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By Brandon via

Let’s face the fact that not every law-abiding citizen is cut out to be a gun owner. It comes with a responsibility that should take top priority, especially when that firearm is being carried with you. A woman with an Illinois concealed carry permit went out to lunch in Peoria one day recently with her purse and and firearm, and left the restaurant a little lighter . . .

The woman told police she went to Flat Top Grill, 5201 W. War Memorial Drive, for lunch on Tuesday and forgot her purse when she left mid-afternoon, according to a Peoria police report. The purse contained a loaded 9 mm semiautomatic pistol, for which she had a valid license to carry concealed.

The woman told police she realized that she’d left the gun and purse later in the evening, after the restaurant had closed for the day. She called the restaurant Wednesday morning and was told her purse had been found and she could retrieve it that day.

When the unidentified woman went back to the restaurant to claim her purse, an unsettling realization came to light; her firearm was missing.

As gun owners and concealed carriers, it’s our responsibility to know where our firearm is at all times, and to be in control of that firearm while carrying it. Off-body carry is a tricky subject, and this incident highlights the importance of two things:

First, the best option is to always carry your firearm on your person.

Second, bring your brain with you while you’re carrying your firearm.

As much as I don’t want to rip a fellow concealed carrier a new one, the responsibility falls on this woman and her alone. Who knows where her firearm is at this moment. That’s an unsettling feeling that I never want to have myself.

But I won’t, because I’m a responsible carrier.

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  1. Maybe it’s in the hands of some more responsible, who wouldn’t leave a weapon unsecured, even in a closed restaurant.

    • She may have walked away without her purse/gun (what woman ever leaves her purse behind?), but it is hard to characterize her as less responsible than someone who is obviously a thief.

    • I left my ECG behind ONCE. I was doing after hours support on a building system, and needed to visit the restroom for a seated activity.

      I put my ECG in a drawer, at the back, under stuff, in a locked office of a unoccupied building. Visited the restroom, came back, spent 3 more hours on the system and drove the hour back home at 1am.

      I started the take-off-my-chinos routine (remove holster)…AAAAAAHHHHHH! CRAP! F! FFFFFF! whereisitwhereisitwhereisit?!?!?

      Get in van, drive another hour, enter building (fortunately the company issued me an access card for this after-hours work), and was reunited with my little friend. That was when my heart finally slowed down.

      I learned a valuable lesson, and it only cost me 2 hours and 5 gallons of gas. Oh, and some wear-and-tear on my heart.

      Won’t happen again (I hope)

  2. How did she pay the bill?
    Did she just walk the tab?
    Claiming it was stolen sounds like a round-a-bout way to avoid getting in trouble for losing (or selling?) the gun, before.

      • On an extended lunch thru a “midafternoon” departure, I’d guess a rendezvous for some “afternoon delight” was the program that left her all scatterbrained for the rest of the day. The gun in her purse wasn’t the one in mind.

    • Her story sounds a little fishy to me also. She could have left the purse as she stated, but it is more likely that the gun was gone long before she went to the restaurant. Pay the bill, keys for the car, feeling naked without purse, no makeup or lipstick, no phone, hummm – hard to believe story.

  3. I personally would never off body carry. I leave my backpack (college student) somewhere and have to go back for it at least once a week.

  4. Women leave their purses behind all the time. Singling this one out is kind of sensationalist on the part of TTAG isn’t it? How many men here have accidentally left their cars unlocked with a gun inside?

    I’d say file this under “shit happens” and get the f*** over it.

    • The site isn’t The Truth About Women, so why would they report on women in general leaving their purses behind? It’s The Truth About Guns, one element of which is that some owners add irresponsible and that irresponsibility affects other people. It makes us all look bad, but it also puts people in physical harm should the wrong person find that forgotten gun.

      This woman wasn’t “singled out.” Her actions resulted in a crime being committed, a poice report being filed, and a news media story. She made herself into a story. TTAG’s just reporting what’s out there. As for men leaving guns in cars, there have been stories here on that topic, too. As I recall, some police have had guns stolen that way.

      There’s no war on women here, if that’s where you’re going with this.

      • Wasn’t making a feminist statement. Actually, a nitpicky person would call me out for assuming most of the readers of this site are men by using the example of the unlocked car. This isn’t a gender issue, and I’m not trying to make it one, just trying to make a point. That point being that people are going to be forgetful at times. Shit happens.

    • ^^^ This was my initial thoughts on this as well. Stuff happens. I love how the author finishes off by saying he won’t do something like this because he is a responsible carrier. More likely, he won’t be doing this because he probably doesn’t carry a purse. The fact is, every single person who feels like chastising this woman has or will make an egregious error at some point. No one is perfect and yes, cc’rs should be held to a higher standard but sometimes, stupid things happen. It would be interestimg to know how many people acting perfect in these comments have had an ND. Maybe people who have had one also should not be concealed carriers.

  5. Actually, after 45 years as a cop, a park ranger, a federal agent, and a prosecutor, I have seen cases of people losing guns many times. Last year a game warden friend told me that he saw about 15 cases of guns lost while hunting per year. People drop handguns while trudging thru the mud and snow or riding atvs or leave them leaning against a tree while loading the truck in the dark and they are gone when they go back… it happens. Now, if you have a secure holster with a heavy snap or a retention holster your chances of losing a gun or slim. But purse carry is common for women. So condemn her all you want but when it happens to your wife or mom or daughter or to you, just accept it an move on…..oh yea, a hundred cops per year have guns stolen from their cars…..

    • Ugh….can we cease using exonerating language, please? Carelessly misplacing your gun or leaving it behind does not happen “to” someone. They do it themselves. No outside force or third party inflicted it upon them.

      Now, I don’t doubt that forgetting purses is common, just that we shouldn’t regard it as anything less than the carelessness it is and try to recast it as just “[stuff] happens.”

    • And that only happens to you once or twice a week right? Those Applebee’s waitresses can’t get enough of you. 🙂

    • “The only way that I could accidentally leave my gun in a restaurant would be if I forgot my pants.”

      In other words…

      Could be any day now? 🙂

      • “First you forget names, then you forget faces. Next you forget to pull your zipper up and finally, you forget to pull it down.”

        — George Burns

  6. I’ve forgotten my hat.
    I’ve forgotten to zip-up. (At 72 it happens/but my wife always says-don’t’s no big thing!
    ..continuing, ahem….
    I’ve forgotten my jacket.
    But — never — would or could I forget my CW. Sure, as a guy, it’s holstered on my belt. But I’m always
    aware I have it. I agree she is absolutely irresponsible. And may have had one two many.
    As to a thief…Cliff H. They ain’t responsible for anything.
    Yet, if the weapon is used in an illegal manner.. wonder if she could have some legal responsibility?

    • Many times I’ve walked out of a restaurant without my phone, my credit card, my sunglasses, my vape (started six months ago after 30 years at two packs a day, never looked back), whatever, thankfully my wife always remembers. But she’s, of course, not always with me, and I’m bad about this sort of thing, so I always pocket carry, generally my S&W Bodyguard in .380, though my Duluth firehose pants have pockets big enough to tote my full sized Sig .45 without significant printing if I so choose. I know how I am, so I would never off-body carry, though I’m always armed.

      • My husband and I have to double check each other when we leave restaurants. Phone? Ipad? Lens caps (he’s a serious amateur photographer)? Jacket? Or else we wind up losing something.

  7. We need a bit of humility when it comes to things like this. No one is perfect, and if we live long enough, each one of us will eventually make a mistake of this magnitude. (Maybe not this exact mistake, but something similar)

    Adopting an attitude of “I’d never do something so stupid!” is dangerous, because as soon as you rule out the possibility of a risk, you stop taking action to reduce that risk.

    • No kidding. Was this negligent! Absolutely. So is rear-ending the car that suddenly stops in front of you. Or losing track of a toddler for a minute. Or letting your dog blast out the front door. Or dropping a loaded gun when you slip on ice. Or blowing a red light.

      I don’t for a minute condone being irresponsible with a firearm, with children, or with a motor vehicle. I believe that we should learn from history and the mistakes of others. With that being said, not a single person here is completely responsible, myself included.

  8. Yeah humility-on par with leaving your baby in a hot car. “You could die Joey”…nope I won’t do either. +1000000Ralph…

  9. So sick and tired of people like this. I couldn’t get a CC permit where I live even if my life depended on it and yet you have stupid people like this person who can get one but don’t take the responsibility seriously.

  10. Another place people forget about their guns is in their car when they have it put it in the shop. I have buddy who works in a garage who is always finding guns in compartments when they do work on the inside of vehicles. Take your guns with you before you leave your car behind folks.

    • I am a bit ashamed to admit that I am guilty of this. Dropped the car off at the dealer to have the alignment checked. As I got back in later I noticed the CD case containing my .38 revolver and two speed loaders in the door pocket.

  11. Yes, she screwed up. But if you leave your keys in your car and somebody takes your car, who’s the bad guy? What if they kill somebody after stealing your easy to steal car?

    We rag on grabbers for being downright superstitious about an inanimate object, a gun, and then we rag on this woman for being human and leaving this inanimate object unattended.

    Have we allowed the grabbers to control the narrative to the point that we become fearful of being human and capable of honest mistakes?

    • But if you leave your keys in your car and somebody takes your car, who’s the bad guy?

      Sure, the guy who stole the car is the BG. That’s obvious. But what if it’s a stupid kid who took the car for a joyride and ran over a woman and her baby in a crosswalk?

      I ask that because it happened to a friend of mine. Certainly, he didn’t paralyze the woman or kill the baby, but he enabled it. Not good. Not good at all. And it was entirely preventable.

  12. This is why people should not carry off-body. Everyone at some point in their life will forget a bag or to grab something on their way out from wherever they are leaving. Sara Tipton also admitted such and made a post about this a few months back, although that was one she left out at home not at a store.

    Like most men, I carry on my belt holster only.

  13. While I was waiting for my CC permit, I altered between on body and man purse carry. (Basically I carried on my person before sun up and after sundown if I was out and about. The rest of the time it stayed in my backpack.) I got my permit on a Friday morning, That Friday night, the van I had locked my backpack in, was broken into and the bag stolen. ? i had my revolver in my pocket. On body carry for me.

  14. If this woman had read Sara’s article about the Concealment corset, we wouldn’t be having this discussion.

  15. I know this is far from a military situation, but I have always thought there are a lot of principles from the military that should have influence with civilians. An obvious one is firearm handling. Losing, or even temporarily misplacing, your weapon in the military is a serious offense. The penalties are severe, not because the punishment fits the crime, but to create an ethic that having a deadly weapon is a serious responsibility. I am not advocating for similar penalties for civilians, I am advocating for more of a military mindset with regards to weapons.

    When I hear about stuff like this, or the ICE agent who left his pistol on top of his car or the Air Marshal who left his pistol in an airport restroom, I cringe. I don’t subscribe to the “stuff happens” philosophy on this issue. I think there should be an additional rule of safe gun handling: Keep track of your weapon at all times when it is not properly secured.

    • Let’s put the whole “hey, everyone has a negligent discharge eventually” canard in that category as well.

  16. I’ve often wished my daughter would get armed, trained and conceal carry, but this just made me think about just how often she loses her phone, car keys, etc. and realize she just doesn’t have the mind set. Fortunately, she’s pretty good at avoiding being in stupid places, with stupid people.

  17. I agree that off body carry is not the best option and requires even just that much more effort to remain responsible and safe.

    But I’m wondering why only guns are considered this way… There are a great many other dangerous weapons available. Were there steak knives on that table? Nobody even thinks of them, I guess. Could they be stolen and used to harm others? Of course. What about all of the other knives and things people carry in their pockets, or purses? I’d think it would be a disaster if a purse were left behind with any of the usual contents… one reason I’ve not used a purse in more than 40 years.

    How about car or truck, unlocked even? It could be used to harm others too. How far does the owner’s liability stretch if someone breaks in and steals it? Locks are not much of a barrier to those who want to steal, or to harm others. The real problem is the thief and the good chance he/she means to do harm with what was stolen.

    Why are even the “people of the gun” so upset when such incidents involve a gun… though we live in a world awash with weapons of all kinds? Not trying to excuse her or anyone who loses track of their firearm… but it’s not as if guns are the only problem. Believing that merely feeds into the gun grabber’s agenda, I think.

    Seems like something we should discuss, rather just a knee jerk condemnation of someone who leaves her purse with a gun in it.

  18. “The woman told police she realized that she’d left the gun and purse later in the evening, after the restaurant had closed for the day. ”

    I’m just not buying this story. No woman…..NO WOMAN, would forget her purse for longer than 5 minutes…tops!

  19. Yeah we all forget things but most of those THINGS don’t kill people. NO off body carry. DUH…

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