Why You Need a Get-Home Gun


My Kel-Tec P3AT

Here’s what I’m carrying today. As I am writing this, it is 97 degrees. I’m wearing shorts that don’t even have belt loops, and this little mouse gun is tucked in my front pocket.

When I’m home, I always have a small arsenal close at hand. My shotgun, though, has a barrel that the ATF considers to be “short.” It doesn’t typically travel with me. My AR-15, too, requires a tax stamp. Right now, chilling at the coffeehouse with my Mac, all I’ve got is a .380.

I’m not  a prepper, not by a long shot. I know full well that I should be more prepared than I am now, but I’m not. Yet I do have a strategy in place that guides how I think about guns. There, I’m prepared.

It begins with concealed carry. When it is legal to carry a firearm, I do. Even when it isn’t, I often carry a knife. But my gun is my go-to. When I’m kicking around in shorts and a t-shirt, I carry the Kel-Tec. When it is colder, and I am wearing more clothes, I carry a single-stack 9mm. These are givens.

My get home gun.

Even now, though, I’ve got another gun close at hand. That’s the focus of this piece. I keep a gun case with me. The case holds a GLOCK 19 and everything I need to carry it. Should some sort of more serious emergency hit, this might be all I had with me to get back home.

Here’s what’s inside. The GLOCK 19 is there. The 19 is big enough and I run it well. When I train with a handgun, this is the one I take. It isn’t my favorite 9mm, but the damn thing runs well, and I can shoot it well. I’ve got complete confidence in this gun.

I also carry a bunch of magazines. The case holds 9 or 10, depending on how much other junk I’ve got stuck inside. In these magazines, I keep different types of ammunition organized. That’s one benefit, for sure, but it also helps my head to know that I could, at any point, walk away with one mag in the gun, two on my belt, and a couple of others in a pocket.

I keep a functional belt in the case, too. It is nylon, basic, and it folds up. If nothing else, it would work in a pinch. I typically wear a nicer leather belt that works better, but this is a back-up.

I’ve also got a good holster. This one is by MultiHolsters. I love it.  It is kydex, of course, and an outside the waistband holster that is still easily hidden with an untucked shirt.  The holster is also built for a light.

The light here is an Inforce light. I’m not in love with it. I was when I bought it. It has simple controls and is easy to turn on with a trigger finger. Now, I have discovered that I can accidentally turn it on without knowing it. I’ve killed more batteries in this light than in any other I own. Yet my holster is built for it, so I keep carrying it. When it dies, I’ll replace it with another and get a new holster, too. Until then, and forever, I carry spare batteries.

The case is compact and easy to hide in a car.

The case is meant to carry other flashlights, too. I believe in being threatening when I need to be, and nonthreatening when that is appropriate. To that end, I like to have the ability to use a handheld light. So I keep batteries in there for a couple of those, too.

On the right side of the case, I keep a open slot with some extras. There’s typically a lighter. I keep a modestly big fixed blade there, which would compliment whatever pocket knife I am carrying.

There’s another blade in there, too. It isn’t made of steel, or any metal. It is a later addition, and I don’t know just what I’d use it for at this point. But it doesn’t weigh anything. And for a small piece of fiberglass, it is razor sharp.

The case is basic, and has been taking a beating for years. I think I’ve had this one in circulation for more than 4 years. During that time, it has gone on every road trip, every range trip, multiple plane trips, and every trip to the grocery store.

Not much to look at, but hardly obvious, either.

It is a Seahorse case, and it works. There are much more expensive cases on the market, and some of those might be more trendy, but the Seahorse has performed flawlessly for me. And it doesn’t show the wear too badly either.

The best part of the case is that it is not something that screams “gun.” I’ve been around many gun-shy family and friends with my case in hand, and they never knew what I was carrying. As it is lockable, it is easy enough to secure. Even locked up, though, the case is not a safe. Don’t mistake it for one.

The foam inside I had built by MyCaseBuilder.com. These cats have cut numerous cases for me. I used them for a review years ago and fell in love with their service. You design your case’s with a simple-to-use program on site. They will then cut the foam to your specifications and ship it to you. And if you don’t have a case, they sell those, too.

David Higginbotham is a writer and editor who specializes in everyday carry. He was a college professor for 20 years before leaving behind the academy for a more practical profession in the firearms industry.

  • Rob Glikin

    Dave, looking at your photo, you don’t appear to be a dwarf. You don’t appear to be grossly overweight. Yet here you are giving advice on concealed carry and you don’t know how to conceal carry a Glock 19 unless it is hidden in your briefcase. Really?

    Dave, I live here in southwest Florida. In summer I wear shorts everyday. I carry a Glock 19. I conceal it under a T-shirt. Im 5-8 and weigh 195.

    Let me tell you how it’s done. Dump all your pants and shorts that don’t have belt loops Get a high quality belt and a high quality holster. Throw away your Glock suitcase. Buy t-shirts a size larger. Get dressed. That’s how it’s done, Dave.

    • Mike

      I think you need to reread the whole article, Rob. This setup is for a specific circumstance. Please drop the condescension.

    • David Higginbotham

      Easy, Rob. You don’t know me. I’m 6’4″ and 250, sadly. I can, and have, concealed many kinds of guns. I carry almost ever handgun I review. I also work in an educational capacity that places me in front of more than 100 adult people a day, some days, all of whom are looking at me, watching me, scrutinizing me. You can conceal a 19 under your t-shirt, but I damn-well guarantee it isn’t concealed from anyone who pays attention to you for more than a minute. Then try writing on a board, erasing the board, sitting down at your desk, standing up again… even with a sports coat on, it is a risk that I, becasue of legal reasons and societal paranoia, can’t take. Instead of copping out entirely, I’ve relied on other means. And I’d be willing to bet I’m more proficient with a .380 than most would be with their 9mms, becasue I train and practice all the time. And as for my suitcase, it has a lot more in it than a glock. Two lights, a multitude of mags. Love your enthusiasm for instruction, but you are missing the point entirely.

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