Self-Defense Tip: Don’t Handbag Carry

Thanks to ace snapper Oleg Volk’s picture above, it’s easy to see why handbag/murse carry is a terrible idea. The model is perfectly positioned to shoot her leg. Or thigh. Worst case, femoral artery. In which case she’d bleed out and die as the bad guy stole her bag or did something even more horrible. All this life-threatening tsuris with a gun stashed in a handbag specifically designed for the job by Gun Toten’ Mamas. Which brings us to another issue: how DO you draw from a handbag? GTM offers not one not two but three options . . .

Because the gun compartment zipper uses two sliders and encircles three sides of the gun compartment, the purse is fully ambidextrous and provides three basic options for the draw. Option one is to set the purse up for a horizontal draw similar to other concealed carry purses. It’s slow but functional in that configuration. Option two is to set it up for a vertical draw, unzipping the compartment and coming in from the top. This is better and quite natural, especially for those already accustomed to crossdraw carry. But option three—which will be available to the public beginning in mid-June—is the best: using tuckable pull tabs similar to those on the best fanny packs, you can set this purse up for a rip-and-grab vertical draw. That makes the Raven the fastest and most convenient purse draw on the market.

Or will make it. But really, none of these options are what I’d call ideal. The perfect may be the enemy of the good, but sometimes good enough isn’t good enough. Especially when your life is on the line.

Besides, I’m thinking that most women who carry a gun in their handbag don’t use an accessory designed for that purpose. Hello? I’ve known more than a few women who’d rather die than carry a frumpy handbag. Literally.

Equally to the point, have you ever seen a woman fishing around in her bag for, well, anything? Imagine her trying to get a secure purchase on a firearm and then attempt to withdraw it as she’s being attacked.

The best bet here: shoot through the bag. That’ll learn ’em. And yes, “a” gun is better than no gun no matter how you carry it.

Or is it? Unless the carrier in question has her hand on her gun before the deal goes down, the time spent trying to grip and remove the firearm is time she could’ve used for evasion or an alternative attack.

And then we have the whole gun losing thing. If nothing else, the paperwork required to report a stolen gun (“I left my bag for only a few seconds . . .”) is a bitch. A woman who “lost” her firearm in her handbag could lose her license to carry. Which is why a lot of women who lose their gun due to a stolen handbag don’t report it.

Be that as it may, losing your gun any which way is irresponsible; it puts a firearm into the hands of a bad guy. Or, it should be said, a child.

What’s a woman to do? Our friend faliaphotography has some suggestions on that score. If I may be so bold, my recommendation is simply this: avoid handbag carry like the proverbial plague. Do whatever it takes to keep your gun on your person. And if this post doesn’t apply to you, advise your girlfriend, wife, Significant Other or cross-dressing boyfriend to seek an alternative carrying method.

Don’t be fooled by the idea that compromise is always a good thing. Sometimes you have to stick to your guns.