Gun Left Behind by Accident

You get into your rental car after a long flight and are feeling slightly naked knowing you can’t carry. You have to be in sunny San Diego for a work conference and had no choice in the location or the fact you can’t carry.

When you pull into the hotel’s check-in area, you decide to throw the car paperwork in the glove compartment. Opening the glove compartment you find a gun in a holster. The hammer of the gun is cocked and the handle of the gun is toward you.

What do you do?

BTW, this happened to a friend of a coworker who has some handgun background. He knew it was a 1911 and was supposed to be cocked and locked for carry.


Personally, I would not touch the gun, would call the police, the USCCA (even if not covered, just to get a referral for an attorney), and the car rental company. With it being California, I would definitely have legal representation on stand by, any expenses I incurred I would litigate the Car Rental company for.

I would do the same in New York, and several other states.


Call the cops. A gun, left in a rental car, screams stolen to me.


It depends of situation.
If I’m in hurry (mostly that happens when I fly and rent the car) I call rental company and let them know where the car is going to be parked (place of my choice, wherever I’m driving) and let them handle this.
Otherwise I’ll call cops.


Call USCCA then call the police. If the gun was lawful or not I doubt the owner is going to call the car company. It maybe much more trouble than it’s worth. Being from Chicago I know that there’s always a chance that there may be a body attached to the gun and whose to say the car wasn’t transported from another city if that city was short cars. And someone could have put that gun in that car to dump it in the first place.


If it is already in my collection, I would call 911 then the USCCA Hot Line.


Thought 1: Finder’s keepers…

Thought 2: This is a new enhanced service the rental car company is offering to premier members such as myself and they’ve found some loophole for out of State residents to carry as part of their rental agreement…

Thought 3: Call the rental car company and the police and advise them of the situation and let them pick up the firearm and rental, (who the heck knows what else might be in that car).


We should also consider how much holster is worth :wink:


Definitely a call to the cops. No 1 weapon is worth the hassle it could potential be involved in later down the road.


Always call the police first. It looks suspicious if you call an attorney or the USCCA first.

I’d drive right to the closest police station, walk in with the rental car paperwork and have them remove the firearm from the car. The paperwork shows when I picked up the car and they can tell how long it took from the car rental place to the hotel to the police station. They can also search the car - not my luggage. I’d take my stuff out and have the rental car bring me a different car.


That’s even better than anyone has stated.


Although not a firearm, similar situation happend to my buddy and I. @TexasEskimo heard me tell the story but the Texas trooper found a .25 magazine in the glove box of rental on highway 59

Therefore. I would say, if not too late…report unto rental service.

If it’s after you drove away, let’s ask @MikeBKY, his opinion because would not want to call police and get arrested hahaha


I think the worst part is saying “Yeah search” & unto your surprise there is something they found. NOT illegal but still!


First, when you rent a car, always look to see if there was anything left in it. I do this immediately after the walk around inspection for damage with the rep right there. Check the trunk, glovebox, seat pockets, console, door compartments and the floors. (Same inspection I did when using pool cars at the SO, although, with those, I also pulled the back seat out to check for contraband that might have been dropped by a suspect. I do not go as far as pulling open where a spare tire may be. I have found glasses, cups, documents-usually rental and other unimportant items.)
If that wasn’t done, I agree with @Dawn and would go to a police department to have them get it as well as calling the rental company so they can get involved if needed.
I am assuming this is in CA (going to San Diego) and would give serious thought to contacting the USCCA Hotline to see about getting me in touch with a local network attorney. I would do the same in any of the other anti 2A states that create concerns.
If the nearest PD is not relatively close, I would consider calling them to come get it. I do not necessarily want to get tagged for transporting an illegal firearm, magazine …


Everytime I rent a car, I check over the entire thing, inside and out with the rental car person and note every last scratch plus vehicle cleanliness and all compartments including under the hood…

I won’t be blamed for their lack of seeing any prior damsge.


Mostly I don’t check inside, and once the car has no damages, I’m good to go…


I check out the entire car, if something isn’t right, a lot of the time I will get free upgrade to a more premium rental (I always go economy rental) and 2 of the 3 times I’ve rented for trips where each vehicle has been driven over 3000 miles, I was upgraded to a far more expensive vehicle for free due to flaws found…

For example, got in the car and no matter the seat position, my head hit the ceiling, closing the door would smash me in, a fault detected somewhere.

And if you think that it may be my fault for picking a tiny car for my size… I show up, up to a week before to confirm my rental in person and see what kind of vehicles are in stock, I show up driving a 2dr Geo Metro.

A good pretrip inspection can get you some freebies and have little to no surprises.


the police are the best equipped to determine if its stolen or not, and if its not get it back to the rightful owner (hopefully with some admonishment about losing a firearm and not reporting it)

if it IS stolen, handling it could taint vital evidence the police might need.

Calling the USCCA would be wise too, even if its not needed, letting them know what is going on will help


Welcome to the Community @John277.

Not only taint the evidence but add evidence from the handler that may make the handler the lead suspect.


Any time we have had a rental car we have gone over it thoroughly. Most of that is simply to make sure all of the damage was recorded.
We rented a Land Rover Discovery Sport in AZ over the summer. The agent showed us all of the damage. I checked the interior, arm rest, glove box. I think I forgot the seat back pockets. Anyway, we opened the hatch and the big trim panel fell off. We had to go find the agent who had to find someone else to document it. (they were processing multiple cars in so they were busy). While it set us back 45 minutes, it was worth the trouble.

So, on the off chance I forgot and found it later, I’d call the local PD. I don’t fell the need to keep driving around with the gun. In fact, the hotel might have a better relationship and ask them to call and say why. And don’t touch it! I’d call the rental agency next and explain to them why I want another car delivered to me ASAP.

I am less worried that it’s stolen and figure someone probably left it by accident (idiot).

Once the whole fiasco is over, I’d go to the hotel bar and have a stiff drink!