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I took my concealed carry training with my wife, the lovely and gracious Gemey.  Our instructor was adamant that your weapon should never be carried in a backpack, fanny pack, briefcase or any other “object of theft.”  A snatched purse or pilfered briefcase can create a situation too awful to contemplate. If your fanny pack is ripped off – well – you had it coming. Fanny pack? Seriously?

This made some sense to me and ultimately it’s how we live. My mini-heater stays in my pocket, or when strapped large, I carry it in my waistband.

At the recent gun show hosted by Midwest Arms and Armor, I met Madonna (no, not that one), a very sweet lady from the rural parts of the Show-Me State. She sells gun purses and teaches CCW classes. I talked with her about carrying in a purse and asked her opinion about losing the gun in a theft.

In response, Madonna demonstrated a retention technique she teaches her ladies.  I present it here without comment one way or the other.

First, use a purse that has a holster.  Madonna’s purses had a compartment that held a gun in a holster that protected the trigger.

When preparing to traverse an area where there might be a threat,  the purse strap should be over the shoulder in such a way so as not to entrap the head. If a Bad Guy grabs the purse, you do not want to be dragged around because of the strap making a noose around your neck.

With the weak hand, hold the purse where the strap that faces forward meets the body of the purse. With your strong hand, grasp the weapon by its grip.  Hold on firmly enough do that if someone grabs the purse, they will leave you the weapon. Be prepared to let the purse go free.

So, ladies (and I know you’re out there), what are your thoughts? Is keeping your biscuit (don’t blame me, blame the urban dictionary’s list of slang words for “gun”) in a purse a wise choice?

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  1. Not a fan of off body carry, purse/briefcase/backpack/fannypack/whatever. Too easy to steal, especially when I see some women set their purses down in stores or restaurants to do something else.

    I took a law class with a retired FBI agent once, he related a story of where a new female agent just moving to Chigaco had her purse with her service revolver and badge stolen at a bus stop, she couldn’t even give chase because all the rest of her belongings were sitting there with her on the sidewalk. They ended up catching the guy later and retrieving her stuff, but still not good to lose your service weapon and badge…

    • The only upside I see to “off-body” carry is that some ladies will at least follow the first rule of a gunfight – bring a gun.

      Lots of downside.

      • Exactly. The next step, after she is used to daily (off-body) carry, will hopefully be on-body for those times she doesn’t carry a purse or one big enough; ultimately ending up carrying on her person, purse or no purse.

      • Agreed that having a gun is better than not carrying at all, but if I could ever convince my girlfriend to carry (not likely) I’d do whatever it takes to get her to carry it on her person.

  2. ” If your fanny pack is ripped off – well – you had it coming. Fanny pack? Seriously?”
    Yes, seriously. I have a bright red fanny pack that is labeled BlueCross BlueShield Emergency Kit, just waiting for when we get concealed carry.

  3. It’s not my favorite method of carry, but I do it. I’ve tried more waist band holsters than I care to enumerate. Whether it’s how my clothes fit or the fact that I’m not stick straight in figure, the gun just digs in too much.

    My first option these days is pocket carry, but I do also carry in a purse. I notice that when I’m purse carrying, I’m even more aware of my surroundings. I’m also not a teeny tiny thing – I’m not generally someone’s first, second, or even third choice as a target.

    • As a dude, my fashion choices are relatively narrow – I can always wear a nice sturdy leather belt. I truly feel for women who wish to carry. Flattering clothes oft do not go well with a hidden roscoe.

    • Take a look at the DeSantis Nemesis pocket holsters, if you haven’t already. I carry an S&W J-frame in my hip pocket with one, and it doesn’t show. Probably won’t work with tight jeans, though.

  4. I believe the t-shirt says:

    To Whom It May Concern: A lot of blood was shed for me to have the right to keep and bear arms, and a lot of blood will be shed if you try to take that right away. Signed: @c Weapons Pro 2009

    While my preference is 3:30-4:00 IWB, I carry a purse with a holster compartment that can be locked. The key is always on my person. The firearm is in the purse only at times when I have a concern about being “made”, for instance when I’m around my sister’s children and don’t want to evade a hug. The lock is engaged if the purse leaves my side (think family dinner at my sister’s).

    I question the wisdom of “preparing to traverse an area where there might be a threat”. I’d rather not go there. 🙂

    It’s good to have choices.

  5. My macho Rambo friend says it is ok for a guy to wear a fanny pack, as long as it is camouflaged.

  6. Fanny pack >> Purse.

    No retention issue because it’s attached. Not as good as a belt holster because either a purse or a fanny pack requires a 2-handed draw.

  7. It’s hard for women to carry a gun – our clothes and body shape often don’t allow for it to be carried on our person – and I carry an LCP, so it doesn’t get much smaller than that. I just bought a carry purse, and after trying to carry on my belt and in another purse, I really like it. It feels much safer (in terms of my access to my gun) and more secure. Anyway, most women have already learned never to leave their purse out of their sight (unless that’s just a big-city thing, but I never put mine down).

    I bought the “Open Top Gun Tote” from here: and I couldn’t be happier with it.

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