Can I Carry a Loaded Gun in my Car? 6 Insightful States Laws

Can I Carry a Loaded Gun in my Car?
Can I Carry a Loaded Gun in my Car?

Currently, gun theft in vehicles has been on the rise. Everytown Research & Policy reports that FBI reports show one gun gets stolen every 15 minutes from a car. Guns stolen from cars enter the illegal market, breaching the security and safety of the people.

The 2019-2020 period experienced increased gun thefts from cars, alongside increased gun sales and deaths from gunshots. The most affected are cars in driveways and outside houses. Thus, the need to securely store guns in cars.

So, Can I Carry a Loaded Gun in my Car? Of course, you can. However, you have to consider many things when carrying concealed guns in a vehicle.

First, ensure your car is part of the concealed carry.

Car carry has no specific laws to follow. Every state in the US has different complicated rules regarding carrying concealed guns.

Most importantly, ensure you have a legal right to own a gun. This limits legal issues such as what to do when you eat pilled over and have a concealed handgun in your car.

US Gun Laws vary from state to state. Here are things to consider before legally carrying a firearm in your car.

Establish State and Local Laws about carrying concealed guns in the car

Can I Carry a Loaded Gun in my Car?
Can I Carry a Loaded Gun in my Car?

Most states demand a concealed carry permit before carrying a concealed gun carry. Also, consider the laws that apply when carrying a firearm in a vehicle.

Can I Carry a Loaded Gun in my Car in California?

California citizens are allowed to carry concealed firearms in their cars. However:-

  • The firearm must be secured and unloaded.
  • The ammunition must be secured in a separate locking compartment
  • The firearm MUST not be a submachine, carbine, shotgun, or rifle.
  • If it’s non-concealable, it does not have to be locked in a container. But it must be closed if the gun possessor is 1,000 feet within a K 12 school.
  • There are notable exceptions for gun holders licensed always to carry a loaded or open handgun in a state and country licensed to do so.
  • One can carry a loaded gun in a car if they believe their lives or property are in danger. Hence the gun will guarantee protection and safety.  
  • Even when permitted to carry transport firearms, you have to be 18 years of age and a US citizen.
  • You must be a California resident or temporarily in the state.
  • Meet all the legal regulations to own, carry, purchase and own a gun under California laws and federal regulations.

Can I Carry a Loaded Gun in my Car in Washington?

The RCW 9.41.050 directs that only those licensed to carry a loaded handgun in a vehicle should do so. On most occasions, it is illegal to have a loaded rifle and shotgun in a car in Washington.

Even when licensed, follow the following regulations

  • Unloaded firearms must be locked in the car and concealed from open spaces or view
  • Do not carry a gun when using a transit vehicle, bus, or train
  • If you have a firearm in a non-highway car, you must procure a permit from the Fish and Wildlife department to possess a concealed pistol license.
  • The pistol must be on the licensee’s person.
  • The licensed individual must be in the vehicle while the pistol is there.

Penalties for Illegally Carrying a gun in your vehicle

You’ll face criminal charges in Washington when you carry a gun in your car without the required permits.

RCW 9.41.050 indicates that the violation represents a misdemeanor punishable by 90 days in jail

You’ll pay a penalty of up to a $1,000 fine.

Can I Carry a Loaded Gun in my Car in Florida?

Can I Carry a Loaded Gun in my Car?
Can I Carry a Loaded Gun in my Car?

In Florida, you must have a permit to carry a concealed firearm.

However, you can carry a gun in the car if the firearm is encased safely and cannot be accessed easily for urgent use.

You MUST have a concealed carry permit in Florida to retrieve and use the gun fast and accessible by the gun user.

You DON’T require a permit if it takes time to access the gun. Like when the weapon is placed in a glove compartment or gun case.

The rules are usually enforced based on Florida courts and police judgments.

Can I Carry a Loaded Gun in my Car in Montana?

Montana laws are more flexible compared to other states. Montana gun carry laws allow anyone possessing a firearm to carry a concealed weapon.

You don’t have to get a permit, and No laws prohibit carrying a firearm in a car.

Carrying a concealed weapon in a courtroom is illegal unless the judge orders it. Also, it remains illegal to carry a concealed weapon inside public schools in Montana unless the school director and leadership order one.

Can I Carry a Loaded Gun in my Car in Texas?

After Montana, Texas is the most liberal.

So, can you carry a loaded gun in your car in Texas?

Yes, you can

What are the requirements?

  • You Must have a permit to carry a firearm or handgun openly in a car
  • In 2021, there was an adjustment from 18 years to 21 years for you to qualify to get the permit

Criminal Defense Lawyer web indicates that everyone allowed to possess a gun requires no access to carry a firearm or handgun in the car. It doesn’t matter whether it’s loaded or not.

Texas also has no laws prohibiting the free transportation of rifles or other long guns in vehicles.   

Can I Carry a Loaded Gun in my Car in New York?

New York gun rules are more complex. Different handguns are provided with additional handgun licenses.

Most importantly, permit applications are made by police and New York Judges. The state does not give permits.

Despite the type of handgun permit, permits issued in New York allow one to carry a gun anywhere in the state. But licenses out of the city must obtain specific permissions from the New York Police Department.

The ruling by the Supreme Court under the New York State Rifle & Pistol Association Inc. v. Bruen case indicates this went against the Second Amendment rights of New York people and Americans at large.

Therefore, it has become easier to obtain a concealed carry permit. But the states still have the jurisdiction to establish their fate.

For instance, it remains illegal to carry a loaded firearm in a vehicle in New York without a permit.

TIP: New York terms a gun loaded if the possessor has ammunition for the firearm in the car.

Therefore, while having a proper permit allows you to carry a loaded handgun in your vehicle, rifle laws are different. To transport a rifle, it should always be unloaded.

Gun Permit Validation in the Other States

Carrying a gun in a car solely depends on the laws of every state. So, whether you can bring a gun or not in a state solely depends on the state and not the condition where you received the permit.

While some states recognize each other’s gun permits, including carrying firearms in vehicles, others strictly prohibit them.

For example, California does not acknowledge any other state’s permit. Upon entering California, you must meet the requirements of carrying a concealed gun, including getting a new license.

Always ensure you fully understand the for carrying concealed guns in all states you visit.


Many states require firearms to be out of sight or kept in a secure vault when carried in a car. Some states have exceptions. When you intend to travel with a gun in your vehicle, always make it a norm to inquire about the rules and regulations of your state.

Consider using a trunk, glove box, console, or beneath the seats to put your gun. Your sole responsibility remains to secure the firearm and ensure it is not stolen. Regardless of the law, it remains the right thing to do.

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