Today’s gun carrying woman faces an astounding number of options to choose from when deciding how to concealed carry. In fact, we have more options and styles than men, from traditional inside waist belly bands, to femme specific purse holsters and “flash bang” bra holsters. all coming with their own pros and cons. Its best to embrace these differences and use them to your advantage. You can use the different methods to make carrying a firearm fit in to your life easier. You shouldn’t have to completely change your lifestyle to be able to protect yourself. Think about how you spend the majority of your time when you are choosing your primary method of carry. This will allow you to transition to carrying without making a lot of large changes to your life.
Outside Waistband Carry
Outside Waistband, or OWB is one of the most comfortable ways to carry, but also one of the more restrictive. OWB is exactly what it sounds like; you are carrying in a holster on your hip, and the holster is outside of your waistband. Doesn’t that mean my firearm is visible? Yes indeed. However, another garment, like a jacket, is necessary to provide concealment. This really limits OWB to winter where clothing is heavy enough to conceal. Not the best way to carry daily, but a great option to have when the conditions are right.
Inside Waistband Carry
Similar to OWB, IWB stands for Inside Waistband and involves carrying on your hip. Unlike OWB, the holster is inside your waistband. This difference may not seem like much, but this allows much more freedom with your clothing choices. This is a great option for any occasion where you are wearing loose clothing. A loose top is all that is needed to conceal with IWB. Unfortunately, if your attire is too form fitting, you will be at much more risk of the outline of the firearm being visible. This is called “printing” and should be avoided at all costs. Printing can cause people unfamiliar with concealed carry to become uneasy, as they see a “danger” appear in front of them.
Concealed Carry Attire
This is a class of CCW clothing with a concealed carry holster built directly into the garment. There are enough options in this class to warrant its own article, however the three most popular women’s carry garments are undershirts, leggings, and bra holsters.
CCW Undershirts are basically a form fitting athletic shirt with firm holster built into the crook of side of the garment near the armpit, allowing the wearer to cross draw with their opposite arm. This option necessitates wearing an over shirt that allows easy access at a moments notice, like a button down blouse or a baggy shirt. This combined with the potential discomfort of your gun rubbing against your inside arm all day results in classically imperfect carrying option.
CCW Leggings combine a belly band solution with trendy nylon jogging attire. They’re a great solution for women who want to go for a run alone while keeping their firearm secure and concealed.
Concealed Carry Purses
Carrying in a purse is one of most the most versatile methods available for women, especially when your dress for the occasion doesn’t allow proper concealment on the waist. However, you should never simply throw your gun loose in a purse and walk out the door. It is incredibly dangerous to carry a firearm in your everyday. A proper CCW purse includes a holster that completely covers the trigger, preventing anything from entering the trigger guard and causing an unintended discharge. The holster is generally anchored in place inside the purse, which keeps your pistol exactly where you left it, so that you will be easily able to draw if necessary. These purses should always be worn cross body to deter purse snatchers and minimize the risk of you being separated from your weapon. While surprisingly not standard on many designs, locking zippers on the pistol compartment is a great feature on carry purses to make sure in safe environments you are the only one who has access to your pistol.Carrying on your body is preferable when possible, but purse carry just fits into life so much easier.
When choosing to enter the world of concealed carry, it is important that you choose the method that you are most comfortable with most of the time. If you’re looking to add a CCW purse to your list of options, we offer a boutique selection of fashionable concealed carry purses that don’t skimp on useful features. Each of our handbags are designed with locking pistol compartments, slash-resistant cross body shoulder straps, and durable nylon holsters.