Stephanie DiGennaro | Responsibly Armed Women, LLC.
When it comes to concealed carrying, we ladies have quite a few options. We can carry on body (the most preferred way) with a more common IWB or OWB holster or we can use a thigh holster or a bra holster. We can also off body carry with something designed for carrying off body such as a day planner, brief case, or more commonly a purse.
Concealed carry purses are designed with a pocket/compartment specifically for your firearm. It typically has a holster which may or may not have Velcro to hold it in place. You will find there are many advocates for purse carry and many who are against it. The decision is yours to make. Whichever method you prefer, practice it so you are proficient drawing from your preferred method.
Let’s discuss purse carry and the pros and cons that come along with it.
Let’s face it; many women carry a purse with them everywhere they go. Some carry just the necessities such as ID, and cash, credit card while others carry much more such as make-up, hair products, etc… Because it is the norm to see a woman carrying a purse, this would make it easy for her to have her firearm with her wherever she goes without the firearm being noticed.
Ease of access. Most women can easily access items in their purse. Some can even pull a certain item out while walking and talking on their phone with ease. Having her purse right there makes it easier for her to access her firearm if needed than say if she was wearing an OWB or IWB holster with a buttoned up dress coat.
Carrying in a purse reduces the likelihood of your firearm printing and therefore, being noticed by others. Also, you do not have to dress around your firearm to ensure it is concealed. Concealed purse carry is convenient.
How many of us have left our purse somewhere at any time? In the car while we run a quick errand, at our desk at work, at the restaurant with a friend/spouse while going to the restroom? You see where I’m going with this, right? Your purse in not always on you – it gets left sitting here and there which means it could be very easy for anyone to just pick it up as they pass by. This is the biggest downfall I see with purse carrying.
Will you be around children? This is very important as your firearm is accessible by anyone if that purse is not on you at all times. Some children are curious. When she was younger, my daughter would put her “special items” in my purse that she would later want to retrieve. What if I had a firearm in there and she was getting her items without my knowledge? That could have ended very ugly.
I will not lie to you, there is the vanity issue. Concealed carry purses are just not that pretty. Some look like Granny’s pocket book while others look like they lost the rhinestone war. You could choose to carry in your own handbag/purse; however, this is not recommended. If you do decide to use your own purse not designed specifically to carry, be sure to designate a certain area for your firearm and have it in a holster. This will help prevent the firearm from being loose in your purse, keeps it cleaner, and provide trigger coverage to help prevent a negligent discharge.
While carrying on-body is the preferred method of carrying, any method of concealed carry is better than not carrying. The decision you make regarding how you carry is totally up to you. Think it over and weigh your options. What fits best in your lifestyle? Remember: Practice! Practice! Practice! No matter how you decide to carry, you must always practice drawing from your chosen method so that you are proficient.
Stephanie DiGennaro lives in West Virginia. Her professional background is in business and accounting. Her desire to learn more about firearms came from the prodding of her father sometime around 2009. Since that time, she has attended numerous firearms training courses. In February 2013, Stephanie accepted the volunteer position of West Virginia State Chapter Leader for The Well Armed Woman (TWAW) Shooting Chapters as well as the leader for the local TWAW Summit Point WV Shooting Chapter. She is also an NRA and The Well Armed Woman Certified Instructor and owner of RAW: Responsibly Armed Women, LLC.
TWAW Summit Point WV Shooting Chapter’s FB page: https://www.facebook.com/#!/TheWellArmedWomanSummitPointWVChapter
The Well Armed Woman: www.thewellarmedwoman.com
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