If someone is habitual in carrying a gun, he/she will want to carry it everywhere. You have holsters that can be worn and carried around all day, but what about when you are driving? I’m sure everybody understands that pulling a handgun out of an IWB/OWB body holster is not an easy task when you are in a car seat. Plus, there are respective state laws that have to be abided by when carrying a gun inside a vehicle.

This is where a vehicle holster, or to be specific, a car holster comes in. Use this guide to start unfolding this wide but interesting topic that can prove phenomenal in saving your life someday. 

Taking gun out of glove compartment

What Is a Car Holster?

A car holster refers to a handgun holster that has been designed to be mounted/stored inside a car. Such a holster is not donned on the body and is easily accessible when needed. These holsters can be made using polymers, metal, nylon, or leather and there is a range of mounting mechanisms that differs car holsters from one another. 

A car holster can either serve the purpose of concealed carry or it may also be designed to comply with specific state laws. Since there are several states which do not allow the transportation of a gun inside a vehicle without a locked box. 

Different Types of Car Holsters

With evolving technology, car holsters have also changed in shape and design. There are several different designs that serve specific situations and have their own pros and cons. From improvised DIY solutions to fancy commercial options, there’s a lot to choose from when holsters are concerned. 

DIY Car Holster

Before car holsters were too prevalent, the obvious idea was to come up with a DIY solution. Some people either have too specific personal tastes or can be too lazy to find a dedicated car holster. So they create their own hybrid holster designs, like a nylon holster strapped to the seat, or a pocket holster glued somewhere under the dashboard. 

The idea with these DIY holsters is to find the best fit, comfort, and access according to personal preferences. 

Magnetic Car Holsters

These are among the simplest of any car holster designs you will ever encounter. It is basically a strip of metal that has to be mounted (at the dashboard, door, or wherever you like) inside the vehicle using a few screws. 

Since the strip is magnetic, it quickly pulls the metal slide when the handgun is taken near it. These strips do not interfere with routine movements and do not even feel like something is there. You also do not have to look when re-holstering the weapon, just move it around the strip and it will automatically snap into place. 

However, on the flip side, the trigger is always exposed, and the gun is prone to snagging if the mount is positioned in the wrong spot. 

Car Gun Safe 

A fairly popular method of carrying a weapon inside a car is with a small gun safe. There are literally a ton of exciting vehicle carry gun safe options out there. From sliders to drop-down drawer designs, you can choose among keylock, biometric lock, or electronic lock options. 

Such gun safes can either be mounted on the center console, under the seat, under the dashboard or possibly anywhere it can fit. Sometimes having a car gun safe becomes mandatory to comply with local gun laws that prohibit carrying around a weapon in the glove box. 

A car gun safe can be the safest carry option because it keeps the firearm concealed and protected. Even if a burglar breaks inside your car, the chances of your handgun getting stolen are almost non-existent. 

Instead of all the benefits of such a gun safe, I will still recommend that you choose a quick-access design, preferably with a biometric lock. So when the need arises to access your handgun, you can get your hands instantly on your firearm. 

Additionally, if you are relying on electronic locks, make sure the batteries do not dry out and you always carry an emergency backup key. 

Seat Strap Holster 

A seat strap holster is literally a strap that is fastened around the seat of your car, such that the holster ends up either on the sides or between the center of your legs. The first position is preferable for a concealed position, whereas the second position is suitable for quick access to the handgun when needed. 

Black handgun on car seat

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Car Holster

After traversing through the possibilities of what to expect from a car holster. You should also look out for a few important factors before using these holsters. 

Type of Vehicle

Car is a generic term in itself. There are hatchbacks, sedans, SUVs, crossovers, and a few other classifications of a term car in general. Your choice of vehicle holster should take into consideration the type of your car and its internal design. 

Maybe there is no storage in the center console, or the steering wheel is too low to comfortably mount a holster below it. Probably the front seats have a height adjustable mechanism that limits the space beneath. In any case, make sure the holster you choose fits your car well. 

State Laws 

An extremely important consideration when buying a car holster is state laws. Different states have their own specific laws regarding carrying weapons in a vehicle. If you travel across state boundaries, it is important to have a CCW permit to at least comply with federal gun laws. 

Some states (like California) do not allow a person to carry a handgun inside the glove box. Instead the gun should be locked in a separate container or inside the trunk, devoid of ammo and not easily accessible. This law has to be complied with unless you have the state’s concealed carry permit. 

If you are ever pulled over by an officer and have a weapon in your car. Simply put your hands on the steering wheel and politely tell the approaching officer that you are a permit holder and have a gun in your car. Making any hasty or sudden movements in such a scenario can end up very badly. 

Type of Passengers 

A very basic function of a holster is to ensure the prevention of unauthorized access to your firearm. If you are traveling with inquisitive people or kids, it is better to have a gun safe inside your car. Additionally, you must also position the holster so that it is not easily visible and can only be accessed by you (the driver). 

Easy Access and Durability

The whole point of having a car holster is safe storage and quick accessibility, so make sure to position your holster so that it is easily accessible in a stressful situation. Additionally, if you carry a gun in your car, you should also practice and train yourself for such situations. 

When choosing a car holster, make sure the holster is durable and secure enough to withstand bumps and a few snags. 

Size and Fit 

There are universal fit holsters that can accommodate almost every handgun, and then there are holsters that are specifically designed for a handgun or frame size. Before choosing a car holster, it is important to understand if you will carry a specific handgun, or if your choice of guns varies according to the occasion. 


Placing your car holster on an obvious spot inside your car can prove to be an expensive mistake. This can not only offend the passengers inside your car, but it will also be a prime target for burglars who will not miss the chance of getting their hands on a registered weapon. 

Make sure your holster mount is positioned in an inconspicuous manner, so only the right person can access it. 


A car holster is a very useful accessory for safely carrying a firearm while you drive, especially when you are driving for longer durations. There are a variety of options out there ranging from holsters to small gun safes. Your choice will eventually depend upon your preferences and the size or type of handgun. 

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December 27, 2022