Section I – General Rules
1) The first person to yell “SHOTGUN” gets to ride in the front seat.
2) The remaining back seats may be divvied up in the same manner by being the first to call “back right seat”, etc..
3) The word “shotgun” must be loud enough to be heard by at least one witness. If no witness is to be found, or in case of a tie, the driver has the final word. After all, it is most likely his car. (note: if it isn’t his car, and the owner is present, the owner’s decision is final. Owner must be sober, however, or he will defer his judgment to the driver.)
4) Early calls are strictly prohibited. All occupants of the vehicle (including the driver) must be outside of the building and directly on the way to the vehicle before shotgun may be called. Under no circumstances may a person call shotgun inside a building. For sake of simplicity, a garage is considered to be outside. Parking structures and detached garages are always considered as being outdoors, even if they are underground.
5) A person may only call shotgun for one way of a trip. Shotgun can never be called while inside a vehicle or still technically on the way to the first location. For example, one can not get out of a vehicle and call Shotgun for the return journey.
6) Being as how everyone is created equal, men have the same right as women to the front seat of the car. i.e. women don’t own the front seat.
7) One is allowed to ride shotgun as many times as he can call it, but for himself only. No one can call shotgun for their slower friend, unless the friend has a speech or mental handicap that prevents them from calling it for themselves.
8) The driver has final say in all ties and disputes. The driver has the right to suspend or remove all shotgun privileges from one or more persons.
Section II – Special Cases
These special exceptions to the rules above should be considered in the order presented; the case listed first will take precedence over any of the cases beneath it, when applicable.
1) In the instance that the normal driver of a vehicle is drunk or otherwise unable to perform their duties as driver, then he/she is automatically given Shotgun.
2) If the instance that the person who actually owns the vehicle is not driving, then he/she is automatically given Shotgun, unless they decline.
3) In the instance the driver’s spouse, lover, partner, or hired prostitute for the evening is going to accompany the group, he/she is automatically given Shotgun, unless they decline.
4) In the instance that one of the passengers may become so ill during the course of the journey that the other occupants feel he/she will toss their cookies, then the ill person should be given Shotgun to make appropriate use of the window.
5) In the instance that only one person knows how to get to a given location and this person is not the driver, then as the designated navigator for the group they automatically get Shotgun, unless they decline.
6) In the instance that one of the occupants is too wide or tall to fit comfortably in the back seat, then the driver may show mercy and award Shotgun to the genetic misfit. Alternatively, the driver and other passengers may continually taunt the poor fellow as they make a three hour trip with him crammed in the back.
Section III – The Survival Of The Fittest Rules (a.k.a The Bastard Rules)
1) If the driver so wishes, he/she may institute the Survival Of The Fittest Rules on the process of calling Shotgun. In this case all rules, excepting 1.8, are suspended and the passenger seat is occupied by whoever can take it by force.
2) The driver must announce the institution of the Survival Of The Fittest Rules with reasonable warning to all passengers. This clause reduces the amount of blood lost by passengers and the damage done to the vehicle.
3) Please follow the above rules to the best of your ability. If there are any arguments or exceptions not covered in these rules, please refer to rule 1.8.
Section IV – Revisions
1) These rules shall be subject to either revision or amendment at any time. But, changes and new rules you create during a car ride do not take effect until the next car ride.
2) Since there is an established body currently in place to distribute world-wide information, it is proposed that the United Nations oversee the adoption, updates (as required) and enforcement of these rules once adopted by at least two-thirds of the current membership of the UN.
3) It shall be the responsibility of all drivers to have a current copy of these rules in the vehicle’s glove compartment, so that disputes may be resolved.
Section V – Amendments
Amendment I: The Laser / Shotgun Double Barrel Rule
A person may call “laser” or “Shotgun Double Barrel” after shotgun has been called, to override the shotgun call. This is only valid if the driver verifies the call as we see in Section 1.3.
Additionally, any passenger who says “No Blitz” after claiming shotgun, may not have it taken away by either the “Laser” or “Double Barrel” rules.
These rules hold no precedence over Standard shotgun procedure, and the driver has final say in all calls.
Amendment II: The Specific Amendment
Any person who wishes to claim shotgun must actually pronounce either the word “Shotgun” or “Gun.” One may not say the name of a type of shotgun, such as “12 Gauge.” If a passenger does, then he or she can lay no claim on shotgun, and may be called by another person.
Amendment III: The “House” Rule
The Owner of the vehicle decides which Shotgun Amendments to institute on his own car. All passengers must abide by the rules of these Amendments, which are stated in this document. This Amendment clarifies that not all Amendments need be active at any given time.
Amendment IV: Eviction
If the vehicle is forced to stop for a serious infraction of the Shotgunner, the Shotgunner must relinquish his/her seat, if the driver so wishes.
Serious infractions have been known to include spilling alcoholic beverages, spilling any beverage, being annoying, breaking parts of the car, and in extreme cases, just being ugly.
Amendment V: The Shotgun Clause
This rule native to the south, but practical in many northern cities, states that the potential occupant with the largest caliber weapon on their person defaults to shotgun, unless one occupant is actually armed with a shotgun, in which case he gets shotgun. If two or more occupants actually have shotguns, then the over/under barrel configuration rules.
Amendment VI: The Reserve Shotgun Amendment (Bitch, Spanky, Comm and SAM)
After Shotgun has been called, other patrons may call “Bitch,” “Spanky,” or “Comm,” referring to the seat behind shotgun, the seat behind the driver, and the center back seat, respectively. SAM applies to the hatchback or trunk.
Amendment VII: Navigator
The passenger who has shotgun MUST serve as Navigator. By this, he must watch out for signs and intersections that the driver may miss during the course of a road trip. The Navigator must also ask for directions out the window.
It is also the responsibility of the passenger who has shotgun to take control of the radio and air conditioning, however the driver has final say over the settings. The other occupants of the car can also have an opinion. If the passenger with shotgun is caught forgetting their duties and makes the car listen to commercials and/or bad music, then his privilege can be lost. Of course, this is all in good judgement of the driver. As Navigator, the driver may also ask him to operate other devices such as the windshield wipers, and rear window defroster.
It is also the job of the Navigator throw all trash and empty beer bottles out of the window. The beer bottles must be crushed under the tires to destroy all evidence, in case of an emergency situation.
In addition, the Navigator must possess the ability and the will to insult other drivers and be heard, only if they deserve it (ie: being cut off). This is to allow the driver to continue to operate the vehicle properly.
The Navigator must possess the ability (and the will) to roll down their window and invite any chicks in adjacent cars to the driver’s destination.
Amendment VIII: First Blood
This rule from the mid-west states that whoever draws blood (supposedly when the Survival of the Fittest rules are in effect) gets shoved in the back of the hatchback (or trunk) with the spare tire.
Amendment IX: Australian Shotgun
Originally from Australia, if two people tie for shotgun, then the first person to put their thumb on their head is awarded shotgun. If they both do this at the same time, then an immediate pissbolt (race) to the car is required.
Amendment X: Five Minute Rule
This rule, which originated in Massachusetts, states that in the event that the passenger riding shotgun leaves the car (ie: to get something from his house or a convenient store) is allowed 5 minutes in which to return and still retain his shotgun privilege. If he does not return within the time frame allotted, another passenger may take his place. There are other variations to this rule such as the “Two Hour Rule,” but these usually result in the shotgunner geting beaten up by the other passengers.
Amendment XI: Awnings
Once all passengers have exited through the final doorway on the way to the car, (provided the car is in view), they are considered outside and may call shotgun no matter what covering is overhead. This rule applies to all awnings, covered decks and all outdoor shelters. Garages are considered outside so long as the door is open.
Amendment XII: National Bitch
This rule alters Amendment VI, where the caller of “Bitch” gains the center back seat. Comm is replaced with “Spanky 2,” referring to the seat behind Shotgun.
Amendment XIII: Refueling
In addition to Amendment VII, if the car needs refueling at any time, it is the duty of the Shotgunner to gas up the car and pay (though usually with money given by the driver).
Amendment XIV: The Race
If there is a tie when calling shotgun, the first person who touches the car wins.
Amendment XV: Ozzie Pissbolt
If the driver gets confused or annoyed with chaotic rules arguments, he may shout “Ozzie Pissbolt,” suggesting that the first person to touch the car is awarded shotgun.
Amendment XVI: Jedi Run
If the car is not within sight of the driver, and significantly far away, so that the proposed walk to the vehicle is neither linear nor within five minutes, the initiating party may call “Jedi Run” after a successful shotgun call (vehicle visibility is not required for this success). She must then beat all other opponents to the vehicle. In order to secure shotgun, the initiating party must not be out of breath or tired by the time the rest of the troupe arrives. This overrides any other countermeasures for shotgun if executed before they come into effect.
Amendment XVII: Alternate Names
This amendment adds additional aliases.
Shotgun may also be called under the following aliases: Gun, Shogun, Catgut, and Shotty. Bitch (as in, behind shotgun) may also be called under the following aliases: Rightsies and On-The-Rightsies SAM may also be called under the following aliases: Turrets
Amendment XVIII: Alternative Seats
In addition to Amendment XVII, anyone who wants to be duct-taped to the roof calls “Mir!” If a trunk is present in the vehicle, then this “seat” will hereby be recognized as “Ex-Wife.”
Amendment XIV: The Recall Rule
Once a passenger has called shotgun, another passenger may call “Recall Shotgun,” thereby overriding the shotgun call and claiming shotgun for themselves. In order for this not to happen the first passenger must call “Shotgun, No Recall.” This rule is similar to the “No Blitz” call.
Amendment XX: Reversion
If the original caller of shotgun lost their seat to some countermeasure, the initial caller may shout “Same Seatsies” to regain their right to shotgun. In addition, “Double Barrel” and “Laser” may be followed by “No Blitz,” so that the original caller cannot regain their shotgun right. “No Blitz” and “Same Seatsies” are synonymous with “No Recall” and “Recall Shotgun,” respectively.
Amendment XXI: Duel
In such a case where any present shotgun rules still causes confusion between two individuals, they may duel for the honor of Shotgun. This duel takes the form of one (and only one) round of traditional “paper, rock, scissor.” Alternatively, this may be replaced by one (and only one) round of “odds or evens.”
Amendment XXII: Chinese Sneak Attack
In the event that someone manages to touch the car’s handle, and/or is in the car before anyone called shotgun, then they immediately receive the shotgun priviledge. However, this amendment does not apply to someone who ran to the vehicle in question in order to do so.
Amendment XXIII: Broken Seat
In the event that the front passenger seat in the car is extremely uncomfortable (i.e. has a big hole in it), the passenger who called Shotgun must sit in that seat. The other passengers may ridicule him as they wish.
Amendment XXIV: Smoking
In the event that smoking is allowed in said vehicle, smoking passengers are given consideration over non-smokers in order that they may utilize either the window or ashtray.
In the event that there is more than one smoking passenger, the passenger that has already lit-up has Shotgun privilege over those who are not already engaged in the act of smoking.
In the event that more than one smoker is already smoking while on the way to the vehicle, the driver may enforce The Survival of the Fittest Rules or First Blood Rule. This however, is not recommended do to the high risk factor to the vehicle in question. As stated in Section I Article 8 of the Constitution, the driver has all final say in disputes between passengers.
Amendment XXV: Secondary Passenger
If a passenger is “just along for the ride,” then they must sit in the back seat (or worst seat, if the car is otherwise full), because the ride is not for them.
Amendment XXVI: Double Shotgun
This rule from Delaware states that if a given passenger calls a valid “shotgun”, then he or she may not say “shotgun” again. By calling “shotgun” a second time, he or she would automatically forfeit their seat and shotgun is reopened to the other passengers.
Other passengers are allowed to try to trick the person who originally says “shotgun” into saying it again, in order to claim shotgun for themselves.
Amendment XXVII: Contraband
In the event that the car is about to pass an abandoned case of beer, pornography, or any other form of contraband that the passengers might find useful in some way or another, it is the responsibility of the passenger riding shotgun to open his door and scoop up the said beer, pornography or contraband, while the car is still in motion.
Additionally, if the car is moving at a speed above 15 M.P.H. (24 km/h) the passenger riding shotgun may decline to do so.
Amendment XXVIII: No Bitch
This rule states that once Shotgun has been called by one of the passengers, the remaining passengers may call, “No Bitch.” The passenger who calls “No Bitch” last, or fails to call it at all, is forced to ride bitch.
Amendment XXIX: No Chauffeur / Compulsory Shotgun
In the event that there are fewer passengers than capacity would allow, there must always be a passenger riding shotgun. This would include a couple. This is to prevent the driver from feeling ditched, or like a chauffeur.
Amendment XXX: Seniority
In the instance that one of the passengers is much older than the rest of the passengers, he/she is automatically given Shotgun unless they decline.
Amendment XXXI: Ten-Foot Rule
This rule native to Myrtle Beach and Charleston, SC, states that once a passenger has called Shotgun, another passenger may call “10 Foot Rule.” In this case, there would be an immediate race for the car. The first passenger to come within 10 feet of the car is awarded Shotgun.
Amendment XXXII: Backfire
This rule from Central NC states that if a passenger has shotgun on a trip, and then calls shotgun for the return trip, any passenger may call, “Double Shotgun Backfire,” to prevent a single passenger from dominating the front seat.
Amendment XXXIII: International Travel
When crossing the border into another country. All shotgun claims are void, and passengers may once again call shotgun. If another passenger gets it, the driver must pull over at his earliest and safest convenience.
Amendment XXXIV: Context
A passenger may only receive shotgun if he says shotgun within the context of calling shotgun. For instance, a passenger may not be awarded shotgun if he says, “Did anybody call shotgun?,” or if he/she was talking about a shotgun.
Amendment XXXV: Language
If you reside in a non-English-speaking locale, Shotgun must be called by its native word. For instance, in Sweden, the word “Hagelbossa” must be pronounced, while in Germany, “Schrotflinte.”
Shotgun may be called in any language the driver is fluent in. “Fluent” is described here as being proficient enough in a language to understand conversation exchanges.
Order of preference rewards the language closest to the native language of the locale in which Shotgun is called. For instance, if the call is made is Sweden, and the only calls were “Schrotflinte” and “Escopeta” (Spanish), respectively, the seat will be given to the second caller, as German is closer-related to Swedish than Spanish is.
Amendment XXXVI: The Eviction Notice
Particularly crafty individuals may override a yet-to-be-made Shotgun call by leaving a note, clearly visible on the passenger-side door, with the word “Shotgun” written legibly on it, following the author’s name. So long as no Shotgun call was made before the message was seen, the writer of the message is awarded Shotgun.
Other calls relating to Shotgun may also be made in similar manner, including such calls as “No Blitz”, “Laser”, etc.
The execution of the written “call” goes into effect as soon as someone has seen the writing. Calls made prior to this override the note.
Amendment XXXVII: No Hump
Local to Toronto, ON (Canada), this rule is relevant if there are five passengers in a car that has only four seats. After a successful Shotgun call is made, the remaining passengers may call “No Hump” to avoid sitting on the hump between the two back seats. The individual failing to make the call, or the last person to make the call, must sit on the uncomfortable, ball-breaking hump. This is a much-feared “seat” to Camaro and Firebird passengers.
Amendment XXXVIII: Eagle Scout
An addition to Amendment XXX, it is the duty of the Shotgunner to spot all speed cameras and police cars that could pose a threat to the driver and car. If the vehicle is stopped because the Shotgunner failed in his duties, he may be banned from riding Shotgun for a period of time dictated by the driver.
Amendment XXXIX: Shotgun Suicide
If the Shotgun caller attempts to open the car door as it is being unlocked (thus causing it to stay locked), he immediately loses Shotgun priviliges for the upcoming ride, and a new round of calling Shotgun must be executed.
Amendment XXXX: Multiple Vehicles
In the case that there is more than one eligible car to make a trip, the owners of their respective vehicles may not want to drive. In these cases, they may force their colleagues to waste gas by proclaiming, “Shot Not”. A successful call will not only save them gas, but will award them shotgun in another vehicle.
If there are more than two vehicles that can be driven, “Shot Not” can be followed by the name of the car’s owner who the caller wants to have Shotgun in.
If “Shot Not” was called, but the car in which preference was called for has already had a successful Shotgun call, the individual still need not drive, so long as there are other potential vehicles whose drivers did not make successful “Shot Not” calls.
Once non-drivers have been eliminated with successful “Shot Not” calls, all non-Shotgun riding passengers may choose seats in the typical manner (ie “Bitch”, “Comm”, etc.) followed by the driver’s name of the car they wish to travel in. A passenger is not guaranteed a particular seat in a vehicle unless the seat specified and the car specified is legal (ie, it has not yet been called).
“Shot Not” may be called under the aliases of “Shot No Drive”, “Shotgun Not Drive”, and “Shotgun No Drive”.
For efficiency-sake, “Shot Not” cannot be overriden with rules such as “Laser”.
Amendment XXXXI: Multiple Calls
This happens when multiple groups of people are meeting at one car, and both groups had someone claim Shotgun. If it can not be determined who made the call first, the dispute is settled with Rock, Paper, Scissors.
Amendment XXXXII: Boyfriend/Girlfriend
Section II, Article 3 of the Constitution states that , “In the instance the driver’s spouse, lover, partner, or hired prostitute for the evening is going to accompany the group, he/she is automatically given Shotgun, unless they decline.” In addition, serious Boy/Girl friends should also receive preferential treatment in regards to shotgun.
Amendment XXXXIII: The Couples Rule
In the event that a couple is traveling together, they must both sit together in either the front or back seat. This is so that people without boy/girlfriends, spouses, lovers, or prostitutes, can talk amongst themselves in the hope of acquiring boy/girlfriends, spouses, lovers, or prostitutes.
This rule however is null and void if the The No Chauffeur / Compulsory Shotgun Rule is in effect.
Amendment XXXXIV: Balking
If you have called Shotgun and are waiting for the doors to be unlocked, you are not allowed to lift the handle during the unlocking, causing the other doors to remain locked. This voids your right to Shotgun.
Amendment XXXXV: Abandonment
If the Shotgun occupant leaves the vehicle (even if they plan to come back), the Shotgun seat is up for grabs. One exception is if the Shotgun rider leaves to do a deed for the driver, like buying cigarettes or pumping gas. In those cases, that person retains their Shotgun rights.
Amendment XXXXVI: The Handicapped
Section II, Article 6 states that preferential shotgun treatment may be offered to anyone “too wide or tall to fit comfortably in the back seat”. Preferential treatment should be awarded to the handicapped as well as to these genetic misfits, especially if the injury prevents them from achieving maximum leg room, maneuverability, etc. (as might be the case with a broken leg, foot, etc.) Unlike with Section II, Article 6, however, the handicapped are not to be taunted as with the genetic misfits if not awarded shotgun. Otherwise, taunting is okay.
Amendment XXXXVII: The Bribery Amendment
In the event that the shotgun call ends up in a tie between two passengers, the passengers in the tie may attempt to bribe the driver so that the driver makes the call in their favor. This rule is null and void, however if the driver institutes the Survival of the Fittest Rules. Examples of bribes are money, food and soda.
Amendment XXXXVIII: The Full View Amendment
The automobile must be in full view of all passengers before “Shotgun” may be called.
Amendment XXXXIV: The Second Call Amendment
If a given passenger calls a valid “shotgun”, then he or she may not say “shotgun” again. By calling “shotgun” a second time, he or she would automatically forfeit their seat and shotgun is reopened to the other passengers.
Other passengers are allowed to try to trick the person who originally says “shotgun” into saying it again, in order to claim shotgun for themselves.
Amendment L: Voiding
Whenever you break a Shotgun rule, you may be voided from receiving Shotgun privileges for that ride.
Amendment LI: Long Trips
The rules listed in our guide were created for short trips (1 hour or less). On longer trips, Shotgun can be divided equally among those who want it.
Amendment LII: The Rock Amendment
This rule states that once a passenger calls “Shotgun,” he must also say, “No Rock.” If the gunner does not say this, another passenger may call, “Rock.” In this case Shotgun is awarded to the winner of a best of three, Rock, Paper, Scissors contest.
Amendment LIII: The Rotating Shotgun Rule
• This rule is native to a suburb of Philadelphia, PA to ensure that everybody gets shotgun at least once per long road trip.
• Before the first ride a passenger will call shotgun under the normal procedures, as stated in Section I of the Official Rules.
• Once a passenger has had shotgun, he or she may not have shotgun again until everyone else has had shotgun.
• Before the second ride, everyone (besides the person who has already had shotgun) competes for shotgun under the normal conditions.
• This continues until the trip has either ended or if everyone has already had shotgun once.
Once everyone has had shotgun, the “shotgun order” has been established. You must now rotate in that order.
• The shotgun order recycles over and over until the trip is finished.
• Person(s) joining the trip after the first ride are entered into the order by the following process:
—-Clause A: On their first ride, the calling of gun is between that person and the person whose turn it is in the shotgun order.
—-Clause B: if the order has not yet been established, the new rider is entered into the pool of riders calling for shotgun.
• Driver still has final say in all ties and disputes. All rules from the Official rules, including special cases, and the Survival of the Fittest, are still in effect.
Amendment LIV: The Barefoot Rule
Since you must be outside to call Shotgun, some people will just grab their shoes, run outside, and call Shotgun before putting their shoes on. This is not valid. You must have your shoes on (if you plan to wear any) before you may call Shotgun.
Amendment II: Re-entry
If you call Shotgun and then go back inside the building, you lose your Shotgun rights. While you are gone, someone else can call shotgun. If nobody does, you can call it when you go back.
Amendment LV: Hand On The Shotgun Door
Shotgun can no longer be called once someone’s hand is holding the shotgun door handle. This is significant when nobody else is around to hear you call shotgun.
Amendment LVI: Sitting Down
By sitting in the Shotgun seat before anyone has called it, you get to stay there even if somebody calls it afterwards. Nobody needs to hear you actually call shotgun.