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Taking to the open road with your gun.

Is there such a thing as a road trip season?

If there is, it is definitely during the summer.

We make plans with our families and friends to get away to another place, away from the hustle and bustle of life. We just want to go on vacation, forget our problems for a while, take it easy! The beach, camping, cooler weather, or another country perhaps?

The problem with problems though, is that no matter where you are, problems are there too. Bad weather, mean people, forgotten toothbrushes, you name it.

But, nothing ruins your well planned out get-away like a spur of the moment attack.

Reality check. It happens. And those who have had it happen to them also didn’t think, in a million years, it would ever happen to them.

How much worse is it to be far from home when it happens? Are you in a remote location? Do you even get cell service? How far away is the nearest police station? Do police even have time to respond to someone who is attacking you right now? Do you have your kids with you? Is one of them missing? Where did little Suzie go?? She was JUST there talking to that… strange man… oh no.

Is your mind spinning yet? It should be.

Like I said, no matter where you go, problems are there too. One problem you CAN be ready for, is a fight for your (or your child’s) life. Is that not worth everything to you?

Ok, “So how can we stay safe then??” you say. There are many ways, but none as effective as carrying and having the confidence to use a gun.

For now, we will keep it simple and local. Traveling in Texas and the U.S. in general.

Going to the grocery store? Take your gun. Going to visit your parents/ gram & gramps/ friends in Houston? Definitely take your gun. Going down town to the Austin Book Festival? Take it.

Here are some things to know about going places with your gun. (Assuming you have one. If not, check out my Gun Store Guidance service!)

1.) You do not need to have a license to own a gun and to have it at home or in your car. The 2nd amendment guarantees you the right to possess a firearm for self-defense. As long as you are a U.S. citizen, not a convicted felon, and of sound mind, you can walk into a gun store and buy yourself that pretty shiny pistol that caught your eye last time.

2.) You DO need a license to carry a handgun (LTC, formerly known as a CHL) if you want to carry your gun anywhere else, openly or concealed. A firearm is an object of power just as a car is an object of freedom. You need a license to take both out on the streets because we are not born with the innate knowledge of how to use either, and both can be deadly. (Steps to apply for your Texas LTC here)

3.) You can take your gun across state lines. Federal law allows individuals who are legally in possession of firearms in their home state to travel through states that are not so gun friendly. This is known as the Firearm Owners Protection Act (18 U.S.C. § 926A) nicknamed the “Safe Passage” provision. In order to be protected under this act you must follow some rules. If you are passing through a state where your firearm is not allowed, it must be unloaded and locked in a container in the trunk of the vehicle along with the ammunition. Also, you must be traveling from and to a place where your firearm is considered legal. Carrying a Glock 17 from Texas to Vermont? OK. Texas to New York? Not Ok. (A Glock 17 would be considered illegal in NY.) Do your research before your trip, ask questions!

4.) You can fly with your firearms! Going to Virginia Beach? That’s a 24-hour nonstop drive! Ew. No thanks. The prices for Delta airlines are pretty low these days I hear… All airlines require you to declare your firearm when you first check in your bag, but each airline is a little bit different, so it is best to check online for specifics. Federal law states that as long as the firearms transported are unloaded and locked in a hard-sided container as checked baggage, its ok! This applies to handguns, rifles and shotguns. (If you don’t know what to get your father/mother in law for Christmas yet… now you know.) TSA also requires that realistic replicas of firearms must also be in checked baggage.

Still not sure if you want to take a gun with you on your trip?

5.) Practicing for real life scenarios is the best way to build confidence in yourself.

Go to the range and practice what you would do in your worst-case scenario. Have you thought about what it would be like to shoot from your car window? Can you reach your pistol quickly in an emergency? Hey, the homeless on the corner of East 6th St. are getting pretty aggressive lately! Grrrrr. Its 2 am, you need gas and a bathroom break, but you see some shady guys hanging out on the edge of the parking lot. Have you ever drawn your handgun from your purse or waistband? Do you know that someone can cover about 30 feet in only a few seconds? How long does it take you to fumble around in your purse for your gun, get it out of the holster and just aim it? Damnit, you have a flat tire and that hitch hiker you passed a few miles ago is getting… closer.

Traveling the world can be wonderful, don’t let the bad in the world keep you from experiencing the beauty. You have the power to go out into the unknown and come back unharmed.

Take a class, get a gun, get educated, and practice-practice-practice!

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