How To Conceal Carry In A Purse...The Right Way
There’s a right way to use a concealed carry purse, and there’s a wrong way — it takes education and training to ensure that we wear it correctly and safely.
Above all, we women exercise our right to concealed carry to give us the means to protect ourselves, making us more secure while extending that safety to our loved ones and to other people who might be in danger.
Though many women prefer on-the-body carry because it is easier to control their gun, having access to purse carry is better than not having access when we need it. Mastering the correct use of a concealed carry purse gives us a great option when on-the-body holsters are neither possible nor practical.
Even so, a gun in a purse is at best a liability when used incorrectly. At worst, it’s a ticking time bomb leading to circumstances that can potentially result in tragedy.
Nonetheless, you don’t want to BE the danger by carrying a gun in an unsafe fashion.
So how do you do that correctly? How can you carry with a purse and be safe and effective? Here are 6 solid tips that will help.
Get A Purse Holster
One of the best practices for owning a concealed carry purse is to use an actual purse holster. A regular purse can be damaged by a gun, but, far more importantly, there are two critical reasons why a concealed carry purse is necessary for your safety.
First, and most importantly, a purse holster has a holster built in that protects the trigger from being accidentally pulled. Second, a purse holster has a pocket dedicated to your firearm — meaning you will have the fastest possible draw from your purse.
These two factors prevent dangerous clutter from crowding your gun. The last thing you want is for a stick of chapstick or a set of keys nudging the trigger in your purse as you go through your day, causing a negligent discharge. Likewise, you don’t want the clutter to get in the way when you do want to reach directly for your firearm.
In an emergency situation, you won’t want to be fumbling around in your purse to find your gun. You need to make sure you can find it in the dark, in a split second, with nothing impeding your reach or draw.
Speaking of which, what’s the best way to carry a purse if you need to draw a gun?
Your Concealed Carry Purse Should Have A Holster Compartment
The safest method to carry a concealed carry purse is to sling it across your body. This attaches the purse to your body in such a manner that it won’t come off the body unless you want it to.
If your normal purse slips down your shoulder without a loaded gun in it…it’s not a big deal. Occasionally you might have it fall off, but if it’s just your wallet, some makeup or your change from the coffee shop that falls, who cares, right?
Nevertheless, it IS a big deal if you drop a purse with a loaded firearm.
While manufacturers do their best to make guns drop-safe, meaning they won’t be fired if dropped, there’s no way to guarantee it. So a best practice of course is to never be at a position in which your purse can fall with a loaded gun in it.
Another issue is theft. A purse on your shoulder can be snatched, and the last thing you want to do is to arm a criminal. A purse slung across the body is not as easy to take. While purse-snatching is not incredibly common, this is a possibility to think about.
However, these issues are mitigated if you securely attach the purse to yourself, meaning slung across the body.
Cross Body Carry Is Safer
The safest method to carry a concealed carry purse is to sling it across your body. What this does is attaches the purse to your body in such a manner that it won’t come off the body unless you want it to.
If your purse slips down your shoulder without a loaded gun in it…it’s not a big deal. Occasionally you might have it fall off, but if it’s just your wallet, some makeup and your change from the coffee shop, so who cares?
It IS a big deal if you drop a purse with a loaded firearm.
While manufacturers do their best to make guns drop-safe, meaning they won’t fired if dropped, there’s no way to guarantee it, so a best practice of course is to never drop a loaded gun.
Another issue is that of theft. A purse on your shoulder can be snatched, and the last thing you want to do is arm a criminal. A purse slung across the body is not as easy to take. While purse-snatching is not incredibly common, this is something to think about.
However, these issues are mitigated if you securely attach the purse to you, meaning slung across the body.
Drawing From A Cross Body Concealed Carry Purse
To draw a gun from a concealed carry purse that’s carried across the body, you open the compartment and draw the gun out, then present to the target. It’s pretty easy.
Drawing a gun from a purse carried on your strong-side or weak-side shoulder, however, is not. It is ergonomically difficult, requiring an awkward contortion of the wrist or straining the shoulder.
It slows you down dramatically, and not only do seconds count in a life-or-death scenario, fractions of them do.
Therefore, you want to make the draw as easy on yourself as possible. If you’re going to use a concealed carry purse, that – again – is cross-body carry.
Dos And Don'ts Of Taking Your Concealed Carry Purse Off
Losing a purse is scary, period. But losing a purse with a gun in it is a nightmare.
One of the biggest safety concerns when it comes to using a concealed carry purse is removing it. Your concealed carry purse should feel like an extension of your body.
The best rule to follow is to always keep your concealed carry purse “at hand or in hand.”
If you take the purse off, the gun is no longer secured to your person and can be more easily stolen or taken by curious children.
So, what can you do? In the first place, don’t take your purse off unless it’s going to stay close. But if for some reason you must, do wrap it around the chair you’re sitting in, and don’t leave it unattended. Make sure it is locked away when not directly on you.
You can keep a small lockbox in a desk at work or in your car for safe storage when you’re out and about. And when you get home, make sure you put your gun in a safe.
In other words, keep the purse on you at all times or directly within reach — always at hand or in hand. And when you can’t have it on you, safely store your gun. This is absolutely critical to ensure both the pistol and the people around you are safe and secure at all times.
Remember To Train With Your Purse
Of course, carrying a gun without training is next to worthless. In fact, doing so is dangerous and irresponsible. Thus, make sure you receive thorough and sufficient training with your gun before you consider any concealed carry method.
And by training, we mean not just learning how to use the firearm, but practicing with the tactical gear you carry the gun with, as well as doing practical shooting instead of mere target practice. Just shooting a bullseye is great for working on fundamental accuracy, but you need to work on the whole picture.
Take your purse to the range. Practice drawing, presenting and firing the gun starting in concealment in the purse. Practice how you’ll use it in an actual situation that could arise, should you need to discharge your firearm.
Furthermore, do it on the clock. Adding the pressure of a timer helps you understand how well you can use the gun and which areas you can improve, as well as how much. It also introduces a little stress, which is vital for training for a real-life situation.
It is by repetition that we build muscle memory, which is essential for using a gun under combat conditions. We default to what our body innately knows how to do. Subsequently, it’s not just practice that makes perfect — it’s perfect practice that makes perfect.
If you are not drawing, firing, and hitting the target directly from your concealed carry purse, you may be in deep trouble later in a real world scenario. Conversely, doing all these motions with your purse in hand will prepare you for potentially saving not just your own life, but those around you.
Make A Plan
If these tips sound daunting, that is totally understandable. Try making a plan to tackle your fears.
If you’re afraid you wouldn’t be able to keep track of your concealed carry purse, practice keeping track of your regular purse first so the stakes are low. Consequently, you will confirm whether you can build new and improved habits to be more mindful of it.
You can practice making a plan ahead of time on what you are going to do with your purse, whether you are out with some friends and family, or on a date, or just running errands.
In the end, you want your purse to be like an extension of you, and your new habits will help you achieve this. Of course there’s no shame in changing your mind and deciding to go with an on-the-body carry style in the end, should you decide this is ultimately the best concealed carry option for you.
You can carry your gun in your purse safely, and it can be just as effective a way of deafening yourself as having it on your body.
In fact, you won’t carry unless it’s on your purse, this is probably the better option for you – it will just take a few extra steps:
- Get a real concealed carry purse
- Keep it at hand or in hand
- Make a plan before you leave on what you will do with your purse at all times
- Train with your purse.
And that’s it! Following these simple steps will keep you and those you care about safe, as well as allowing you to wear the outfit you want with a purse that goes with it.