First, I do not advocate off-body carry as a primary method of concealed carry. However, I do understand that there are some occasions when carrying off-body might be preferred.
Ok, the more I’ve studied on this topic the more TV and Movies makes me crazy. The woman walking down the dark street who suddenly turns and pulls a gun out of her purse and aims at the man approaching her menacingly…Charlie’s Angels reruns where they pull their small revolvers out of purses almost as small…an article in the January edition of Elle about Facing Your Fears. Ok, Ladies, be honest, how long does it take to find your keys in your purse? 5 seconds? 10? 30? Have to dump it upside down? If you can find your keys in under 10 seconds, you are doing great! Now, how long will it take to find a gun in your purse? It is probably heavier than everything else, so it will drift to the bottom. How will it be oriented? Will you have to fumble around to get the grip in your hand, pushing aside your wallet, hairbrush, tissue, compact…What will be in the barrel? Oh, there’s that pen I was looking for! How about in the trigger guard? There’s my lipstick! How many times will you muzzle yourself trying to get a proper orientation and grip? If you are really good, and can find, clear and draw your pistol in under 10 seconds, is that good enough?
A young, healthy aggressor can cross 20 feet in 2.5 seconds and get to you. If you didn’t see him coming, you really can’t ask him to wait to attack you; “Excuse me, I have a gun in my purse, would you mind not knocking me to the ground while I reach into my purse to get to it?”
A carry purse has a dedicated area for your gun, with a holster. You always know where your gun is, how it is oriented and you can get to it, with practice in 2 seconds or less. Gun purses are available from a variety of sources, including USGalco, Gun Toten Mamas, Midway USA, even Amazon! If you must carry in a purse, only use a purse designed for carrying.
There are risks to carrying in a purse. First, purse snatchers! They get not only your bag, but your gun! If you go anywhere you must maintain control of your bag at all times. Yes, you must be aware of the innocent, the young, the foolish and the evil. You can’t hang it on the back of a chair at a restaurant, you can’t set it on the floor at your friends home, you can’t leave it at the table while you go out to the dance floor. You must protect your gun from the innocent, curious and guilty. It is your responsibility to safeguard your gun.
If you must carry off body, remember, that you are responsible for your safety, the safety of those around you, and the security of your gun. I have a couple carry purses, but I use them very rarely. When I go to the Doctors office and I know there is a chance he will be listening to my lungs, rather than remove my gun and wrap it in my coat under the chair (leaving my holster in place) I will use my carry purse. Ok, for those who are wondering, why would I carry to a Doctor’s office? Why not? I don’t carry when I think I might need it, I carry period. I’ve never been really good at precognition, if I was, I could now when I would be in a dangerous situation and avoid it. But I don’t know. I prefer to be prepared if it ever comes to that.