One of the most popular suggestions for women who are concerned about concealing and carrying a gun is to “just stick it in a purse.”
It's an attractive idea. No need to adjust clothing choices. No need to change habits. Just dump a gun in a bag and go.
It’s not quite that easy.
You'll need a purse that can safely and effectively carry and secure a gun, but that also lets you get your gun out of quickly when there’s a need. You’ll also need to know how to use that purse properly.
Just like shooting guns in general, there are skills that are unique to every method of carry. There are also some upsides and downsides you should consider before going with purse carry, just as you should critically evaluate any other way of toting your gun.
In this video, I show you some of the things you need to know before you stash a gun in a bag and expect to be able to use it for self-defense.
As you watch, some of the things I want you to pay attention to include:
- Steps you need to take to properly secure your gun inside your purse
- How much effort and time is required to draw a gun from a purse
- Answers to common wisdom suggesting that you simply shoot through the purse
You might notice that I have a number of different purses and other products that I’m using throughout the video. Galco Gunleather graciously donated a number of their concealed carry handbags for me to use, knowing that I would be shooting some of them up. I received the Vertx EDC Satchel as a giveaway several years ago, together with some of their Tactigami gear including their adjustable MPH holster. They’re just some of the purpose-made options available that can make purse carry a little more likely to be successful.
For me and my life, I find that the downsides and hassles of purse carry outweigh the benefits. I believe it’s a problematic solution, but that if it’s the only one that you can make work for you, there are ways to work around some of the issues. I cover some of them in the video, but to reiterate and expand on a few:
- Stay mindful of where the muzzle of any un-holstered gun is pointed.
- Protect the gun inside the purse, making sure the trigger guard is fully protected but without making it impossible to draw the gun. With devices like the Galco CarrySafe, you may find it better to find a way to more permanently secure it inside the purse than the provided clip.
- Consider how you will access the gun and whether you can keep it in a predictable position.
- Don’t rely on untested strategies like shooting through a purse. Aside from the question of whether or not you will be able to control where your rounds go, the contents of your purse may make this a bad idea. It may be better to get a grip on your gun and allow the purse to be taken away from you rather than fight to retain the purse with the gun in it.
Here's the video: