I had the pleasure of chatting with Colion Noir of NRA-TV’s “CN Live” last night about being a relatively new shooter and some of the challenges for women who carry – including purse carry. If you haven’t checked out some of Colion’s work, do so. He’s one of the more thoughtful commentators in the firearms space today.
* Note that some of the links in this post may generate a commission (at no additional cost to you) that will help support this site, although that in no way influences my opinion or review. Please see my full Disclosure Statement here.
There are many challenges for women who concealed carry, not the least of which is trying to find a holster solution (or SOLUTIONS more accurately) that will work with her clothing choices, her comfort and her lifestyle. This is a topic of perennial discussion on women’s concealed carry forums and women’s shooter groups.
I myself have a closet full (literally) of failed and not-quite-there holster choices – everything ranging from IWB (In-Waistband) Kydex holsters, to belly bands, to thigh holsters and everything in between. I even ended up having to buy a new gun (darn!) because my beloved Sig Sauer P320 9mm printed on me no matter what holster I used.
Challenges aside, though, there are some things that women can teach men about concealed carry, as aptly discussed in this article by NRA Family: Concealed Carry: Three Things Women Can Teach Men. Women’s sense of fashion can actually benefit our fashion-challenged better halves.
Women in the US are buying significantly more handguns than men, and overall the shift in gun ownership is geared more toward personal protection than hunting or shooting sports, according to a recent article in The New York Times.
What hasn’t been further detailed as part of this new Harvard gun study, however, is the assertion that, “On average, the gun imperils everyone in the home more than it protects them.” Yet in every article that has previewed this study to date, there is no further analysis of under what conditions that danger occurs.
As a woman who owns and carries handguns every day, this assertion seems foreign to me. I feel empowered carrying my gun, and every time I train and practice I feel I am only improving my safety, and that of my family, not endangering it. And from what I can tell of the community of women shooters and concealed carry permit holders, I don’t think I’m alone.
I’d file this under the realm of the obvious, but the Atlantic recently published a story titled, “The Problem with Leaving a Gun in Your Car,” that surprisingly enough, was about the problem that guns are often stolen out of cars.
If you carry your gun, you also realize that guns are a huge target for thieves. While the Atlantic focused on the fact that the reason guns are bad is because they get stolen out of cars, I prefer to figure out how I can still carry my gun to protect myself (the whole point of having a concealed carry license) and yet still safely deal with the issue that there are “gun free zones” or other restrictions on carrying that would require me to leave my gun in my car. The solution is simple – a portable gun safe.
One of the first things I bought after I decided to carry every day is a portable gun safe. I’m not able to carry into my office, so I have a NanoVault GunVault that I use in my car. It is reasonably priced (generally less than $25-30), has a tether I can attach securely to my car (I have it hooked onto to my passenger car seat frame), uses a combination lock (faster and more secure), is roomy enough to hold my Sig P320 9mm and tucks discretely under the seat.
There are a number of other alternative small, portable safes that are reasonably priced available on Amazon.com, your local sporting good store or gun store.
The first obligation as a gun owner is ensuring the safety of your firearm. If you are going to carry your gun with you, you have to be prepared for situations where you have to leave it in a safe location on the go. It’s an inexpensive way to ensure you don’t become one of the statistics.
*The GunVault is a product I purchased and use. Note that some of the links in this post may generate a commission that will help support this site, although that in no way influences my opinion or review. Please see my full Disclosure Statement here.
The Washington Times just ran a short piece on how the “Fashion world finally catches on to the pistol packing woman.” They don’t add much by way of new information, and they don’t talk about the fashion world either, but they do at least acknowledge that, (1) there are lots of women who carry guns and like to shoot, and (2) the industry to date hasn’t really paid much attention.
What I would like to see is more of a recognition that women have particular challenges around finding an effective way to concealed carry and some real solutions on how to solve it, other than “shrinking and pinking” products designed for men.
I know we’ll be starting that dialogue here in this forum – be sure to let me know what you think.
The Guardian has just published the results of a new study on gun ownership in the US, and it confirms what several other recent studies have shown which is while gun ownership among men in the US is decreasing substantially, it’s steady and growing among women – increasing from 9% of the female population in 1994 to 12% today.
I found the demographic details on income level and gun ownership very interesting – there is virtually no difference whether you make $25,000 a year or $100,000 a year as to whether or not you’re a gun owner.
Perhaps most interesting finding was the data on handgun-only ownership and women who by a large margin purchase their first handgun for protection:
“It was “kind of worrying” that women who had no previous experience with guns were buying handguns for self-defense, and that he was concerned “that puts them at greater risk” for gun accidents or thefts.”
It’s the responsibility of any gun owner, and any woman gun owner, to educate themselves about the safe and responsible handling of firearms and self-defense. That’s why we’re starting this conversation now. Join in and let us know your thoughts.