try that hard).

On a different note, before you leave your home, make sure that you have the serial number of your pistol written down.  Just in case it is stolen on your trip, you can quickly give the police the serial number.  It will make it easier for them to return it to you if they find it.

Think about where you are going to secure your pistol before you leave home.  You don’t want to arrive at your destination and trying to find a place to keep your handgun safe.

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