We all are active members of the every-day carry (EDC) club, right? There are, however, places where we cannot go, armed. There are the obvious ones, such as bars, courthouses and federal buildings. Then there are the places that will be covered under state law, such as entertainment venues with more than “X” number of seats, retail outlets self-identified with the “no guns allowed” signs (although why you’d want to spend your hard-earned money with people who don’t want your business is beyond me) and the rest. The usual disclaimer: check local laws.
But, what do you do in those cases? Simple: store your gun in the car.
The approach I took was to take a basic and sturdy metal storage box, like the Hornady Tri-Point lockbox. I started with a much older box, much earlier in the EDC era, and I had to drill a couple of holes through the case. That approach allows you to use a cable that comes with the Tri-Point so you can secure the box to the seat frame of the vehicle we’re in.
This is important because a box by itself, in the car or truck, is only partially good. Someone who is paying attention can spot someone who is a member of the EDC club, and if they think there’s a chance to score a firearm, they’d simply be able to break a window and snatch the box. By fastening the box cable to the seat frame, the problem is now greatly magnified: the would-be miscreant has to spot us, break the window, get the box off of the seat frame, and then he has to escape to open the box later.
This is all obvious, and you should already be doing this. If you haven’t been, then you’re welcome, glad we could make things more secure for you.
But here’s the important thing to take from this bit of info: you want to be handling the firearm as little as possible. An example here is the stupid requirement the Armed Flight Deck Officer program insisted on: a lock through the holster. AFDOs had to, when it came time to stow the sidearm, take the holster off, then fit the lock through the holster, then lock the locked holster up in a storage container.
But the more you handle a loaded firearm, the grater the chances something will go wrong. So, don’t handle it any more than you have to. Ideally, this would mean leaving it in your holster while you go about your daily business, but our political betters have decided otherwise. So, we have to store our EDC while we do some things.
Here are some things to keep in mind when you have to do that:
Don’t be in a hurry. Stop for a moment, take a breath, and remind yourself of the task you are going to perform, and the steps involved.
Glance around. Use the mirrors. You don’t want to be unholstering the moment the soccer mom is wrangling the kids into the minivan next to you.
Fish out the box, unlock and open it.
Trigger finger straight, smoothly unholster, and get the handgun and spare ammo (plus knives, if the place you are going will be tetchy about them) into the box in single easy motions.
Lock the box, slide it under the seat, and make sure you have whatever paperwork you came there to get handled, ready to go.
Get out, watching your six, lock the car and walk to the entrance as if this was just another day, and another common aspect of modern life.
Back when I was working in various gun shops, and we were playing “spot the gun,” the easiest way to pick the gun carrier was they were obviously hyper-aware. They were too obviously looking for the person who was looking for them. An EDC tell, if you will. Don’t be that guy.
Once you are back, repeat the process, but when you come back you have an advantage: you can more-easily scan the area to make sure you won‘t be inadvertently disclosing yourself as an EDC, gearing back up.
EDC, it is a normal part of daily life, treat it as such, while being careful.