When I did my training for my concealed carry licence I got into a very heated debate with my male instructor. The topic was holsters and how to conceal, and I asked the simple question of what would he recommend for female carry, his answer was simply “A Concealed carry purse”. The look on my face was probably priceless as I launched into all of the issues that I had learned about purse carry.
Now having carried for some time, my view on concealed carry purses has relaxed a little, and I can see somewhat what my instructor was getting at, it really is very convenient to be able to put a firearm in a purse and not have to worry about printing, it’s a nice option to have on hand for times when clothing choice simply won’t allow for an on body carry. I love my maxi dresses in the summer and despite my commitment to carrying daily, I’m still not entirely able to give those maxi dresses up, so I’m left with two equally imperfect choices, purse carry or ankle carry…I’ve had to learn to accept that as a woman who wishes to remain feminine many of my choices will be imperfect.
But that brings me back to my original question, should a concealed carry purse ever be a primary carry option? My answer, despite my new found acceptance of imperfection remains no. There are simply too many issues with purse carry for me to make it a primary carry method.
Can You Keep A Concealed Carry Purse Secure?
Firstly for me there is the issue of security around my toddler, or any other human beings in my vicinity for that matter. It takes a lot of mental energy to override the habits of a lifetime and never take the purse with my firearm off, to never sit it in the grocery cart when I go shopping, never sit it under a table at a restaurant, to be sure that I will never let it come under someone else’s control.
Which brings me to issue two, purses are easily snatched or stolen, wherever you live or travel it’s something you have to be aware of, that risk becomes so much scarier when the person snatching your purse gets hold of not only your wallet and keys but also a firearm in a matter of seconds.
Thirdly there’s the matter of speed and access, now purse carry has a slight advantage in some situations, if I were to feel intimidated with advanced warning I am able to walk with my hand on my firearm while keeping it concealed, however we won’t always have that kind of warning, and accessing the weapon in a short space of time, say under 5 seconds is extremely difficult when zips are involved.
On balance I have come to the conclusion that a good concealed carry purse (or two, or lets face it even three because variety is the spice of life) has a place on every woman’s concealed carry holster selection, but we need to work at ensuring our primary carry methods are on body and far more secure then the purse allows us to be.
As a Brit living and working in the USA, her views on gun ownership and the second amendment have evolved over the years, allowing her to fully understand both sides of the gun control debate and she regularly speaks on the matter to help others understand why she feels the second amendment must be protected and why she chooses to be an advocate for the shooting sports.
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