This is Part 2 of “Concealed Carry Methods for Women.” In Part 1 of “Concealed Carry Methods for Women,” we covered on-the-body methods of concealed carry. This portion will cover off-the-body options.
DISCLAIMER: All of what follows is assuming the reader has complied with all State and local laws and can carry a concealed weapon legally. In no way do we advocate the illegal carrying of weapons. Our goal is to protect you from trouble on the street – not get you in a world of legal trouble. Please obey the laws governing concealed carry of a firearm where you live.
Concealed Carry Methods for Women You Need to Know!
Concealed Carry Purse Holsters
When it comes to “Off Body” carry, women have a distinct advantage over men. In a word, it’s the purse. Many women hardly ever leave the house without one. So, as a concealed carry method, no one looks at it twice.
It’s a woman with a purse – no big deal.
But, while this is a wonderful advantage, it is often employed poorly – and can lead to very different results than intended.
So before we get into what works – and works well – let’s take a look at how this boon too often becomes a bust.
You cannot simply toss a gun in your purse and go off into the big bad world feeling secure. There are several reasons for this.
Let’s face it…our purses are a mess! A gun tossed into the purse will, in short order, be buried under makeup compacts, keyrings, lipstick tubes, change purses and various other items that occupy a typical woman’s purse.
I’m not judging, but for a concealed carry option, this is a bad thing.
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First, the firearm is carried close to you for sure. But it is not easily accessible. If you need a gun, you usually need it “right now.” And the time spent fumbling through that hodgepodge mess is a dangerous delay.
Secondly, there is a good chance smaller items will find their way into the action of the gun, rendering it useless even if it is found in time!
Concealed Carry In a Purse Gone Wrong!
A friend of mine dug through her purse recently to show me the new S&W 640 she was packing. When she tried to swing the cylinder open to unload it so I could look at it, her new pride and joy handgun was hopelessly jammed closed.
She was embarrassed, and I was confused. It’s a great gun! How could it be broken? Well, it wasn’t broken at all. The problem was an eyeliner pencil had slipped up into the barrel, which made its way into the cylinder in front of the .38 Special round in the chamber. Her action was effectively locked up. As it was, her fine piece of hardware might’ve made a decent club, but it sure wasn’t going to shoot.
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Lastly, a gun just thrown loose in a purse can be all too easily taken away. Yes, “purse snatching” is still a thing in the big cities. And if a woman isn’t aware, and properly carrying, she may just arm the bad guy when he snatches her purse – and gun – and goes running down the street.
So what is the right way to “purse carry”? The short answer is simply to buy a purse designed for concealed carry. There are a ton of different shapes and sizes and colors available. Now, to be honest, they may not be as fashionable as a Prada handbag, but they are attractive enough – and practical as all get out.
Concealed carry purses have an actual holster built in, so the flotsam and jetsam that can hide your gun, hinder your draw, or render your piece useless are kept away.
The firearm is kept safe properly. And it’s always in the same place and position. Also, these bags are, almost always, designed to be carried over the shoulder. Or even across the chest. And for good reason. With the bag over the shoulder, you can simply slip your hand into it and around the butt of your pistol. In effect, you are now walking down the street with a gun in your hand! And nary a soul will suspect it.
Examples of the Concealed Carry Purse In Action
If you are a victim of a purse snatching, imagine the surprise on the scumbag’s face when he grabs your purse, only to reveal your pistol! Uh oh!
Of course, you can’t shoot a purse snatcher. But, should he have other, additional bad intentions, he’ll quickly forget about them when he sees an armed woman. You may lose your purse, but not your gun. Or your life!
One of my associates in the retail firearms biz told me a story about a nurse he knew who worked the late shift in a bad part of town. Every night she walked alone to her car, feeling vulnerable and afraid.
He sold her a small revolver and a carry purse. She took some lessons, got good with the pistol, and practiced carrying it just as I described above. It made her feel safer. It allowed her to make the walk without so much fear and trepidation.
And it may have even saved her life.
One night, in the wee hours of the morning, she was walking from her car to her house. She had her hand in her shoulder bag and was holding her gun. Suddenly, a naked man leaped from the shrubbery outside her home and onto her back. As he began to drag her to the ground, she brought the pistol out of her purse, reached back over her shoulder, and shot him.
Good training, preparation, the right equipment, and a proper mindset saved her. Imagine if she’d had to dig through her bag for that gun…..
Hiding Your Concealed Carry Gun In Plain Sight
There are other methods for packing your firearm off the body as well. A lot of these are designed to be plainly seen but as something other than what they really are.
For example, there are innocuous-looking notebook planners designed to carry your concealed handgun. They’re legitimately designed to help you keep your schedule organized, but with a bonus – they have a built-in holster on the back.
While notebook planners are better than not going armed at all, they are not the quickest for getting your piece into action.
Still, they absolutely conceal the fact that you are armed – and keep your gun just seconds away should you need it.
For quicker access, there are also cellphone cases created for concealed carry.
Like the notebook planners, they’re also functional. They do carry your cell phone. But, surprise! There’s a hidden holster for a small handgun!
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And, since the majority of the Free World has a cell phone, having one visible isn’t going to raise any suspicion.
You wear these on your belt, so in order for it to work as intended, you’ll need to dress appropriately. (Pants are recommended.) Keep in mind though that this option severely limits the size of your carry gun.
The ingenious holster drops down into loose-fitting pants and rests against your skin. Then the cell phone holder comes up and over your belt line to hang on the outside of your pants.
If you ever need to draw your gun, just grasp the cell phone pouch with your weak hand and pull up, presenting the firearm as it rises above your waistband for your strong hand to grasp.
Concealed Carry Fanny Packs
Now let’s discuss the ubiquitous “Fanny Pack.” (Of course, if you’re a reader from the United Kingdom you would call them a “Bum Pack.”) But wherever you’re reading from, we can all agree that they’re a smallish pouch you attach around your waist and wear in front of your body.
Much like with a purse though, you’ll need to get one specifically designed as a holster. And just like a purse, they’ll also have plenty of compartments for other stuff.
But the big bonus is that one of the pouches (usually the center one, but not always), conceals a firearm-specific holster. Access to this main compartment is made fast and easy, either with Velcro or a pull-string that undoes some zippers in a flash.
As a very convenient extra, if you’re carrying a semi-auto, this rig makes it equally easy to carry a spare mag or two as well.
All the rage in the 80s and early 90s, they were as convenient, and fast on the draw, as any other method out there. So with throwback fashion all the rage, you can still sport a fanny pack, and look good while being well-armed!
Concealed Carry In The Car
Given the great amount of time many of us spend in our cars, a place to conceal your firearm in your trusty auto is a very important addition to whatever other carry methods you’re using.
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Because, unless you sport a high-ride cross-draw holster, or a shoulder holster, carrying a gun while seated in your car can be very uncomfortable.
And carrying at the point of the hip or even worse yet, small of the back, is nearly impossible.
So if those are your preferred carry positions, you’ll need a car holster. You can conceal carry as normal outside your car. Then simply slip your gun out of its regular rig, and into this holster for the ride.
But – SEVERE WARNING HERE – DO NOT just throw it in a center console or glove box! Why not?
Well, let me tell you a common scenario. I’ve known ladies who would take the gun out and put it on the seat beside them. Then they’d simply throw their sweater or purse on top of it – once.
It’s hidden, sure. And relatively easy to get to.
Until you brake hard at a stoplight, and it ends up on the floor in front of the passenger seat.
Do us both a favor, and invest the small amount of money it costs to buy a car holster.
(A Caveat: As always, please be sure you know the concealed carry laws in your state first.)
There are excellent holsters made that attach to the seat between the bottom cushion and the center console. These work well and provide easy access – but are not very concealed.
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Better yet is a holster designed to attach to the section of the dashboard that is under the steering column! It is very easy to reach down and draw the gun from. As a plus, it’s hard to see unless you stick your head down under the steering wheel.
The firearm is held securely in a convenient and constant position there. And it’s well out of sight of all but the most determined of prying eyes.
Concealed Carry In The Home And In The Shop
Most of us don’t think often enough about keeping a gun handy, accessible and concealed in the home or at work. But we spend a lot of time in these places. They are where we are most comfortable. They are where we let our guard down. And, more often than not, they are where we will need our pistol!
When we’re home in our inner sanctum we feel safe. So it can be tempting to remove our concealed piece, and just put it in the nightstand drawer or some such place.
But later, while watching TV and relaxing, if you hear the bedroom window break and an intruder enter, he is now between you and your trusty sidearm!
Where do you spend the most time in your home? That’s the place you need to be sure there is a gun, safely stored and concealed, yet readily accessible.
To be fair, there are a lot of factors that can weigh in on this decision, such as children in the home, etc. So, there certainly is no one-size-fits-all solution. But there are still lots of suitable options.
Think about a small pistol safe with push button or fingerprint ID access mounted under your coffee table. There is even some brilliant shelves and mirror stands on the market today that have false bottoms. You can conceal your firearm inside and easily access it when you need it most, giving you the upper hand on an unsuspecting intruder. No one would even think to look twice at these – which makes them ideal.
Mount one near the front door or near your favorite spot in the house, and your gun is totally concealed, yet rarely more than an arm’s reach away.
The same thing goes for in your place of business. Whether you own a flower shop or work in your office, you can keep a firearm conveniently concealed and accessible in much the same way.
But remember the lessons of the messy purse! Throwing your pistol in a desk drawer or in the space under the cash register is not a viable option. You don’t want to need it, then reach for it only to come up with a handful of receipts, or your Mont Blanc pen blotter!
There are holsters (much like the car holster) that mount under a desk or counter – and even some simple magnetic solutions that hold it high and dry and away from the clutter
Watch this video from Gun Nuts Media for 5 Tips for Women’ Concealed Carry:
Paranoia or preparedness? Look. If you’ve decided to carry a gun, you’re not paranoid. You’re a realist. If you believe, as I do, in the adage, “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun,” and you believe this applies to us gals as well, pay particular attention to this part of the saying: with a gun. And make sure it is with you whenever and wherever it is legal and possible to have it.
So, I’m curious. Are you still researching how you like to conceal carry your firearm, or do you already carry concealed? Raise your hand in the comments below. I like to know what my gun-toting sisters find their best concealed-carry option.
Disclaimer: The contents of this article are for informational purposes only. Please read our full disclaimer here.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on February 27, 2018, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.