By: Robert R.
Read Time: 5-7 mins
As I sat down to write this, I did a quick Google Search. “Truck Gun.”
231,000,000 Million Results.
Truck Guns are one of the most popular, and most hotly contested topics in the firearms community. PCC or Rifle Caliber? How long should the barrel be? What kind of optic should it have? All of these and many more are questions firearms enthusiasts love to debate and pontificate over when they are purchasing a new gun for their vehicle. And while I love these conversations as much as the next guy, I believe responsible gun owners should think seriously about their individual needs, use case, and security system, as the risk of your firearm falling into the wrong hands may outweigh the benefits.
Generally speaking, a “Truck Gun” is either a pistol caliber carbine, rifle caliber pistol, or a full size rifle the owner keeps in a vehicle. Many owners keep it there for defensive use, impromptu range trips, or as a primary weapon if SHTF. People who live in rural settings may keep the firearm in their vehicle for predator or varmint control. The general concept is to supplement your everyday carry with a more capable weapon, available to you when you are away from your castle. The advantages typically include higher magazine capacity, more effective calibers, longer barrels for better ballistic performance, and more physical contact points. All of these are advantages any shooter would want when they have to take a shot.
I have talked to plenty of people who have purchased or built firearms to live in their vehicles. Some have told me their EDC pistol is “so they can fight their way to their rifle” in case they need to deploy a weapon defensively. Some people have told me they have them in their vehicles in case of disaster while they are away from home, such as a SHTF situation. While I appreciate and applaud the desire to be prepared to protect oneself and other innocent bystanders, and the quest to have the most capable firearm possible, I think responsible gun owners must consider one of the most common ways criminals get access to guns used to commit violent crime.
Firearm Theft from Vehicles
According to a study from 2017, approximately 380,000 firearms are stolen each year. That's one firearm every 90 seconds. At risk of stating the obvious, the individuals stealing guns are not “good guys” and are by defitioniton, criminals. Even by conservative estimates, these criminals, in only three years, will take over 1,000,000 firearms and release them into the streets to be used in gang violence, home invasions, robberies, murders, and other horrific crimes. While there is no national data on how many of these are stolen from vehicles, data from individual cities suggest that hundreds of thousands of these stolen guns were taken from vehicles  .
If you are responsible enough to read this article, I don't need to express to you why this is such a problem. You are likely the type of person who abhors this criminal violence, and probably owns and carries a firearm to protect yourself and others from it. As responsible gun owners, we seek to make our society and communities safer. Part of that responsibility is doing our part to keep weapons out of the hands of those who would use them to harm others, which is why it is so critical for us to keep our weapons secure, either locked away tightly or in our direct control. I cannot imagine the guilt any of us would feel if we found out a weapon we acquired to protect with, had been used by criminal elements to harm others. Beyond these reasons, if your firearm is stolen from your vehicle, you may find yourself under police investigation and wondering about your own legal liability.
So, what is a concerned citizen to do?
Looking at the goals of a truck gun, we can make strides towards preparing ourselves for contingencies, while keeping our guns secure. As mentioned previously, our goal here is to have access to a firearm that gives us the best chance of quickly and effectively ending a defensive situation.
Full Size Concealed Carry:
For one, various companies have released cutting edge holster technology, allowing users to comfortably and effectively carry larger and more capable handguns. The New Sidecar Holster from TREX Arms allows the user to carry a Glock 17 full size pistol with a red dot sight, weapon mounted light, and an extra magazine. This allows the user to have considerable effective firepower on their person at all times, partially negating the need for a truck gun.
Clothing choice also helps. While most of us love to wear jeans and a tshirt all the time, carrying a firearm necessitates some creative choices. Simple button down shirts, short or long sleeve are comfortable, allow for a varied wardrobe, and are excellent at effectively concealing large frame handguns. Yes, there is a reason all your favorite gun YouTubers wear these. If you buy your pants a couple sizes larger than you really wear, this also increases the comfort factor. Finally, a solid gunbelt, like the Magpul Tejas, keeps the gun firmly in place and doesn't let your pants sag from the added weight.
So a full size handgun with a light and red dot isn't enough? Well then, consider a fuller size pistol or SBR/SBS in a bag. This includes popular firearms such as the CZ Scorpion, MP5 derivatives, the myriad of AR and AK pistols, and tons of other capable firearms. By carrying the firearm in a bag, we maintain the ability to keep the weapon in our direct control. It is obviously critical that you keep the bag on your person at all times, lest a wandering eye grow legs and walk off with your firearm.
The dominance of pistol braces on the market today make this a true contender. With folding braces and collapsing such as the SB SBT, you can keep your large guns on your person, stored in a bag. Of course, one of the finest bags for this purpose is the Cannae Pro Gear Legion. With its full face opening, you can open the entire bag and quickly access your firearm. Consider 20 round magazines, as they typically do not increase the gun’s profile by extending past the pistol grip like 30 round magazines typically do.
Sometimes, you really just need to be able to keep a long gun in a vehicle, perhaps if you are law enforcement, or live and work on a ranch. If you decide you must store a gun in a vehicle, consider some sort of very secure locking system. Truck Vault makes high quality secure storage units which can hold various firearms, but there are numerous manufacturers. These rigs either contain built in locks or allow you to add your own. However, they are very expensive, sometimes into the thousands of dollars. Handy individuals may be able to DIY their own locking system, but these will likely be less secure than the commercial models.
Make no mistake, these are not invulnerable. Even the best can be defeated by a determined intruder with the proper equipment, sometimes as simple as a crowbar. Even this solution should be used temporarily and sporadically, and not relied on when leaving your vehicle for extended periods of time, especially when the vehicle is somewhere it is not being monitored.
The decision of what firearm to carry and how to carry it, is ultimately a decision that each individual needs to make based on their use case, applicable laws, and personal preferences. Hopefully this article has given you some ideas on how to safely secure the firearm that is right for you. More than likely, the reason you carry is to keep yourself, your family, and your community safe. Stolen firearms do the opposite.
*This article discusses the carrying, storage, and use of firearms. All material is presented for educational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. It is your responsibility as a gun owner to research and know local, state, and federal laws regarding the safe handling and storage of firearms, and follow them appropriately.*