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Thread: Legality of securing firearm in a combination safe cable-locked to the front seat?

  1. #1
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    Legality of securing firearm in a combination safe cable-locked to the front seat?

    Greetings,

    My son just turned 18 and he is starting to OC my Beretta 92FS and, while driving, have it on the passenger seat of his jeep.

    If he leaves the car in an area where he can't OC, is it legal for him to secure it in one of those combination safes with a cable-lock, locked to the bottom of the front passenger seat of his Jeep?

    Some of his soon-to-be LEO friends are telling him that it's NOT legal.

    Thanks in advance for your help,

    Greg.
    Last edited by Greg Bradburn; 06-19-2011 at 08:22 AM.

  2. #2
    mattwestm
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    As long as he isn't in the car when it's in the safe, it's not concealed on or about his person. I don't have a permit, but I lock my gun up in a safe before I exit the vehicle. I guess technically for the 5 seconds that I am putting the safe under the seat, before I exit the vehicle, I am breaking the law.

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    Regular Member Ruger's Avatar
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    If it is locked in such a compartment as this then it is not considered to be "readily accessible", and it is legal. This does not constitute an illegally concealed firearm.

    This is standard operating procedure when stowing a firearm prior to entering somewhere that you cannot legally carry it, and, from a legal standpoint is no different from locking the firearm in the trunk of a vehicle. Obviously some vehicles lack a seperate lockable compartment such as a trunk, so this is the only alternative. Your son's soon-to-be LEO friends are mistaken.

    One more reason not to ask a LEO (or LEO in training) for legal advice.

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    Since North Carolina does not specifically address how to transport or store a weapon in an automobile there needs to be some clarification. First of all when talking about storing The NC Attorney General makes no differentiation between transporting and storing a firearm in a vehicle. I am posting below the NC Attorney Generals view on transporting which is followed by LEOs.

    D. Transporting Weapons
    Given this general prohibition of carrying concealed weapons, individuals must be ever
    vigilant to ensure their particular situation cannot be construed as concealing a weapon,
    either on or about them, without being properly authorized to do so with a valid North
    Carolina, or recognized out-of-state concealed handgun permit. Therefore, the permittee's
    accessibility to the weapon is of prime importance. It is for these reasons, that when
    transporting a weapon in a vehicle, even greater care must be exercised to ensure that the
    weapon is not concealed, and within the ready access to an occupant of the vehicle. North
    Carolina law does not specifically address how to transport a weapon in an automobile.
    Therefore, the central question becomes: when is the weapon concealed and readily
    accessible to an occupant of an automobile? Obviously, a weapon would be concealed and
    readily accessible, and therefore in violation of North Carolina law, if it were placed in such
    areas of a vehicle as under the seat of the automobile; in a bag in the back seat; or in some
    other manner is covered or hidden within the easy reach of an occupant of the vehicle. It19
    is our recommendation that firearms should not be carried in a glove compartment
    regardless of whether the compartment is locked or not.
    While a weapon carried openly in an automobile would not be concealed, there are
    other problems specific to this method of carrying a weapon. The principal drawback, of
    course, is in the event of an individual being stopped by a law enforcement official, the
    officer may not readily know that individual's purpose and intent for carrying a weapon.
    As such, it is imperative that an individual immediately notify an officer of the presence of
    any weapon in the automobile, for the officer's and the vehicle's occupants' safety. Another
    obvious drawback is that a valuable weapon may be in plain view for potential thieves to see.
    The prohibition to carrying concealed weapons applies not only to handguns and other
    weapons commonly thought of as being easily hidden, but also to "long guns" as well.
    Therefore, shotguns and rifles concealed behind the seat of pickup trucks, and elsewhere
    in other vehicles, could similarly violate North Carolina law.
    As to those vehicles with no easily discernible trunk area (i.e., vans, etc.), the question
    arises on a factual determination of when the weapon is within ready and easy access to an
    occupant of the vehicle. If the weapon is concealed near, in close proximity to, or within
    the convenient control and access of an occupant, which would allow him/her to use the
    weapon quickly, then a fair probability exists that the occupant is in violation of the law.
    Therefore, care must be exercised by any occupant of any vehicle to ensure that weapons are
    securely locked away in as remote an area as possible, in relation to the passenger
    compartment of the vehicle. It is important to emphasize that these prohibitions apply to
    passengers, as well as drivers of any vehicle.

  5. #5
    Regular Member Dreamer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Bradburn View Post
    Some of his soon-to-be LEO friends are telling him that it's NOT legal.
    This would only be illegal if he were driving around with it in the safe. Locked or not, if it is "readily accessible" from the front seat, but is not visible, it is a "CC violation"...

    If he locked the case in the truck, or in the back of the vehicle (if it's like an SUV) then he could drive around with it all day and THAT is legal. But not in the front seat area...

    Since he's only 18, an can't get a CHP, he needs to remember that he should ONLY put it in the safe if he's exiting the vehicle, and NOT leave it in there when he's driving around. Or if he IS going to have it locked up when driving, he needs to move it to a more remote, inaccessible location in the vehicle.

    And BTW, his "soon to be LEO friends" are gravely misinformed, and are NOT his friends, if they are giving him this sort of bad information...
    It is our cause to dispel the foggy thinking which avoids hard decisions in the delusion that a world of conflict will somehow mysteriously resolve itself into a world of harmony, if we just don't rock the boat or irritate the forces of aggression—and this is hogwash."
    --Barry Goldwater, 1964

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    Regular Member Ruger's Avatar
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    @ Dave:

    First, welcome to OpenCarry.org

    Now that that's out of the way...

    The key phrase in the above copy-and-pasted text, as it relates to this issue is "readily accessible". If someone is locking the firearm in a lockbox as they are removing themselves from the vehicle, then the firearm is no longer readily accessible. I'm quite familiar with the text you pasted above. While the text does make reference to the area under the seat as being readily accessible, it is referring to the simple placement of a weapon under a seat, which is quite different from securing the said weapon in a lockable compartment which is then stored under the seat for the duration of time in which the non-permitted person will be away from the vehicle (and thus the weapon).

    To the best of my knowledge, NO ONE has ever been charged with CCW in North Carolina under the circumstances described by the OP. Stowing the weapon in a locked box under the seat of a jeep as one is exiting the vehicle is no different from locking the weapon in the trunk of a car.

    Provided that the chp-lacking person in possession of the handgun is not riding around with the gun in the box, there should be no legal issue.

    Seriously folks - what legal alternative do these "soon to be LEOs" really think that the law-abiding citizen has? Are we trying to make law-abiding citizens into criminals via a rather inane interpretation of the law?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dreamer View Post

    And BTW, his "soon to be LEO friends" are gravely misinformed, and are NOT his friends, if they are giving him this sort of bad information...
    Whoa there. It's one thing to correct possible errors but such judgments are offensive and unnecessary. Also, I know for a fact they ARE his friends and definitely have the best of intentions, even if they turn out to be in error.

  8. #8
    Regular Member VW_Factor's Avatar
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    Let me be a little clearer here..

    Being somewhat familiar with a Jeep, you are talking about locking the gun to the seat under it, "in the open"?

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    Quote Originally Posted by VW_Factor View Post
    Let me be a little clearer here..

    Being somewhat familiar with a Jeep, you are talking about locking the gun to the seat under it, "in the open"?
    No, this is a Jeep Cherokee Limited. It would be out of sight. Also, the jeep is jacked up so high you wouldn't be able to see the floor unless you climbed on it

  10. #10
    Regular Member VW_Factor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Bradburn View Post
    No, this is a Jeep Cherokee Limited. It would be out of sight. Also, the jeep is jacked up so high you wouldn't be able to see the floor unless you climbed on it
    Will it be in a lockbox or just cabled locked somehow to the seat frame is what I am asking.

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    Quote Originally Posted by VW_Factor View Post
    Will it be in a lockbox or just cabled locked somehow to the seat frame is what I am asking.
    Good question. He doesn't have a lockbox, it would be cable-locked to the seat frame.

  12. #12
    Regular Member Ruger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Bradburn View Post
    Good question. He doesn't have a lockbox, it would be cable-locked to the seat frame.
    You should be able to get a decent lockbox w/ its own cable within $30. Its worth it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ruger View Post
    You should be able to get a decent lockbox w/ its own cable within $30. Its worth it.

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    This is almost identical to what I bought him.

  14. #14
    Regular Member Ruger's Avatar
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    Yeah - good product. I've got one like that which will hold a 5" 1911. There's several companies producing/selling practically identical safes. I ordered a combo lock model, but I didn't like the way the tumblers didn't move very smoothly, so I swapped it for a key locking model. I think all who carry a gun need one of these, regardless of your mode of carry.

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  15. #15
    Regular Member VW_Factor's Avatar
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    Any sort of locking mechanism is better than nothing, however. I would strongly suggest some sort of lockbox as well. Even some "lockboxes" can be had at the Goodwill and modified a touch to lock securely if you are on a budget.

  16. #16
    Regular Member Dreamer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Bradburn View Post
    Whoa there. It's one thing to correct possible errors but such judgments are offensive and unnecessary. Also, I know for a fact they ARE his friends and definitely have the best of intentions, even if they turn out to be in error.

    I didn't mean to offend you or his friends...

    But the fact is that if a REAL friend doesn't know something as important as the Law, then a REAL friend won't just pull it out of their a$$ and make something up--they will say "gee, I don't know", and go do some research...
    It is our cause to dispel the foggy thinking which avoids hard decisions in the delusion that a world of conflict will somehow mysteriously resolve itself into a world of harmony, if we just don't rock the boat or irritate the forces of aggression—and this is hogwash."
    --Barry Goldwater, 1964

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