In recent years, more women have been getting into shooting sports. In turn, this has had a major influence in the concealed carry market. If you were to ask me five years ago about holster selections for a woman, I would have said there aren't too many manufacturers that make holsters just for women. The area consisted mostly of purses, and only a few manufacturers even made them.
Today there are as many holster selections for women as men, and they come in all different types. However, I'm want to just focus on the gun purse which is one type that is popular with many women in the USA.
A gun purse is not an average purse that you can pick up at the store. It is specially designed to safely conceal a handgun in a special compartment. This compartment has a zipper or velcro that is vertical and has extra ridged padding around the compartment to prevent the handgun from damage or accidental discharge. Inside of this compartment, there is a holster that fits the handgun-- most are universal, but some are specific holsters that only fit one model.
The strap is reinforcement with a steel cable that prevents someone from cutting the strap in two and taking the purse. The purse is made of soft leather, and the look is very nice and casual.
You start by taking the purse on your nondominant side and place the strap over the head and around the neck and shoulder. The purse strap should be slung just like a shoulder bag or a messenger bag where the sling is across the chest and not on one shoulder. This way you have the maximum control over the handgun at all times.
Don’t sling the purse over your weak shoulder only; this is not secure enough. How many times ladies have you had to lift your purse strap back up on your shoulder, plus this makes your vulnerable for a possible purse snatch from behind.
Ladies, it's important to remember that when you go to a restaurant or to a location where you need to sit down, don't just place the purse sling over the corner of the chair or on the floor beside you. These actions can lead to a purse snatch or a forgotten purse. Try the following ideas. First, leave the purse slung over your body. This is the most secure and best way to keep control of your purse at all times. If this is uncomfortable, then loop the purse sling through the chair, and tie it or pick up the chair and put one of the legs through the purse sling. This will prevent a purse snatch and if someone grabs your purse, you are going to know it real fast.
How do you effective draw from your purse?
With your weak hand, hold the front strap and with your strong hand unzip or unsnap the compartment. Use your strong hand to reach inside the compartment and grips the handgun. Now, use your weak hand to pull the front strap backward and then draw out with your strong hand. These two motions will help you to get the handgun out and move the purse out of the way. When the handgun comes out of the purse, you should be careful not to cover your hand or someone else. Here is a good video on Youtube on how to draw from the gun purse.
There are pros and cons to using a concealed carry purse. Let’s start with the cons of the gun purse. It takes longer to draw from a gun purse and other carry rigs. Since it is a type of off the body carry, it makes it easier lose or be stolen. The gun purse tends to be on the large size, and some people may consider that a drawback, as well.
What about the pros of the gun purse? The gun purse allows you to carry your handgun in many different ways. It is easier when you are driving, and you don’t have a handgun digging into your side or back. Also, you can stage the grip of your handgun without anyone knowing you have your hand on your gun. One last thing a gun purse is great for is concealing a larger handgun. Remember, the lighter and smaller the handgun is, the more recoil it has. A heavier handgun will have less recoil than that smaller handgun you carry on the hip. This video describes in good detail the pro’s and con’s of a gun purse and how to overcome the cons.
Gun purses are a good alternative off-the-body-carry. It is great for women who are petite in size or for women who don’t like the feel of a handgun on their hips. If you choose to have a gun purse, please practice your draw and remember safe handgun handling.
A Second Amendment Advocate