One concealed carry option available to women is carrying in one’s purse (I suppose it’s also an option for those trendy “man purses,” if you’re fashion forward enough to sport one…). For ladies like my mother, who can’t imagine going anywhere without one of their helpful handbags glued to their side, purse carry could be an attractive solution. However, there are drawbacks associated to this style of carry that aren’t an issue for on-the-body carry methods.
The myriad of different options can comfortably facilitate carrying a range of pistol sizes – even full size double stacks. There are already several companies that produce concealed carry handbags ranging from affordable unassuming shoulder bags to designer genuine exotic animal skin purses (with matching “exotic” price tags). These kinds of purses feature holster pouches that are separate from the rest of the purse, both as an additional measure of concealment, and as a measure of protection from negligent discharge. Concealed carrying with a purse provides an inconspicuous carry option for ladies regardless of style of dress.
Thieves with an interest in purloining your [potentially expensive] handbag would not only find themselves with whatever belongings and money you were toting, but also a several hundred dollar bonus item: your gun. However, there are some concealed carry bags that attempt to mitigate that risk by utilizing a strap that fits around the body (instead of just on the shoulder). Although, there is still an argument that drawing from a purse is not as speedy as the draw from an on-body holster, such as an in-the-waistband (IWB) or over-the-waistband (OWB) holster.
Personally, although I am a female, I do not prefer the purse concealed carry method. For one thing, I don’t always have a handbag on my person. And, when I do, it’s either a backpack-style purse or a minuscule wallet-sized option (less than ideal choices for CCW). However, I know women who seem to be surgically attached to their purses, and who fit about half their worldly possessions within them. If these ladies don’t feel comfortable carrying in any other fashion, or it isn’t feasible to carry in any other manner (e.g., work wardrobe makes on-person carry unfeasible), perhaps purse carry is a reasonable option. What are your thoughts on the purse carry method?