Sunday, September 20, 2009

The Thing About Truck Guns...

..Is you probably don't have a safe in your truck. Or maybe you do, for all the good it will do you -- a local FBI Agent/SWAT team member had several weapons and body armor stolen from his truck, despite being "properly secured in a chained box."

Stolen: "...a submachinegun, an LAR15 rifle and a .45-caliber handgun, along with a duffle bag containing the SWAT-team uniform and two sets of body armor." (And the Indianapolis Star "reporter" (scorn quotes) leads by snarkily asserting, "The FBI now knows how victims feel," presuming that A) such a thing has never, ever happened before and B) no member of the Feebs could possibly have any empathy with victims prior to this. (What, they're all cold as Lon Horiuchi at the moment he pulled the trigger? I don't think even he is).

Elsewhere, we learn the guns were an "H & K MP5/10A3 10 mm gun, a Rock River Arms LAR15 rifle, and a Springfield 1911A1 .45 caliber handgun." Yep, that'd be FBI -- Tam tells me the 10mm version of the MP5 is pretty much an FBI exclusive. (Compare and contrast with the FBI press release. Er, mostly "compare." Not much contrast).

Gun-geekery and scorn aside, my point here is, "chained box?" Pardon me, "chained lockbox in the trunk?" Big deal. If the box is nice and solid, baddies pop it free and open at leisure; if the box is weaker, they open it in situ. Big pair of bolt cutters or a sledge makes short work of most things an honest man considers "secure" and that goes triple when it is out sitting in your car. Your trunk might as well not be locked at all -- a criminally-inclined 15-year-old with a big screwdriver can open most car trunks quicker than I can describe it.

Garages are better but I'd rather have my weapons a lot closer to hand. YMMV; still, stuff in your car is not secured, period.* A car -- well, most of them -- is not a safe. Kick in the door of a house, could be an armed householder on the other side; your sedan sittin' out back, not so much. Does it have an alarm? Will you hear it? Do the laws in your state let you do anything besides shout "stop, thief" and dial 911?

Meanwhile, we've got a criminal around here with his very own MP5 and some nice, FBI-marked body armor. Geez, I hope he's not ambitious.
* I am reminded of what I call "the DuToit Maneuver," after an incident in which an innocent moment's forgetfulness -- leaving a garage-door opener in a car parked outdoors -- resulted in a very scary incident. It was a wake-call for me.


Ed Rasimus said...

I was astonished at the number of times in Texas concealed carry class that the instructor told us, "when you see this sign on an establishment in compliance with rule xxx, then return to your vehicle and secure your firearm in the trunk..."

That must be why I see so many folks standing outside a bar or restaurant with a 51% sign opening the trunk and pulling out a hogleg to leave there...

Arming and disarming yourself in a public place is not a prudent practice.

Anonymous said...

March 2007 I had a gym bag stolen out of my SUV after returning to my office from the gym. The thief (thieves) smashed a rear window and stolen a gym bag full of dirty gym clothing, a jump rope, a decent watch and a pocket full of change (for water and Gatorade at the gym), but no guns were taken.

The cops treated me like I meant it to happen. I have abosolutely no empathy for the FBI agent or the agency.

This keeps happening as FBI SQUAT is too lazy to take their schlep their gear and just leave it in their easily ID'd government cars.

The G men shake their figure and talk about how "professional" they are, but they can't even keep their own gear square. Incidents like this are good to remember next time Chief Wiggum or Agent Shmuckatelli are telling us how serfs cannot be trusted with guns.

Shootin' Buddy

rickn8or said...

While not capable of handling an AR-15 or your favorite buffalo gun, at least there is some (partial) solution for your everyday carry weapon: Consolevault. Just put one in my daily driver this weekend. Expensive? Mmmm, yeah. But cheaper and easier to deal with than d-i-l if either grandson got aholt of my Smif.

Can it be broken into? Yes, but not quickly. As for the rest of your accoutrement, the best you can hope for is to slow them down enough and force them to make enough noise to attract attention. Short of chaining a disgruntled rottweiler to your gear, all your best efforts can result in is "keeping honest people honest". Mebbe we can't keep Evildoers from taking our stuff, but we can make 'em work for it.

And being seen arming or disarming is something that I studiously try to avoid.

The Freeholder said...

hm-m-m...I like that Consolevault. Pity they don't have them for more vehicles.

Captain Tightpants said...

Definitely far from a first for the FBI - seeing as a few years back they had a whole HRT Suburban with weapons, ammo, explosives etc stolen... oops!

and #2 - excellent points on the trunk - all of which have been lost here on our administration which still rules that the trunk of our vehicle is a more secure place for me to store my rifle (by direction) than the house with the safe....

Gotta love desk jockeys.

Turk Turon said...

If the guy were not a LEO, he would be getting the third degree about now: "Now, please tell us for the seventeenth time..."

I suspect that if the guy was an FFL-holder in Texas-Arizona-New Mexico, a grand jury would be convened to try and indict him, his bank accounts would be examined and the contents of his safe-deposit box would be subpoena'd.

Seriously, a full-auto MP5 in 10mm?!

Joseph said...

I try not to leave anything in sight in my truck. Having had more than one auto broken into, it is very true they are not at all secure. Even with an alarm, the thief can quickly rifle the car (there are only so many places you can put stuff) before you are awake and alert enough to make a confrontation.

Anonymous said...

Well, this is probably illegal, but I have modified a car alarm to not only sound the siren, but also fire off pepper spray cans though the a/c vents if a tamper switch behind the radio was activated. Not much more difficult to set tamper switches up on a lockbox, so that if they try to remove it from the car they get a faceful of pepper.I used trunk release solenoids, some rubber tubes, and windhield wiper solution nozzles, so I could remote mount the cans and have the nozzles wherever I wanted.

Don said...

Dad says padlocks keep honest people honest. Nothing keeps thieves honest when no one is looking.

og said...

I bet it would be possible to fab up a box that could be mounted to the frame of a vehicle. A lot of departments use Crown Vics, and the trunk of a crown vic is more than big enough to contain an ample bolted-or-welded-in gun safe, a perp, and a good set of golf clubs. I smell cottage industry!

og said...

"The G men shake their figure "

That's a mental image up there with Pelosi surfing on Milk's corpse. I'm gonna have to bleach my brain twice in one week. Bleaugh.

WV: Cakepig. I could not make that up. Chief Wiggum is a cakepig.

Anonymous said...


Hands on hips and shake your backside (swish your hips side to side)--that's how feds talk to you.

If you don't talk to a lot of feds, good for you!

Shootin' Buddy

Unknown said...

Granted...a lot of good points. However, there are times that a pistol is woefully inadequate.

I've contemplated picking up an old surplus Mosin-Nagant bolt-action.

a) It's cheap, if stolen it's minimal loss.

b) If stolen by a criminal it's of minimal use as a street weapon. Fast use of the bolt-action requires practice.

c) I could always leave the safety on. If stolen, most criminals would never figure out how to get the Mosin-Nagant to fire.


d) 7.62x54 is a fairly large anti-personnel round.

Roberta X said...

You have omitted one item:

e) If left in your vehicle, it's a nice, handy weapon for the semi-ambitious lowlife who, having obtained it, is now better-armed and invades your home. Bet your life he can't fumble the safety off? For that matter, most bolt-action and earlier battle rifles also make darned fine clubs.

--I'm playing Devil's Advocate here and I am not unsympathetic to the notion that one carries a handgun in order to be able to fight one's way to the the real gun in one's vehicle; I do think it is overkill for most situations involving human adversaries in civilized areas and that anywhere you're going to need a rifle, y'otta be carrying a rifle.

On the pro-truck-gun side, there's solid argument for minimizing the amount of "administrative" gun-handling one does -- loading and unloading, transporting unholstered, etc. -- as well as not bein' too obvious about being armed. I'm still not seeing any really good reasons for leaving weapons so far outside one's control when other, more secure options are readily available.

All that said, YM most certainly MV. It's your truck, your gun, your dice.

Larry said...

In my state, it's illegal to have a loaded long gun in a vhcle, so the idea of using a truck gun (rifle or shotgun) in an emergency is of somewhat limited utility. By the time one gets to it, unlocks whatever, and loads the darn thing, the emergency is either pretty much over or you should be long gone from the area.

In an extended "state of emergency", one is probably headed for whatever place of refuge one feels best, and unlikely to have the same concerns about theft in unattended vehicles- unlikely to leve anything unattended, in fact. At least not with the expectation of coming back to retrieve it.

All that being said, there may be other reasons for keeping a truck gun around- I don't know what your local hunting seasons look like, for merely one example.