January 29, 2013

The Purse for Concealed Carry

Ten years ago I acquired my concealed handgun license. With the written test and the paper punching range session behind me the easy part was over. Now, all I had to do was figure out how to carry concealed on my very female body.

I found that having a short curvy waist and long legs did not work well with a holster on the hip. Carry at the small of the back or inside an ankle rig was also out of the question.

So, I continued my search for stealth in the land of the concealed carry purse. In the last ten years I have had four purses. Each one taught me something new about carrying a gun along with the dozens of items we women must keep handy.

Ten years and several purses later I have come to the conclusion that a zippered opening (left) is better than fishing around through a Velcro seam. Not only is the Velcro scratchy, but it tends to close up all on its own. Still, you never know when the Velcro is fully closed. My gun has fallen out of purses fit with a Velcro seam. I avoided the zippered purses at first because I thought it was a dead giveaway. But it has never been an issue even when the bag was searched by a security guard. Maybe it’s my eyes. A hammerless semi-auto like the new Glock 30SF is snag proof from the built-in holster. The Carter Custom Weaponry bobbed hammer is a must for revolver fans.

The first thing I learned was the gun has to have its own compartment. Without this the lipstick and powder gets caked on the hammer. Seriously, it must be immediately accessible when needed. Searching through your purse when being followed even if it is clear you are looking for a gun will not deter your assailant.

Second, the opening for the gun should not be lined with Velcro. Velcro makes a lot of noise just when you are trying to be subtle and prepared. Another problem is that a Velcro lined opening will close just when you almost have your hand on the gun. And yet it is prone to open up and let your gun fall out at the most inappropriate times.

The last thing I have learned is to have the opening near your body so that placing your hand at the point of concealment does not look suspicious.

I am most comfortable with a shoulder bag that has a vertical zipper on the front. Behind the zipper is a special compartment with a built-in holster to hold the gun in the best possible position. When I am uncomfortable, such as walking across a parking lot towards my car or anywhere else, I trust my intuition.

The design of my concealment purse allows me to move my right hand across my body, pull down the zipper halfway and grip my gun. No one can tell what I am doing and it looks normal. But I am prepared if the situation turns bad.

I recommend that every woman carrying a gun find a method of concealment whereby you can access the gun easily and quickly whenever in doubt. Remember, it doesn’t do you any good to carry concealed if you cannot get to the gun easily and successfully when necessary. Besides, now you have a good excuse to buy a new purse!