Have you ever watched a woman fishing through her bag for a bit of lippy? Imagine someone trying to get a gun out of a handbag in an emergency. If the gat’s not in a holster inside the bag, purse carry could be even more, shall we say, counterproductive. Sure, the holster folk make purpose-built handbags with secret gun compartments. An owner can slip her hand into the bag quickly and easily and either extract the weapon or fire it through the material. Which still leaves two problems A) Prada doesn’t make one (at least a functional version) and B) bag snatchers. As our off-duty cop above will attest. Oh and another issue: forgetful owners who inadvertently abandon their bag. And another: curious kids. Nope. No way ’round it. On body carry is the only way to go. That applies to you briefcase schleppers too.

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46 Responses to Self-Defense Tip: On-Body Carry or Nothing

  1. So .. no carry is better than purse carry?

    Still waiting for my ccw permits, so it’s not my problem yet – and given that I can’t bring a gun to work (federal facility) it’s not likely to be for some time.

    But, this question came up a lot when I took my ccw classes.

    • There are loads of ways to on-body carry.

      A better question: a mouse gun vs. no gun? I can see both points of view on that one.

      • He’ll be in for a surprise when he tries to rob someone with that mousegun and his victim pulls out a REAL gun.

        • That LCP will f up the shootee quite plenty. A .380 isn’t a 10mm or anything but it certainly isn’t an airsoft projectile either.

        • I’m always amused by the .380 apologists. Carry something that gives you the best chance of removing the will of your attacker to continue the attack. A .380 just ain’t it….

  2. Carrying in your purse or computer bag or brief case does nothing other than reward a thief with a gun besides your other valuables.

    I’ve seen many security videos of thieves knocking a woman in the back of the head and grabbing their purse, running off before she can realize what’s happening.

    That’s why I ask my wife to alway carry on person, don’t reward the criminal with a gun.

    • And a badge with ID that he can sell to someone who is planning on pulling over women alone in their cars at night.

      Should the Sheriff’s Office issue a directive to all of it’s employees: NO off-body carry of guns, badges or IDs. Or would that be considered a sexist, discriminatory order?

      • neither. men carry briefcases, computer bags, and shoulder bags.

        but the fact that you’re even asking this just goes to show have much political correctness has invaded even the gun culture.

    • I really doubt that this felon in search of another easy victim is going to a cop’s house.

      The more interesting question is what is the likelihood the po-po would have so quickly identified the purse snatcher if the victim wasn’t po-po?

  3. As an ccw instructor I tell the ladys this all the time. “What good is your gun in your purse if it’s taken away from you or stolen? Your first job is to always make shure your gun is secure and not accessible to people who are not supposed to have it. The leases way to do that is to keep it on you, and if its not on you locked in a secure location.”

  4. At one time I had what is best described as a “…mans bag…” What a waste! It was bulky, heavy, in the way, and my carry Colt’s Detective Special was NOT accessible. I gave it to my daughter, who now uses it as a purse. Before I get flamed, I tried this as I am disabled. I no longer carry in a bag, fanny pack, etc. The holster is owb, or iwb. My firearm is either crossdraw, or strong side. Crossdraw is very nice when in your car, as it allows you the ability to obtain your firearm, with a minimum of movement. In public it doesn’t conceal as well as strong side, but in my circumstance, as my left arm is in a sling, cross draw is not a hinderance, as my sling tends to cover the firearm. Pocket carry is for me not an option, and I don’t care to have a pistol, or revolver where my one good hand could be easily pinned.

  5. It’s nice to have options. I just finished teaching an NRA Personal Protection Outside the Home course, and all participants (including men) learned and practiced the NRA method for drawing and presenting a concealed handgun from a holster bag. Responsible shooters educate themselves on the pros and cons of different carry methods–and the special security precautions that apply to each–and make the choice that works best for them in their individual situation.

      • Some instructor telling me to practice drawing out of a man bag would have one less NRA Life Member student in his course. Please. Just because you are an “NRA” instructor doesn’t mean it’s not ridiculous. Just saying.

      • It sounds almost like the anti-gunners’ logic, (a) arguing against an inanimate object with which they have little or no experience, (b) using hypothetical scenarios of “what might happen if,” (c) citing a single instance of a careless individual, and (d) discounting the experience of thousands of people who use that inanimate object safely and responsibly by training, practicing, and maintaining control of their firearm and its carry device.

        • Drawing from a holster bag is included in the curriculum of the NRA Personal Protection Outside the Home course, but it’s optional. Rather than being dogmatic, we give willing participants the opportunity to try and evaluate different carry methods and to choose for themselves.

  6. As a motorcyclist I’m left with a choice between two evils of sorts. one i can have a sidearm in my tankbag which is fairly fast and secure or on my person (eg, shoulder rig) which is reasonably fast and secure as well but risks injury should I go down for whatever reason. Both are relatively unlikely risks but still present even so. Don’t ask how I know about these things….I just do 🙂

    • I ride motorcycle off duty with a good old fashioned Aker leather OWB holster on my right hip. Works just fine at 65 mph, would probably still work even at 66.

    • I know a Texas Ranger who will never carry small of his back because one of his fellows fell on his back during a pursuit and severed his spinal column.

      • I appreciate that – but falling off a motorcycle at speed can screw you up regardless of whether or not you are carrying. Best to just not crash the bike – 100,000 plus motorcycle miles here, and only crash versus vehicle was when a lady backed into my motorcycle when I was putting gas in the tank.

        I realize I’m about 20 times more likely to die per mile driven on a motorcycle versus a car, but the damn things are just too much fun. Besides, life is never perfectly safe anyways.

        • Ex rider here, mostly dirt bikes. Last time on a street bike was in the 70’s. Dads side of the family, lots of biker trash and I put distance between myself and that life.

          But, I was always told; there’s 2 kinds of riders. Those that have crashed and those that are going to crash. It’s just a matter of when.

          Stay safe A81.

        • I remember the best advice I got when I was learning to ride a motorcycle: Always assume that everyone else on the road is trying to kill you.

          Condition Yellow!

        • I don’t have to assume! I know they are!

          Lol, seriously some crazy cagers out there… They’ll look right at you and keep on coming.

        • Accur81, may your good fortune continue, but when I’m tooling down the highway in my SUV and a motorcyclist whips past me, sometimes lane-splitting, like I’m going backwards, all I find myself thinking is, “Organ donor in training.” Yes, life is never completely safe, but I see little point in giving death an unnecessary edge .

        • Accur81, may your good fortune continue. I know bikes are fun, but when I’m tooling down the highway in my SUV and a motorcyclist whips by me, sometimes lane-splitting, like I’m going backwards, I find myself thinking, “Organ donor in training.” Life is never perfectly safe, but I see no point in giving death an unnecessary edge.

        • There’s nothing to say that you haven’t already risk-assessed out. I think you’ve assessed them wrong, but that’s your business. Personally I think it’s nuts. One’s vulnerability on a bike is off the chart; there’s simply so many things that could go wrong, I don’t understand that particular risk.

  7. Sounds great but I’m not allowed to open or conceal carry here in Western Massachusetts, nobody is not even Jesus Christ himself because the politicians are omnipotent. Although off duty cops conceal carry all the time …. hmm….

  8. …and if you’re printing someone can come up behind you and snatch your carry gun out of your OWB/IWB holster (most of which have no/minimal retention features).

    Situational awareness is the answer.

    I’d rather have my wife carry a full power handgun in a CC purse than a .380 clipped to her belt.

    • But which is more likely (by far)? A purse snatching or a gun grab?

      My money is on the purse snatching.

    • DJ’s wife here. The thing he failed to mention is my “purse” is small and compact (compared by women’s standards) with a long, canvas strap that I wear across my body–there’s no way anyone is snatching that off of me and walking away without holes in their body.

  9. I had an old school (he remembers Hoover!) ex-FBI teacher in one of my law enforcement classes in college, he once related a story where a female FBI agent waiting at a bus stop had her purse snatched.

    Not only did it contain her service weapon, but her badge too!

    Luckily they ended up tracking the guy down, but it’s a great example of why you should be VERY careful when dealing with off body carry.

    • I swear, this is going to be politically incorrect, but this is exactly why men (including sometimes myself) question whether women are suitable for duty carry, be they street cops or FBI agents. Ladies… you’ve GOT TO CARRY LIKE A MAN. A purse or bag just doesn’t get it.

  10. I prefer to carry at my waistline. Of course, given the size of my waistline, I probably have a few more options than most of you.

  11. This is an important discussion. I don’t know the answer. There may be hundreds of women with a purse gun compared to this one case where a DEPUTY got robbed and lost her weapon. This is a very useful post. Thanks.

  12. I’ve never carried a .380 except as an on-duty backup gun. But for all you .380 bashers, I’ve seen two shootings involving a .380…both one shot stops. One to the head, the other to the torso. Anyone who tells you “that caliber won’t do you any good, or will just piss them off”…..has never been shot with whatever caliber they are currently denigrating. I’ve worked many a one shot killing with “mouse guns.”

    I carry a .45…but I sure as hell wouldn’t sneer at anyone who was shooting at me with a mousy.

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