Things To Watch For When Looking To Conceal A Firearm In Your Purse
Pros And Cons Of Purse Carry
In the recent years, an unprecedented number of concealed handguns have been bought by women for carrying along. In my personal opinion, this increase in the number of women buying and carrying concealed handguns is great for the public as well as personal safety. You don't have to go too far to see the effect of this increase. All the big city newspaper reports carry stories of how a good citizen with a gun in their hands prevented a violent crime. These stories are usually found in the inside pages. A gun in the hands of a would-be victim also prevents an untold number of crimes that are never reported. However, it does not mean that everyone, including women, understands the importance of carrying a firearm in a safe manner which still allows quick access in the time of need.
Purse Carry - It's Dangerous
The most common method that I have heard from women is purse carry, even for women who have been carrying a licensed firearm for many years. It's disappointing to hear this. One of the biggest reasons is that drawing a firearm from a purse is much slower as compared to other on-body locations.
A deadly force encounter usually lasts for an average of five seconds. While women can draw the firearm from their purse in less than five seconds with practice and right equipment but how many women do you think are going to take time for practicing.
No License Is Required for This Weapon!
Another problem with a purse carry is that most women never practice drawing out a firearm from their purse and they may not be aware of the fact that it's important to drop the purse to the ground or fire one-handed in case of a shoulder strap purse to ensure the purse does not interfere with point of impact. Also, women do not have control of their purse 100% of the time which is also confirmed by many news reports. There have been reports of children less than five years old having gotten their hands on a firearm from the purse, with unfortunate results.
Also, carrying a firearm in a purse is not safe. There is a reason experts recommend keeping your finger of the trigger until you have the sights set on the target. Another important safety rule while carrying a firearm is to ensure that the muzzle should never cover anything that you are not willing to destroy, and a purse carry does exactly that.
However, this does not mean that there are no advantages of purse carry. One of the biggest advantages is that it allows you to carry a much bigger gun that holds more ammunition and is easier to shoot. A purse carry also allows you to get a fitting grip on your gun while it's still in the purse. It can get you those few valuable seconds and it also sends a strong non-verbal message to a thug.
Some instructors mistakenly teach that purse carry allows the user to fire repeatedly from inside the purse which can be an advantage. However, what they don't tell is that shots fired from inside a purse are unlikely to hit the intended target. Also, do not forget the fact that every bullet fired from a gun has a potential lawsuit attached to it. It's irresponsible to shoot from inside the purse when it is unlikely to stop the attack. In fact, it would do more harm than good as bullets could hit innocent bystanders injuring or worse, killing them.
There have been some news reports wherein it was reported that women carried a fully loaded gun along with all the other usual stuff in their purse. The other items such as eyebrow pencils, keys or pens may result in a negligent discharge and it has happened. Carrying a firearm in a purse in a responsible manner means choosing a specifically designed purse that has been made for concealed carry. There are over 100 designs available today and these designs include a holster, a dedicated section for the gun as well as a reinforced bottom.
Special Purses with Separate Gun Compartments
A purse specially designed to ensure safe purse carry has a separate compartment that is designed to hold only a gun along with a spare magazine. It should also have several other characteristics in order to make sure that the firearm is safe inside the purse.
It should have an inner holster or sheath of some type to keep the gun in a predictable position inside that space.
The closure of the gun compartment inside the purse should be easy and quick to open. You should be able to easily get your hands on the opening device at first try and without having to use your fingertips. This design helps you get instant access to your gun when needed.
It should allow you to clearly draw your weapon without taking the muzzle of the gun over your body. In many cases, it puts the support side hand at risk.
The design should allow you to carry the purse in the same position every time and should also ensure that you can reach the gun with your firing hand easily.
In case the purse you carry isn't a holster purse or has been retrofitted, you must ensure that the compartment for a gun isn’t penetrable by anything during normal use. You need to make sure that any outside object such as a child's fingers, keys or pen is not able to get inside the trigger guard.
You must ensure that the purse is always in your control. This also means carrying a purse with you when you are not at home or in your car. You should never leave your purse alone where a child can go through it or it could be stolen.
Purse carry is definitely not the easiest way to carry a firearm but it's a workable method and many women prefer this method over any other method. Purse carry can work for women by following the above-mentioned guidelines even though it's not the recommended method.