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Safeguard your firearm on the go: Gun safes for law enforcement POVs

From budget-friendly options to high-security models, find the perfect product to secure your firearm if you have to leave it in your personal vehicle

I never recommend an officer or anyone for that matter, leave a firearm in their vehicle. In many cities, most guns used in crimes were stolen from vehicles. Our job is supposed to be the opposite of helping criminals get firearms.

That said, depending on the jurisdiction, legalities may prevent us from carrying our firearms into certain venues, including concerts, sporting events and federal properties. Some cops don’t know this, but we aren’t allowed to carry firearms into federal courthouses, Social Security offices, or even the local post office unless we are operating within the course and scope of our duties. And no, LEOSA makes no exception for federal property either. In fact, it explicitly states that state and local jurisdictions may prohibit officers and deputies from carrying on government property.

Your car is not a gun safe

I can’t remember where I stole that phrase and I apologize to its originator. Vehicles are ridiculously easy to breach and car burglars know exactly where to look for valuables. They are well-practiced at recognizing which vehicles are attractive targets.

I have a friend who served almost three decades at a large city in northeast Kansas. He told me that out of all the hundreds of reports he’s taken of guns stolen from vehicles, only one was secured in a lockbox. Anything that makes a burglar work harder or longer is a healthy deterrent. Get some sort of lock box for your personally or privately owned vehicle (POV). Here are some recommendations:

Homirxan Portable Gun Lock Box

This is a super economical choice. For $16, you get a single-pistol lockbox with a combination lock and a cable to secure the box to the seat mounts. It cannot be removed without a combination or a cutting tool of some kind. It’s not the most secure option but you can’t beat it for the cost.

Hornady Lockbox for guns and valuables

A more secure option comes from Hornady. At $40, the Lockbox is a key-operated, four-pound box made of 16-gauge steel. It comes with a 1,500-pound rated cable for vehicle seat attachment. It meets both California DOJ and TSA requirements and will accept most carry-size pistols.

SnapSafe for small SUVs

For those with SUVs or vehicles with exterior compartments that are protected from the elements, SnapSafe makes a drawer safe. It will fit several pistols and/or a few long guns with ease. I know of a police department that used these in their patrol, SWAT and undercover vehicles with positive results. It’s a solid 100+ pounds of 14-gauge steel. It has pre-drilled holes for ease of installation and comes with a mounting cable for extra security. This is not the lowest cost option at just over $500, but it comes with a lot of pluses.

Hornady Rapid Vehicle Safe with RFID

This safe from Hornady is my pick for the best POV safe at just $184. I’ve seen one of these nearly 10-pound safes in action and it performs just as advertised. It mounts between the seat and console of your vehicle with an inflated air bladder. That aspect had me somewhat incredulous before I actually saw it. After inflation, that safe isn’t going anywhere.

For additional peace of mind, it comes with a 1,500-pound rated security cable. It opens via RFID through the included wristband, key fob or decals, which can be attached to a commonly used item like a cell phone. Two emergency keys are also included just in case. The Rapid Safe exceeds American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) international safety standards for child and pry resistance.

Don’t be that cop

Around the country, we see the occasional, disturbing report of firearms being stolen from marked police vehicles. Our POVs are even more vulnerable. If you carry a gun off duty (and I encourage you to do so), there will undoubtedly be a time when you need to leave it in your vehicle. Don’t be the cop who provides a gun to a criminal.

Warren Wilson is a captain, training commander and rangemaster with the Enid Police Department in Oklahoma. He is a former SWAT team leader, current firearms instructor and writer. He has been a full-time law enforcement officer since 1996.