On July 1st, The New York Governor signed legislation to strengthen New York State’s gun laws. This was a response to the US Supreme Court’s June decision in NYSRPA v. Bruen, which had overturned a New York gun safety law requiring a license to carry concealed weapons in public places. The new law adds a comprehensive list of what it defines as “sensitive locations” — places where the possession of firearms is prohibited. It also makes possessing a firearm in these locations a Class E felony.
The state has issued printable signs for the operators of sensitive locations including government offices, hospitals and healthcare clinics, libraries, schools, and establishments that serve alcohol. But the onus is on gun owners to know where they can, and cannot, be armed.
These restrictions necessitated another new rule: If one leaves their gun unattended in a vehicle, it must be unloaded and locked in a fire-, impact-, and tamper-resistant storage depository that is not visible from the outside. Glove compartments don’t qualify; only a lockable, hard-sided safe will pass muster under the law.
Scott Bonvissuto, president of in-vehicle safe company Console Vault, is not surprised that a legislature has conflated vehicle and gun safety. “Most manufacturers did away with the locking device on the glove compartment a long time ago,” he observes, “and typically it was pretty flimsy, anyway.”
Console Vault’s safes are made of 12-gauge steel and are designed to securely install beneath the center console between the driver and passenger seat. Bonvissuto started the company 20 years before New York’s new law. Originally, his concern was “smash-and-grabs” thefts of cash, jewelry, and electronics, but the company’s product proved an immediate hit with gun owners looking for a safe vehicle storage solution when they can’t carry.
Bonvissuto says that his company is eager to help New Yorkers get in compliance with the new legislation, but adds that there are other important steps to take in order to secure a weapon. “We’ve learned that certain decals and bumper stickers can be targets for criminals looking for weapons and guns, like the National Rifle Association logo,” he says. “Don’t leave a calling card for thieves.”
Bonvissuto adds that New York’s increased restrictions on where guns can be carried will leave many people no choice but to leave a firearm in their vehicle, which can be unnerving for many lawful gun owners. “If you have your laptop or your phone stolen, you can always buy a new one,” he remarks, “but gun thefts can have far-reaching consequences. For example, if a firearm is stolen from a car, some states will revoke the holder’s permit.” This can be devastating, particularly for women who rely on a handgun for protection from stalkers and/or violent ex-partners.
According to Bonvissuto, the popularity of in-console safes was on the rise before the new law was signed, and Console Vault has been regularly updating and expanding its product line over the past few years.
The company is an OEM supplier for Ford supplying safes for vehicles like the Ford F-150, America’s best-selling vehicle for one primary reason: peace of mind. “Every responsible gun owner should feel confident that their vehicle is a hard target for thieves, whatever the law says,” Bonvissuto notes. “To have it violated is a terrible feeling.”