For the ladies

This is a discussion on For the ladies within the Defensive Carry Holsters & Carry Options forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Gun-toting is in fashion By Pat Beall Palm Beach Post Staff Writer Wednesday, July 19, 2006 Forced to draw a bead on a bad guy? ...

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Thread: For the ladies

  1. #1
    VIP Member Array ron8903's Avatar
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    For the ladies

    Gun-toting is in fashion

    By Pat Beall

    Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

    Wednesday, July 19, 2006

    Forced to draw a bead on a bad guy? May as well do it in style.

    Pinellas County-based Philip Clements Group LLC is selling a $295 custom-designed purse with a hidden gun compartment for pistol packin' mamas.




    "The first one was sold in Palm Beach," said Patricia Plunkett, vice president of the firm. Discreet zippers allow the carrier to carry a gun or passports, or jewelry and pull it from either the left or the right side of the bag's hidden compartment.

    Over the past 10 years, the number of Palm Beach County's concealed weapon permits has grown faster than the area's mushrooming population. Boca Raton philanthropist Christine Lynn has one. Socialite Nina Otto does too. Even U.S. Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite, R-Brooksville, packs heat, although she's not saying where. "I have a legal concealed carry permit, and it's called concealed for a reason," she said.

    About 50,000 women in Florida are authorized to carry concealed firearms, according to 2004 state records. Permits remain controversial. For instance, this year state lawmakers were criticized for shutting down public access to the records.

    But it's what happens after the permit is issued concealing the weapon that has created headaches for women and opportunities for Plunkett and other retailers.

    Leather holsters are too bulky to hide a gun beneath form-fitting clothes, and harnesses are designed for a man's body. "A man can always wear a Tommy Bahama shirt over a holster," said Joe Rice, manager of Delray Shooting Center Inc. "Unfortunately, the manner in which women dress requires them to carry smaller guns."

    National manufacturers are scrambling to fill the market niche, offering everything from daily organizers with an area for a revolver or an automatic to a briefcase with hidden gun compartment to fanny packs to an $89.95 soft-side briefcase with a zippered side opening which "makes drawing very quick and easy." (Available only in black.)

    Chuck Papp, manager of the Palm Lake Shooting Center in Lake Worth, said these "gun bags" haven't generated much local interest from steadily growing number of Palm Beach County women in the market for a firearm.

    "They don't always like the design," he said. "A lot of women just use what they've got, and put the holster in their purse."

    As a result, women here continue to purchase small guns, the better to tuck them into small, fashionable carrying spaces: this year's popular Ralph Lauren calfskin bikini bag, say, or any one of a series of Michael Kors' tiny clutches that were hot on fashion runways this spring.

    For beginning shooters, though, these small guns can be a bad buy. "When women go, 'Ooh, that gun is so cute,' we try to teach them that (the small guns) are definitely not for novices," said Rice. They are less accurate. They pack a wallop of a recoil, rendering them even less likely to hit a target.

    Bigger handbags aren't necessarily a gun-tote solution, either, adds Plunkett, especially for those already prone to rummaging through their bag for a lipstick. "Although you may be very organized when you leave the house at 8 in the morning, at some point later in the day, nothing in that bag is going to be where it was intended," she said.

    The 58-year-old businesswoman said she went through holsters, a shoulder harness "I usually threw it in the glove compartment by the end of the day" and successive handbags before she and designer Philip Clements put their heads together last year and came up with the Patricia Day Bag: a $295 leather and jute coupling of fashion and firepower.

    The materials and Spanish workmanship give the bags a designer sheen, she said, and the price tag makes it a bargain compared with Kors and Lauren. But much of the attraction is the unseen component.

    Sales have been brisk enough to warrant designing a second bag, said Plunkett, though the roughly one-year lag time between design and production means a second handbag style probably won't be available soon. The current handbag style is limited.

    And given the purpose of the purse, it could be retired early: In a crisis, said Plunkett, "You are not going to bother taking that firearm out. You are just going to pull the trigger and ruin the handbag."
    "A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on."
    - Sir Winston Churchill

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  3. #2
    Assistant Administrator
    Array P95Carry's Avatar
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    Lotta bucks for a purse but - sounds like it'll hold something useful!

    Just great to know so many of the ladies are carrying
    Chris - P95
    NRA Certified Instructor & NRA Life Member.

    "To own a gun and assume that you are armed
    is like owning a piano and assuming that you are a musician!."


    http://www.rkba-2a.com/ - a portal for 2A links, articles and some videos.

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    Senior Member Array David III's Avatar
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    I'll be interested to see them. I took two concealed carry purses to show my wife one evening --- she didn't like either one of them. Both were $250++ I had borrowed them from someone, thankfully!

    She said they must have been designed by men (and that's probably true). I thought either one would have worked, good access to the gun, had some other pockets.
    Her deal was that they were not big enough and she said that she didn't want to have to swing the purse to get to the "end' of it - these carried the gun in a pocket in the end of the purse.
    She wants access in from the top, saying that it's easier to tilt the purse and reach down in than to swing it around or across to reach the end.
    Good points, I guess -- and I've not seen anything like what she wants. And she's not alone, because two ladies here at work also want the same arrangement.

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    Senior Member Array AirForceShooter's Avatar
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    Do NOT let my wife see this thread!!!

    AFS
    Gun control is hitting what you aim at

  6. #5
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    David, here's your chance to make a fortune (a small one). Have the ladies design what they want and make a prototype. Then market the prototype to makers or make it yourself. Our Holster link page has 133 links on it and most are makers. There are several that have sections on purses and a couple that specialize in women's carry.

    My wife carries a Coronado Maestro Hobo purse and likes it fairly well, but I think she would agree with your wife and would likely buy a purse designed by women as a concealed carry purse.
    George

    Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe. Albert Einstein

  7. #6
    Senior Member Array David III's Avatar
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    George -- we're actually going to do that sometime late August or early September. We know a guy who makes saddles, saddlebags, etc, and he's said he can make up one of whatever we want. I think the problem will be when we try to find someone who can do it affordably - but we'll find out. I'm kind of sitting in the background on this one, as it's hard for me to not throw my 2 cents worth in - and I especially do not want to do that.
    Should be interesting what they come up with. I might even end up carrying a purse.
    Well, probably not.....

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    Member Array Mark Garrity's Avatar
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    Galco and Mitch Rosen have been offering woman's purses with holster compartments for years, (and if you think the $295.00 price tag is expensive then check out Rosen's prices).

    I personally strongly advise any woman against purse carry, or anybody against off-body carry for that matter. If your purse is unattended for the slightest second you're opening the door for a situation in which you could be held liable. And in the event of a purse snatching, you have just armed the criminal. Most purse snatchings I have investigated on duty have happened swiftly, and from behind, with no chance to defend against even if the victim was carrying on-body. Usually the purse is grabbed and the victim is knocked down almost simultaneously, and the perp is off and running purse in hand while the victim is falling to the ground. Consequently there is usually no good description of the attacker from the victim because he is only seen from behind while running away. I have never taken a report on one that was a tug-of-war for the purse. All were sudden blitz attacks that lasted mere seconds and were over before the victim knew what happened.
    So once again, I strongly advise against off-body carry.
    "He who makes things with his hands is a laborer, he who makes things with his hands and his head is a craftsman, he who makes things with his hands, his head, and his heart is an artist."
    www.garritysgunleather.com

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    Member Array Gary Brommeland's Avatar
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    I agree with Mark 110%! Off body concealment is bad news.

  10. #9
    Senior Member Array David III's Avatar
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    Guys, I agree 1000% and have talked until I run out of air to no avail. The only slight success I had (accidentally) was just a couple weeks ago when I had an old Summer Special on the table and Lesa started asking about it and then it vanished.
    I truly hope she's been trying it out. If she decides it's even halfway OK, then we can get together and come up with a belt holster for her and her J-frame.
    Meanwhile, the purse quest slowly continues.

    This is quite a place when you can post something and get comments from a couple of the BEST in the same day! Thanks!

  11. #10
    New Member Array mbuesing's Avatar
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    Guys, I live in AZ and as you know it's HOT for a long time. My wife is considering and will probably get her CCW soon (YEA). With that comes the options on how to carry. I would rather have her carry in the purse, then to not carry.

    I find if difficult to carry in the summer. I mostly carry in a really great fanny pack. It's blue and looks like a camera bag. Anyway, I can't wait for the struggle to figure out how she will carry.

    I might be incorrect but do a lot of purse snatchers actually cut the strap and pull the purse? I think these conceled purses have a wire band in the strap, to prevent that. But proper training should involve the mental side of it. (Not putting yourself in a harmful situation to start)

    She also wears a lot more form fitting clothing, so how do you conceal and look nice? Plus, she just loves an auto. I had her start shooting a revolver and had her just "try" my kimber compact. Well, I didn't shoot much that day.

    I guess I want to make sure she is comfortable and doesn't stop carrying because a purse carry is not recommended.

    I'll be very interested in hearing from any female posters.

  12. #11
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    Ya know, the price for one purse isn't what's bad...

    My wife would want one for shopping in the winter, one for summer shopping, one in black, one in brown, small one for dining, big one for trips... etc, etc. IT JUST NEVER ENDS! <VBG>
    ALWAYS carry! - NEVER tell!

    "A superior Operator is best defined as someone who uses his superior
    judgement to keep himself out of situations that would require a display of his
    superior skills."

  13. #12
    Member Array Mark Garrity's Avatar
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    Thumper,
    I agree - one in every color to match every outfit!

    mbuesing,
    I can't sympathise. I live in Phoenix and carry a Commander or Sig
    P239 all day, every day IWB with no problem. It's a dry heat.
    More to the point of your post - yes, some of the purse snatchings I have first hand experience with have involved slashing the purse-strap; particulary back east when I worked in the Philadelphia area. A string of them involved a female purse-snatcher who was doing just that. I don't know if any of the dedicated holster purses are reinforcing the strap or not but it would be a good idea.
    Awareness is always essential if you carry concealed, no matter how, and should be practiced even if you don't and all trainers stress this.
    But we are only human, and in the day to day bump and grind tend to let our guard down. And I don't think the general problem is that people's minds are blank and they're walking around like zombies. just the opposite; their mind is pre-occupied with too much to pay attention to what going on around them. Though many trainers will stress to stay alert and be vigilant and aware of your surroundings, very few give a course in how to accomplish this.
    "He who makes things with his hands is a laborer, he who makes things with his hands and his head is a craftsman, he who makes things with his hands, his head, and his heart is an artist."
    www.garritysgunleather.com

  14. #13
    Member Array Julie's Avatar
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    Well, I just recently worked some overtime, and I spent it on 2 purses from Coronado leather. This is one splurge that my husband thought was OK!

    The first one I got was the Aspen classic, and the other one was the Redwood backpack. I haven't gotten them yet, but I am super-excited to! I wish that delivery truck would hurry up. I really liked the fact that these purses come with separate compartments for the hangun/holster only. Then everything else can go in the other compartments.

    I know many here think that purse carrying is not a good idea at all. I guess there's no perfect answer. I am a fan of wearing cargo pants, but I can't wear them everyday! I will probably end up carrying in the purse most of the time, and I'm hoping for the best. I think the best I can do is keep my guard up, and if I feel like there is a threat, I will have the zippered gun compartment unzipped and ready to go. Hopefully the instructor can give me some advice on this subject next week when I take my advanced tactics course. He will probably direct me to a nice belt-holster

    P.S. If any of you want your wives/GF's to be more interested in shooting, show her the cool purses she can get!!

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    VIP Member Array JimmyC4's Avatar
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    Julie, welcome to this forum.

    My wife carries, sometimes in a Coronado purse. They are outstanding quality and a good option for her when nothing else seems to work well.

    I'm now prepared for the mountain of posts about the shortcomings of off-body carry, to which I reply that having a gun in the purse is better than no gun at all. Oh, and I've yet to see the article about a lady's carry purse being snatched and then the gun in it being used against her; certainly if it's such a great risk we'd have heard about a case of that happening, right?

  16. #15
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    Julie & JimmyC...

    Welcome...Julie...
    from Central Florida!

    JimmyC...It's the same with my wife. She wanted the the purse thing for her to carry the S & W 637 (.38 snubbie)...she wasn't going to do the IWB thing. Well, a gun in a purse is better than no gun at all...it was a start!

    Stay safe...

    ret
    The last Blood Moon Tetrad for this millennium starts in April 2014 and ends in September 2015...according to NASA.

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