Trunk guns: mostly teenage fantasy…

…with exceptions.

Got asked a question in a comment about my opinion on trunk guns in an active shooter response context.  Bottom line: I think they are teenage fantasies…for the most part…with exceptions.

  1. If you are caught in the event, and get to your car, and decide to retrieve your rifle, and then go back in to the event…why?  You have achieved your objective of getting to safety.  Only if you had to leave loved ones behind should you normally even consider going back into the fray. Everyone still in the event had the same opportunity you did to get armed and trained but did not.   Decisions have consequences.
  2. If you are not in the event, why in the world would you respond to the active shooter event?  Do you think you can get there substantially faster that the cops?  If you do show up and have a rifle in your hands you will look a lot like the shooter and likely get shot.  Even if the cops are restrained enough to not shoot you, dealing with you will cost them, and the victims inside, precious time.
  3. Even if you have loved ones in the event, you’ll likely just get in the cops way or be mistaken for a shooter.  You can be discreet with a handgun, and possibly (if you are trained and cool of head) not get in the way or get shot, but you can’t with a rifle.

Exceptions: off duty cops with proper gear (including “POLICE” emblazoned tac vests), proper training, and in an area where the on-duty locals might expect to see you.  Proper, specific training is not obtained by shooting an IDPA match on week ends, BTW.

Another exception might be where it’s pretty certain that you will get there sooner than the cops.  Overseas in developing countries that may be likely, stateside it’s probably not, even in very rural areas,since you are just as statistically likely to be far away from the event as the nearest LEO.

In fact this whole trunk gun thing has me a bit mystified.  It assumes a situation that can’t be handled with a handgun, and one in which you have the time to get the gun from trunk, which can be a looooooog time (gunfight-wise).  Not to mention that retrieving the gun from the trunk takes your mind and vision off the developing situation, ties up your hands, and channels your movement.  I can paint situations where a trunk gun makes sense, but they are mostly for rural, non-time-critical things like dealing with aggressive critters.  It’s hard to do so for urban settings and for any sort of time critical event.


3 thoughts on “Trunk guns: mostly teenage fantasy…

  1. I’m the guy who asked the question about trunk guns, and I’m happily surprised by the speed of your reply.
    I asked the question because, first of all, I wanted your opinion. I’m happy to say I agree with you. “Taking the fight” to an active shooter sounds cool, but it’s very risky legally (why are you going on the offensive against people who are no longer a threat to you, especially if you’re in a “duty-to-retreat” state?), and almost guarantees you’ll be shot by responding police.
    Secondly, I made those two points in another blog’s comment section, and the blog owner excoriated me for being, I dunno, both an unfeeling monster and chicken, or something. (An unfeeling T.Rex, maybe? Isn’t that a monster chicken?) I wanted to hear your opinion.
    I was an LEO for 30+ years, now retired. Nowadays my first duty is to my family. Getting myself hurt, killed, sued, or prosecuted and incurring six-figure medical and/or legal bills that I’ll be on the hook for isn’t my idea of taking care of my family.
    For the record, I would still be happily surprised by the speed of your reply, and would value your opinion, even if I disagreed with you.


  2. I think there is a big problem with the Sheepdog mentality for armed civilians, though the training community and firearms/accessories industries seem to play to it. If you want to stick with animal analogies, I would say “guard dog”. Guard dogs protect home and family. They aren’t paid to fix any of the messes the sheep might get themselves into.


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