By Sam Hoober, Alien Gear Holsters
In the past few years, a lot more people have been turning to taxi and delivery services as part of the new gig economy.
People who do it are on a 1099 as a contractor rather than an employee, and rather than being a profession it’s something you do for extra cash or in conjunction with other part-time work to arrive at enough money to live on.
These will probably be the jobs of the future; if universal basic income becomes a thing along with Medicare For All, there’s less need to depend on corporate overlords. Employers can also pay for the labor they use, but if UBI and Medicare For All become a thing, higher business taxes will probably come with them! There are no free lunches.
However, as more people are joining the ranks of Uber, Lyft, UberEats and other related services instead of becoming a taxi driver or pizza delivery driver, this presents the thorny issue of what to do about personal safety.
Delivery drivers and couriers can be ambush targets, lured to a location with the promise of paying work only to get mugged or worse. That isn’t new; taxicabs and pizza delivery drivers have been targets for years.
And since concealed carry is the natural defensive strategy for dealing with armed robbery that presents a few questions, notably the best strategies for having a gun in the car in a manner that is – and one shudders to use these words, but here we are – both practical and tactical.
It’s fairly simple, though not necessarily easy.
First, as the driver, you have to have the gun secured but also accessible. In other words, you have to be able to get to it in a hurry if need be, but you also can’t leave it in the door sill tray.
A glove box or console is also not a good idea.
If your robber/attacker is in the back seat, they’ll see you going for it, will probably know what you’re doing and that can go very badly. If your attacker is in the passenger seat, you won’t be able to get to either.
If you leave the gun in the car, a car thief can easily take it from there as well, and make no mistake that stealing guns from cars is one of the most common methods of gun theft.
The best methods for keeping a pistol secured but accessible are to carry on your person in a holster or to use a holster mount of some sort, which attaches a holster to the vehicle (either the seat or the furniture/trim) for storing the pistol.
The best way to run such a system is to use a holster mount in conjunction with a holster on your belt. When you get in the car, draw the gun from your holster and put it in the holster mount. When you stop, put the gun back in your holster.
Alternately, you can just keep the gun holstered but be aware that a seated position can compromise the draw. Appendix carry nullifies the problem to a degree, but a holster in the strongside position behind the hip is a bit more difficult.
However, getting to it is more of a training issue; you just have to figure out how to create the necessary clearance and practice it.
It also has to be said that if you’re going to have a gun in the car, you need to have the means of and practice safe storage. In other words, a car safe of some sort.
Most are a rather simple lockbox with a steel tether cable. The typical practice is to thread the cable through the supports under a car seat so it’s tethered to a solid object. This also conceals the safe under the seat, so it’s hidden from view.
Again, thefts of guns from cars is not a small problem, especially in larger cities. Atlanta reported the theft of almost 1,000 guns from cars by September of 2020. Atlanta reported more than 1,000 guns stolen from cars in 2018, according to NPR, which was double the number from a decade previous.
It was rumored that at least one of those guns was used by the Atlanta Falcons to shoot themselves in the foot in the fourth quarter of the Super Bowl, but that’s just a rumor.
That same year, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation knew of 4,064 reports of guns stolen from cars, almost double the number from the previous year.
Point being, don’t leave a loaded gun in the car unless it’s stored in a safe.
Also, be sure to have a permit (if required) and to have it on you. It’s legal to have a gun in the car, but it’s illegal in most states to transport a loaded gun unless you have a permit.
Another salient point is to be aware of any policy that an employer might have about carrying a gun whilst engaged in a delivery service. Many employers will not for liability reasons, but some smaller delivery services may not have a policy because they just didn’t think of it.
Uber and Lyft both prohibit drivers from being armed, but many drivers will do so anyway for obvious reasons.
If you take a gigging position or part-time position with a taxi or food delivery service, you’ll have to be aware of what that policy is and then decide for yourself whether you want to violate it or not.
This is the classic gamble with employment and concealed carry. Having the gun on you vs company policy; on which side does one err? That you have to decide for yourself.
It’s one thing if you have an office job. You can just discreetly take the gun and holster off, put in a backpack and keep it close by at your desk, then re-arm when you head home for the day and no one’s the wiser, so long as no one finds out.
Or you can defer to company policy and forego being armed. That you have to weigh for yourself.
With that being said, if you’re going to do the Uber/UberEats or Lyft thing, it’s up to you to decide if you want to carry while driving. If you’re going to, this is how it’s done.
Sam Hoober is a Contributing Editor to AlienGearHolsters.com, a subsidiary of Hayden, ID, based Tedder Industries, where he writes about gun accessories, gun safety, open and concealed carry tips. Click here to visit aliengearholsters.com.