One thing I hear a lot when I advocate for securing firearms in vehicles is the knee-jerk reaction of, “Well if I’m in my car and someone attacks me, how am I supposed to defend myself if my gun is locked up?”

Brilliant, but that’s not what anyone is advocating for. Think about it, we’ve all been there: You’re carrying concealed and, whether it’s your daughter’s school play or entering an airport to pick up a loved one, there are places where we are not allowed to carry. When that happens, what do people do? Put their firearms in the trunk or the glove compartment where criminals can simply smash and grab them.

In an effort to curb criminals’ easy access to firearms, one Florida sheriff is reminding gun owners to lock their vehicles and when they’re able, to bring guns inside when exiting their vehicle.

“Not only are you creating an issue for an officer who has to come and write a report because you left your car unlocked, but you may have contributed to violent crime in our community,” Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams said.

“The person who stole that gun is going to sell it, trade it or get rid of it, and it will be a crime gun in this community or some other community,” he added.

“Criminals will go down the path of least resistance,” said Williams. “So the place where there’s no lights, no alarms, cars are unlocked, that’s where they go.”

Williams noted some break-ins involved broken windows and shattered glass, and those cases aren’t necessarily preventable. But he said the ones involving unsecured vehicles can usually be thwarted by simply locking vehicles and bringing guns inside.

“And that’s not an anti-gun message,” said Williams. “It’s a responsible gun ownership message. We’re going to continue to pound that message home until we get some better results.”

If you want to take it to the next level, there are many options of vehicle gun safes at price points from high to low and everywhere in between for gun owners who are serious about cracking down on stolen firearms.

Because at the end of the day, none of us want our guns to end up in the hands of a criminal.