More drivers arm themselves behind the wheel to defend against carjackers

Posted at 3:42 PM, Mar 14, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-14 19:17:08-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — The growing rash of random, violent carjacking now has more drivers arming themselves and some say it's just a matter of time before a carjacker is shot.

Drivers see what's happening and are preparing, taking note of Tennessee's "Castle Doctorine" which allows you to use deadly force in your car.

John Harris is Executive Director of the Tennessee Firearms Association and says more gunowners these days are driving with their weapons.

"Oh, absolutely. I hear that frequently," said Harris.

The reason is obvious: These days carjackings seem almost commonplace.

Consider what recently happened at the Exxon station across from Nissan Stadium. The victim was attacked when he pulled up to the gas pump and then was shot in the stomach.

Now Harris says people are legally arming themselves in their cars under the state's "Castle Doctorine."

"Your home is your castle and if someone attacks you in your home...then the law presumes you are in fear of death or bodily harm," said Harris.

And he said you are justified to use deadly force.

But what many Tennesseans don't know is the Castle Doctorine extends to your car. It allows anyone with or without a carry permit to drive with a gun and to shoot an intruder who unlawfully enters their car.

Harris is surprised a carjacker has yet to be shot.

"I think it's going to happen. I wouldn't be surprised at all. It's inevitable," said Harris.

It is important to remember not to leave the gun unsecured in your car.

Many of the weapons that end up on the street are stolen from vehicles.

Harris said if you do leave a gun in your car it's best to secure it in the trunk or even better get a mini-gun safe which can be bolted into your car.