We’re working on a long story on an epidemic of organized-crime gun theft. It’s amazing just how many thefts are happening, and how many of them are being done by professional criminals. ATF has scores (no exaggeration) of open store burglaries, some of them smash-and-grabs by very fast-moving teams.

Their typical targets are pistols, first, and then black rifles, but any firearm hits every thief’s two-prong test: portable, and salable. These guns go on to circulate, most of them in the criminal, underground economy, and often turn up in crimes.

In addition to the store burglaries, which give organized crime (think MS-13 and the Hell’s Angels, not La Cosa Nostra) a revenue and weapons stream, there are lots of home burglaries. The haul for a home burglar is usually less (a gun or three) and often comprises only sporting or heirloom guns that have limited criminal utility. They still would rather steal them than many other products, even if they can’t use them in their crimes. While store burglaries give organized crime lots of late-model guns, residential burglaries probably put more total guns into criminal commerce per annum.

But the real low-hanging fruit, from the viewpoint both of criminals and of those of us who would rather not gun those &^$&*%s up, is guns in cars. Right now, Bloomberg and his captive PR-flack “journalists” like Mike Spies are placing a raft of “reporting” in the media that amounts to little more than propaganda for what they see as a “common sense” next step on their mission to ban firearms in the hands of the Great Unwashed.

Car burglaries are really a problem. Police never do more than a cursory investigation, and never catch the perpetrators or recover the stolen materials (except if a gun turns up ant another crime scene). Prosecutors can’t be bothered, and the urban culture excuses it, especially when the burglars are juveniles. Bloomberg’s minions actually have written that poor, black children are entitled to break into cars and steal anything they find there, because poverty and racism. (That’s an insult to anyone who’s poor, black and honest, but since Bloomberg’s people are rich, white and shifty, they don’t know anyone like that).

We can’t do anything about the media that Bloomberg’s billions buys. But we can do what’s under our control. Let’s think about how not to get your gun car burgled.

There are a few simple rules:

  1. Don’t park in crime-ridden cities. Let the Uber guy get his stuff stolen.
  2. Don’t leave your gun in the gorram car. Ever.
  3. Corollary to Rule #2: intercourse Gun Free Zone signs. Most places, all they can do if you’re detected is ask you to leave. (If they do, leave; it’s not a safe place anyway). Of course, if it’s work, they can fire you. That’s okay. Somebody else will hire you, and that was the furthest thing from a safe workplace anyway.
  4. PDs and agencies should have zero tolerance for officers and agents who leave firearms in their personal or g-ride. It would be a firing offense, if any of those agencies had a whiff of standards and ethics. Since law enforcement is incapable of disciplining itself, they probably need a legislative kick in the teeth. This should be brought up any time some anti-gun political appointee shows up in his unearned uniform to inveigh the legislature to ban this or that. “What are you doing about your own officers’ irresponsibility, Chief?”

We can address home security later. Did you leave your gun in your car today? Please go get it, now. Tomorrow, don’t do it. Car locks, like all locks, keep honest people out. Of course, honest people are never the problem with crime.

About Hognose

Former Special Forces 11B2S, later 18B, weapons man. (Also served in intelligence and operations jobs in SF).

59 thoughts on “Public Service Announcement: Lock it Up


I suppose one thing that helps is if you do have to leave your guns in your car park where you can see you car the entire time. When my pops and I would stop for lunch after a range day we would find a place where there was parking right out front and then pick a table with a view of the car. Not too bad of a solution for a short stop somewhere.


Have a hidden lock box in car,retrieve when back to driving.Say your trade is,I don’t know,perhaps a carpenter.Co workers while perhaps cool about firearm customers perhaps not so much,hence,a hidden lock box affixed to said car/truck/van.Gets a bit more interesting you want a rifle and need a lock box but certainly can/has been done.

I also recommend a car/truck/van kill switch,kinda suck if car stolen and some chop shop finds your “tools”.


My Father-in-law actually makes just that. Of course with enough time and effort someone can get in but then again that applies to everything.



BAP,those are some cool units.I like designed/form fitted for vehicle but would like to see more options to fit a what have you vehicle.A lot of folks transfer vehicles depending on day/job and at time stuck with a company vehicle,would love a way to fairly quickly switch.One thought I had for a more quick transfer box would be a opening at bottom that attacks with a nut to spare tire holder on at least interior mounted spares,only accessible to detach with box unlocked and items out of way. I realize a long item case not so easily done if one wants mounted to vehicle,nice struff though,didn’t dare look at pricing!


Haha, yeah I don’t blame you. That trunk spare idea is interesting. Next time I see him I’ll mention it.


You need to check your local laws.

In most case’s it is illegal to have concealed compartments in a motor vehicle,excluding lock boxes such as made by Tuffstuff.

Just saying


Not only that, the DEA has managed to get felony convictions for people with vehicles with “hidden compartments.” According to them, that’s sufficient proof that you’re a drug courier.


Nick,while I agree if it worries you should check but I have the audacity to feel my car as long as not say running over others is mine to do with as I see fit.I choose to ignore knowingly stupid laws have reached that or close to the nothing to lose and everything to gain attitude,no wife/kids so can do this with results only perhaps haunting me.


We can’t do anything about the media</b that Bloomberg’s billions buys.

You must not have gotten the memo about the change in the style guide, specifically regarding the spelling of the seventh word in your sentence. Effective Jan 2017, it’s to henceforth be spelled as per following:

We can’t do anything about the mudia that Bloomberg’s billions buys.


Aren’t all honest gun owners are slack jawed, knuckle dragging neanderthals who shouldn’t be allowed to own firearms in the first place? 😉


No such thing as an honest gun owner. Everyone who owns a gun is a closet racist/homophobe/cop killer/tin foil hat wearing conspiracy nut job.

I’m sure there are more categories they use.


Another slight typo: “…up ant another crime scene).” ‘ant’ should be ‘at’

Agree totally on the MSM being controlled by the money. It comes from the Progressive/Tranzi/Cosmo fellow travelers. A clear and present danger to all we believe in.

You have the responsibility to know all local laws and store firearms in a safe and secure way.

Keep your powder dry and your faith in God.


But what about my super cool break-down 9mm AR I keep in the center console of the truck? No one would ever think to look there. (I presume you’ve seen the video)


Not seen the video how about a link?


Thank You.


Nice gun in the vid, but he sure sweeps his legs with the muzzle after he assembles it…yikes.


Whom,you are right,tis a bit scary as he also did not clear gun but just loaded the mag.Thanks for reinforcing the safety issue.My guess is all think and act on safety 99+% of firearm”accidents” would go away,the few left due to actual mechanical issue of some sort.


@James and @Whomever

The chamber is part of the barrel segment. He can easily see it is clear when assembling it. Look closely at the shiny end as he takes it out.

While is it best not to sweep oneself, it is often almost impossible not to do so drawing under stress, from typical concealed carry positions.

Finger discipline is key. The weapon is unlikely to fire itself, absent major impact and/or broken bits.

That is one slick little SOB of a car gun.


“While is it best not to sweep oneself, it is often almost impossible not to do so drawing under stress, from typical concealed carry positions.”

Say wut?

In particular, for the situation in the video or drawing from your right side in a vehicle, all you have to do is raise the muzzle so it tracks over the top of the steering wheel.

When you’re under stress is precisely when muzzle control is most important (because that’s when you’re most likely to fat finger the trigger), which is why it needs to be instinctive.

And, making a video shouldn’t be all that stressful 🙂

Cap’n Mike

If you have no choice but to leave your carry gun in your car, at least pull the barrel out and put it in your pocket.

At least the a$$ho!es wont be getting a functioning firearm.

The use of “chip keys” has all but ended car theft over the last decade or so.

If your car gets stolen, its because you left the keys in it or lent it to the wrong person and they didn’t bring it back.

John M.

Holy Administrative Weapons Handling, Batman!

-John M.

Aaron Spink

transponder keys tend to have lots of security flaws from using pretty horrible encryption systems. On top of that, almost all models are severely vulnerable to bridged/man-in-the-middle attacks as well. Basically all keyless entry systems are fatally flawed atm allowing anyone with a little knowledge and ~$200 in electronics to easily bypass all the security features.


Mike,actually there are ways to beat the chip keys,that said,thieves usually that tech are going for big buck vehicles.Some folks also have a desire for the older60-70’s trucks ect.,hence,basic ignition or fuel kill switch.

Thieves want it also may just tow whatever you own,happened a bit to a lot of tradesman country wide as caught on,tow vehicle,clean it out for tools and leave in shitty neighborhood,didn’t even chop up for parts.

Cap’n Mike

My experience here in the rust belt is that car theft has mostly disappeared. I used to take stolen car reports all the time 15 years ago. I haven’t heard of one in years that wasn’t a “use without authority” or leaving the key in the ignition at a gas station.

“According to the NICB, during the years 2012 through 2014 a total of 126,603 vehicles were reported stolen with the keys left inside.”

They went so far as disbanding the Governors Auto Theft Task Force in 2012.

You guys that live outside the rust belt, your 1994 Honda Accords are still being hot-wired 😉


The first 3-4 on the model year list are all quite often stolen and driven down to mexico or loaded onto cargo ships for near-export as well…

Hognose Post author

It’s customary in the Third World to see cars (SUVs and pickups especially) that still have the dealer chromie or spare tire cover, advertising the US dealer where their first buyer bought it, before it was stolen and transported. In one country the Legal Attaché (FBI cat at the Embassy) asked us for a favor. Host nation lent us trucks, could we get the VINs? Every single one came back stolen from the States, and these were vehicles belonging to the host nation’s police counternarcotics elite force.

The volume of shipping in US ports is unimaginable, and CBP could work every one of their agents and inspectors full time just off tips. (Which would mean, nothing gets inspected). And then, the AUSAs decline most of their cases. The case agent basically has to tie it up with a bow and make it look sexy for the AUSA’s to deign to prosecute smugglers of anything but vast quantities of illegal narcotics, or fake entertainment industry products. (Why the latter? Suspicion is the big entertainment companies are paying off the attorneys, but good luck proving that).


Something else to avoid. Don’t have bumper stickers, window stickers, etc that have anything to do

with firearms. That means, no “I shoot back” stickers, NRA stickers, gun club stickers, etc etc.

If stickers you must have, try some COEXIST, or PETA, or better yet a big Bernie or Hillary sticker.

Simple statement: Don’t advertise your firearms ownership. This include your home too.


With CA opening up new vanity plates I was highly tempted to get XD45ACP, but then I remembered I’m not that guy.


I was just going to post this same point…

I am not a fan of skylining yourself, no matter the context. Bumper stickers, DOD tags, you name it… If you’re personalizing your vehicle or other property, you’re doing half the work for the criminal. I don’t even like the idea of being seen at a range with firearms, to tell the truth. Ideally, nobody should ever know you own guns, even if you trust them-Idiots talk. And, they’ll talk about you and your collection to other idiots, some of whom will likely be criminal idiots.

My philosophy is pretty simple-The first clue you’re a gunowner ought to come when you’re shooting the sonuvabitch who rightfully provoked your use of that firearm. Sure, it’s probably “unfair” in some minds, but I’m not in agreement with that. Operate in deep stealth mode, at all times. Discretion is indeed the better part of valor, because if you’re discreet, you may never have to worry about using the firearm in the first place.


It’s good to be the Grey Man.

John Distai

@Kirk – To add to that, hide anything of interest when contractors come to work on your house. You never know which ones have “friends” in that business. Stay as grey as possible, and don’t show anything on social media. It’s not hard to find where someone lives or works.


“Social media…”

Don’t even get me started on that bullshit. If someone had proposed, back in the “good old days”, that there would be a multi-billion dollar industry devoted to getting people to broadcast the intimate details of their personal lives, and then monetizing the results…? You would have been laughed out of whatever venue you brought it up in.

The implications of all this shit are beyond most people-By the time your kids are adults, and looking for work, there will be data mining looking over every image, every post, and everything else you ever did online with these intrusive freaks, and the results…? LOL. How’d you like to be turned down for every job you ever applied for, because the metrics derived from your digital traces online all show you to have consonant background with people who have been proven poor performers? Your digital “trace” is going to be used in similar manners to your credit score, and the fact that Mom and Dad put cute little pictures up on the Internet of you doing your Christmas morning unwrapping will likely be analyzed, and whatever they get from that machine analysis is going to be used against you. Say they find a correlation between kids who owned a specific set of toys and poor job performance in your chosen field. Whether or not there’s an actual relationship, if the AI recognizes it and keys in on it…? No job for you.

People are way too fucking casual with this shit. I’m getting paranoid as hell about people taking pictures of me, because I want no part of this bullshit world I can see coming. You think Big Brother was a bad joke? The coming corporate equivalent is going to make you think George Orwell was a piker, in terms of imagination.

“Reputation management”? That’s a concept everyone is going to have to learn to understand; everyone is on notice that every moment of their lives will be subject to analysis and overwatch. Every step you take on accessible security cameras? They’ll have that; every picture you ever took? Those, too-And, they’ll all go into the hopper for the vast machine that’s coming, the one that will churn out reams of shitty analysis telling employers and the government everything they think they know about you. I suspect that it won’t be bloody long before the IRS starts doing meta-analysis on your online digital life, and if you show up as living better than your declared and taxed income? You’ll be flagged for an audit that will crawl up your ass with a microscope.

And, all these idiots around me are putting this shit up there, free of charge, and in complete obliviousness. What the fuck do you think Zuckerberg et al want with this shit, in the first place? How do you think they’re getting those billions of dollars they rake in, for a service you pay exactly jack shit for? Dumbass, if you’re not paying for it YOU ARE THE FUCKING PRODUCT.

And, your kids. And, your pets, along with everyone you know. Your personal lives are being monetized, and you’re giving all that shit away for free. By rights? FaceBook ought to be paying you-Or, the CIA, who I still rather suspect as being Zuckerberg’s backers.

John M.


Sure. Opt out of all that stuff. Then wait and see how you get treated in meatspace when you don’t have a Bookface account. What are you, some kind of paranoid right-wing nut? Anyway, we can’t figure out who you are or what you’re all about, so we’re not going to hire you. We have enough other candidates that we do have all that background on, so the risk of you being an anti-social nut or a criminal on the lam or something is high enough that you’re just not worth the risk.

The reality is that “privacy” is disappearing, mostly because people have given it away. On the plus side, when Millenials are old enough to be making hiring decisions, they’re likely to be more forgiving about a lot of this stuff since they know there are plenty of incriminating photos of themselves kicking around. As for the machine learning stuff? We’ll see. The tech will be able to do what you describe, and will be able to do it soon. But will it be used that way? Who knows.

-John M.

John Distai

@Kirk – Not to mention the SJW warriors that make a hobby of investigating people they don’t like and “pressuring” employers to end that employment. I can think of a several I’ve worked with that are capable of such chicanery.


People just don’t consider what their actual actions are creating, or the long-term effects.

Machine intelligence is likely never to be a “thing”, in terms of you talking to your cell phone and having it respond like Tony Stark’s Jeeves. However, the capabilities that we’re going to see coming on in a few years are going to enable things we only have nightmares about, right now.

Facial recognition software? It’s already here. I have never had a FaceBook or MySpace account; I intentionally keep my digital trace down to the minimal. Yet, I’m talking with a relative of mine, and they show me their FaceBook album-Chillingly, the few pictures of me they have? All were automatically tagged with my name-And, that relative swears up and down they didn’t do it, some app they downloaded did.

Everything you do on those sites is likely being archived, and will eventually be monetized. They’re going to send machine intelligences on deep dives through all that data, and go mining for shit we can’t even imagine, right now. Your kids? Their career prospects and the trajectory of their lives is likely to be set by your inane postings of their childhoods, because the data you’re providing up will be subject to analysis and use at some point. Correlations will be made, parallels found, and if they find that certain profiles found in all that data tend to match up with people who make poor employees…? No job for you, Johnny. No college, no trade, no profession, either.

On the flip side, being a criminal is going to get really, really hard-You’re going to have to be smart enough to elude the machines, and that’s something you’re going to have to work at. That guy whose picture is being shown around, suspected to be involved or at least a witness to the murder of those two poor little girls out in Ohio? In ten-twenty years, the data off that phone is going to be something they can dump into the machinery, and Hey! Presto! we have a match, probably down to the guy’s shoe size and body language. They’re going to actually be able to do all that shit they show on CSI, and for dirt fucking cheap, in terms of tracking and vacuuming up all that surveillance data we see them-And, probably do it from their phones out on the scene of the crime. The DNA traces? They’ll be able to harvest that shit from the scene, process it there on-site, and have a picture produced showing what the owner of that DNA looks like at whatever age they want. Hell, they’ll probably be able to tell how old you are, by that point, going off of telemeroase decay.


Kirk, completely agree. As a victim of gunplay, I have learned this lesson and will only signal I am armed when fire is coming out of the end…..fortunately cooler heads prevailed that evening, and I am typing today.


While I agree about stickers for any randos to see on your car, etc, it’s important to recognize that the continuation of our gun rights requires that we get new shooters involved in all ways — at a minimum help those currently afraid of firearms due to stigma, legends, etc, to realize that firearms are inanimate tools of protection and sport, not only for bad guys…


I recall the story about the guy who was tired of lacsidasical police response to his calls about stuff being stolen out of his enclosed and locked porch. At the next such event, he mentioned one of the items was an upright vacuum with the handle stuffed with dynamite wired to go off if it was plugged in. I imagine they looked a bit harder.

Now I wouldn’t recommend anybody construct a bomb filled with explosives and leave it in a car, but if you happened to have an old beater gun that had a squibbed load stuck in the barrel in your car because you meant to get around to taking it to the gunsmith, then the police might do more than a cursory examination. Maybe. Or not.


I know the stories from Vietnam of leaving behind altered munitions have been told many times. I’d imagine the same could be done by a homeowner with a reloading rig or a friend who’ll let you get some press time with theirs. Keep some “smash and grab” fodder around as a distraction and keep some extra warm loads packed with it too. Brass black the case, which admittedly would probably go a ways towards weakening it, but in this use who cares and you’d know at a glance to never shoot those suckers. I’d even look at some epoxy when seating/crimping the bullets to build up a little more pressure.

But then, you’d have to make damn sure you can remember what you did and anyone that might inherit your trickery understood too. There may not be time for a deathbed confession so whoever is managing estate disposition better have a nice note in those documents to pass along.

John M.

Better off using dud primers. That way nobody gets hurt, including your heirs or other innocent parties who might buy stolen ammo totally innocently.

-John M.


Next week, we can talk about Secret Service agents leaving other sensitive items in cars.

John M.

Like their hookers’ underwear?

-John M.


Like laptops with the floorplans to Trump’s Towers penthouse, and other unspecified highly sensitive data.

In her car, in effing Brooklyn.


“Her”? Well, that explains that.



Last I looked, mishandling classified material was still a federal felony, not just a firing offense.

Ask Zombie Chuck Colson.


I swear to God, you could profile your most likely security risks when I was the S2 NCOIC: And, highest among those were a certain type of particularly entitled female officer, who seemed to treat classified documents as though they were merely stage props. You show me a female officer whose primary motivation for being in the military is to be transgressive, stick it to “the man”, and be “firsties” at some traditionally male thing, well… I will stake large-ish money that that officer is going to have a “lapse of thought/responsibility” involving classified documents.

I had a lot of great women I worked for-In fact, if you asked me to pick out the five best officers I worked for and around during my career, two of them would be female. But, notably, they were not of this type, at all.


There is no “media”. There is only product, and they are always selling.

That many do not understand this is instructive. Because they are the customers who are buying.


I know very few people who actually watch TV news, make time to listen to radio news, or subscribe to a newspaper.

Most people get their “news” from the slipstreamed spam of TV and radio “headline” commercials and Web advertising, and “social media” blather as far as I can tell.


Lets not forget about the former Seattle police chief, who went on to head up DHS, having his Glock stolen from his parked car. And he has the effrontery to show his face at anti gun events.

Kurt Akemann

He’s a politician. A lack of a sense of shame is a prerequisite for advancement in the field of politics.

Bob Bobson

To be clear about your cops and no guns unattended in g-rides (assuming you mean the official vehicle). Is this a practical statement? What about the shotgun or patrol rifle or other longgun? Is it advisable or practical to carry it whenever leaving the vehicle? What are the appropriate risk mitigation measures and what are transferrable to the rest of us?

Of course, if g-ride is meant as their fancy personal vehicle, by all means, don’t leave guns unattended.


Bob, would say a lock box at tax payers expense(hell,charge us for everything else!) and for those who need the quick access a lockable rack tougher then car around it.


Most all LEO agencies have policies that make take home unit drivers take out all valuables, specifically all weapons, tactical gear and serial number items that are not bolted down… i.e., console radios and emergency lights.

I suspect that federal laptop was left where it could be taken, then reported “stolen”… how else would the other side get direct information on where an investigation is?

Speaking of leaving evidence and using a g-car as a drop for an opposing agent… if anyone has read the 1978 book Spooks: The Haunting of America : The Private Use of Secret Agents by Jim Hougan, you would know what happened before, during, and after the 2016 election. Joseph Goebbels could learn propaganda lessons from the DNC, Soros and the Clintons.


***if anyone has read the 1978 book Spooks: The Haunting of America : The Private Use of Secret Agents by Jim Hougan, you would know what happened before, during, and after the 2016 election.***

Jim and I crossed paths several tines in our professional careers, including an encounter in Beirut at a time when there were either no other or damned few other Americans there. I’ve got pretty good reason to believe he’s been an occasional poster herwe, as a couple of *local colour* poster anecdotes sounded awfully familiar,

But it was his work Secret Agenda that really dissected his theory, expounded in Spooks, that the Watergate revelations were the result of FBI wiretaps of White House staffers., as well as the later revelation that FBI wiretap boss Mark Felt [who had run the JFK/RFK-ordered FBI wiretaps on Martin Luther King [including the ones in the Memphis Rivermont Holiday Inn, when King was shot to death, reputedly by a former Army MP] was the source for the reporters’ info.

BTW: if you like his writing, you might find his novels, in which things work out a little more clear-cut and pat than I”ve usually found them to be, but okay thrillers, written with his wife Carolyn under the nom de guerre/plume *john Case*:The Genesis Code, The First Horseman,Kingdom Come [under his own name, and rereleased as The Magdalen Cipher] , The Syndrome, The Eighth Day The Murder Artist and Ghost Dancer. His usual publisher is Ballantine Books, but in overseas airport lounges they may be from any local imprint.


Despite our author’s cooment. LOCK YOUR CAR, every time, even in your own driveway. Two reasons-

1. It keeps you from leaving the key in it by error.

2. We have burglary teams who go to nice suburban neighborhoods about 2 A. M. on weekday nights. Two get out at the north end of Pleasant Drive. Each has a bag. They head south on opposite ides of the street, entering the open cars and ransacking the console, glove box, under front seat, and door pocket. They never bother with unlocked cars or lit up driveways. Thirty seconds or a minute per car.

By the time they get to their accomplice at the south end, each one has a sack full of guns, wallets, credit cards, cash, laptops, drugs, and all the other expected stuff.

A better haul than most ordinary house burglaries and a very low chance of being shot or caught unless they are greedy and return to the well once to many times..

Lock your car, every time.

Steve M.

All good stuff here.

Urban areas, unattended vehicle storage of anything, bumper stickers, social media – it’s all bad juju.


There are a couple Air Force Bases that allow CCW holders to bring their carry guns onto the installation. But, since the DoD is inexplicably full of hopalaphobes you have to keep the gun in the car instead of wearing it into your work space or office. While I think it is a step in the right direction, the commanders are all but handing OSI a bunch of stolen gun cases.Time will tell.

Hognose Post author

If USAF is like the Army, these decisions are made by the cops (MP in Army, Security Forces in the blue-suit world). They tend to be very strongly socialist, paternalist and gun-control oriented. Much more so than real cops!