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As a law-abiding citizen of the United States, you have the right to bear arms and purchase a vehicle. However, if you want to safely patronize a range, go hunting, or just transport your firearm in your car, you must know your state’s laws regarding keeping a gun in your car or truck. Otherwise, you’re in for a nasty interaction with law enforcement. 

Depending on the state you live in, you may travel with and store a gun in your car or truck

Unsurprisingly, some states take issue with gun owners transporting and storing firearms in their cars and trucks. For instance, the State of California allows law-abiding gun owners to transport their firearms in their cars, provided they’re unloaded and locked in the vehicle’s trunk or a similar storage container. However, in the State of Texas, a driver can cruise the roads with a loaded gun in their vehicle.

As such, gun owners must know their state and local laws regarding guns in cars and other personally owned vehicles. What’s more, just because you’re old enough to possess a license and a firearm doesn’t mean you’re in the right. For instance, at the federal level under Title 18, United States Code, Section 922, convicted felons can’t legally possess, transport, sell, or purchase a firearm.

A truck owner reaches for a concealed gun in their glove compartment.
A Glock replica in a glove compartment | vasiliybudarin via iStock

However, if you are legally allowed to have a firearm in your possession and follow your state’s regulations, you can keep a gun in your car or truck. In fact, many gun owners designate one of their firearms as a “car gun,” meaning its size and style lend themselves to vehicle accessibility.

That said, leaving a dedicated car gun or truck gun in your vehicle does invite the prospect of theft. And, as you might imagine, a stolen firearm isn’t just a hassle with the police. It’s a dangerous implement in the hands of a criminal. Tragically, some gun owners have issues with break-ins and stolen firearms due to gun-themed stickers on their vehicles. Opportunists know the logos, assume a gun is in the vehicle, and help themselves. Consequently, it makes the most sense not to leave a gun in your car for extended periods of time. That, and it’s unwise to advertise your affinity for firearm brands with decals.