Guns in cars, how common is it and are they loaded?

OK, I am ignorant about this stuff, but drive by shootings etc. got me to wondering.

it probably depends on where you live, but more common then you would think.

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Lived down south for a while, remember seeing the guns in a rack of the back window of a pickup with rifles or shotguns. Have not seen that lately.

you use to be able to do that in NY too. laws have changed.

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Very commonly seen when I lived in Colorado. Hunters driving pickups tended to bring their guns w/them, just in case they saw a duck on the way to work. Not in Calif. It’s probably become an uncommon sight in Colorado by now.

Can I Carry a Gun in My Car While Traveling? | Pelican

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In my hunting days in Utah, yes I had an “Easy Rider” gun rack. Rifle/Shotgun were carried unloaded.
Now in Florida.
I have a CWP, so I could carry a loaded pistol in my car, if I chose to do so. So far have not chosen to carry anywhere.
No CWP? Gun must must be unloaded.

I find a few hand guns each year, the most recent was November 3rd while replacing a cabin air filter. Glove box unlocked, vehicle unlocked while in the parking lot.

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I generally only carry one in my car when I have to drive to Memphis :laughing:

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There are a number of states that allow car carry of loaded handguns in the glovebox. Not a locked glovebox, just closed. Florida and Georgia being 2. That is without concealed carry permits. Many, many more with a CCP. Fairly common in Florida from the news as boneheads don’t lock their cars and guns get stolen.


I’m in New Jersey, we have very strict firearms regulations here, and carry permits are almost impossible to obtain. carrying a long gun in the back window of a pickup truck would likely get you stopped quickly by a cop.

Last week someone left their keys in the car when they went to pump gas, car stolen with a handgun inside. Car was found a day later undamaged but the gun was stolen. The report didn’t say where the gun was in the vehicle.

In Minnesota rifles and shot guns are unloaded and in a case or broken down if not in a case. This is mostly DNR regulation.

Not clear on hand guns if you have a concealed carry permit but believe they can be loaded and of course on you or accessible. The key is having the permit. Minnesota is a shall issue state so the local Sheriff approves permits as long as training has been completed, and there is no mental or criminal justification for not issuing.

Now if you are transporting a hand gun from one state to another, according to federal law, it must be permitted in the originating state and then the destination state. You are allowed to travel through restricted states like NJ and NY but you must not stop or could end up with endless legal fees and trips back to defend yourself. You may stop for gas and rest rooms but do not sleep or tarry. Get the heck out of there for your own good. In addition the weapon must be unloaded, cased, and in the trunk or outside of reach-for traveling only.

Until we have reasonable federal laws recognizing state statutes like for drivers licenses.


Since I was 12 or 13 was trained by the NRA in gun safety practices and then the Army. There are certain rules like always considering a gun loaded, never pointing it at anyone, keeping your dang finger off of the trigger, always knowing your back drop etc. Courtroom lawyers, Alec Baldwin, and drive-by shooters know nothing about gun safety and certainly don’t follow it, regardless of what laws are being violated. The guy should have been thrown out of the courtroom and made to write an essay by pointing an AR15 at jurors with his finger on the trigger. &%$*&%$$!!

Ooof Sorry. That got me warmed up a little.


he should have gotten fined and made to take a gun safety course.
the court should not allow it. he should have used a toy one.

As @bing pointed out, there is no federal statute that covers transport from state to state so it is up to the driver to find the most restrictive laws in the state they are passing through and meet that.

I was not a CCP holder when I moved from Ohio to Florida. Ohio law says, unloaded, locked case, in trunk, seperated from ammo. Kentucky was similar, Tennessee a bit less strict. GA and FL, loaded in a glovebox is OK.

It pays to get a CCP just to make transport easier within your own state let alone across state lines. Many, many states have reciprocity so a FL CCP is accepted across much of the US. There are websites that can guide you. It is important to know the laws.

Stay out of NJ, NY, CA and a few others even if only passing through while transporting. Go around.

I am probably moving from NY to Florida next year. I plan on taking my hunting rifles in a locked case and ammo in a separate locked ammo case and kept in the back of the vehicle. I have found a lot on handgun rules for transport but nothing really on rifle transport.

Be sure to watch Easy rider before you buy one.

Ya know I did not even think about it taking my shotgun up to MN last summer, unloaded, soft case no gun lock buried under luggage, Holy Cow. Ammo stored separately, and I was worried speeding was my biggest law digression. Just my 410 to try and scare bear away if needed, not to hurt them. Some idiots on the lake are feeding the bears. Our dumpster even got raided. So I was a car with a gun! Did not even dawn on me. And yes it is legal to shoot guns where we are in MN.

No, there “IS” a federal statute that only covers transport from one state to the next. You are protected against prosecution unless you stop in an unfriendly state. As long as you don’t stop and meet the criteria of unloaded, in case, etc. they can’t arrest. Well they can arrest but you’ll be free eventually. Just don’t stop.