Tuesday, July 30, 2013

CC Purses & Quick Look @ "Concealed Chic" CC Purses on Etsy

Should you carry your gun in a purse?

That depends. Are you a responsible gun owner? Are you usually aware of who is nearby? Do you tend to go anywhere where you want to set down your purse for awhile?

If a woman makes the decision to put a loaded firearm into a purse or bag that can be easily removed from her body, set down, or stolen, it's extremely important for her to be aware of her surroundings and make sure that no one has access to her purse.

I can't answer those questions for anyone other than myself, but I usually find a way to make my outfit work with an IWB holster because on-body carry is so much more secure. That being said, purse carry is SO convenient for a woman (especially in the summer), that I do occasionally carry my firearm inside a purse when concealed carry is just way too much of a struggle with what I want to wear. If it's 90 degrees outside, I want to wear a fitted tank top and shorts, and I want to run to the store with something larger than a .380, the positives associated with purse carry make it a very appealing option.

Pros:

You can carry a purse with an outfit where no other CC option seems to work.
You aren't limited to a small gun (you can carry a full-size gun in a purse).
Multiple firearms will fit (which is nice if you bought a new gun and don't have a holster yet).
It's a method that allows you to carry a backup gun (if you are carrying on-body as well).

Cons:

Someone could steal your purse (and then they'd have your gun too).
You can't set your purse down anywhere or let anyone have access to it.

Now, I'm a responsible gun owner and I try to keep my head on a 360 degree swivel as much as possible. I know who is around me, I am always in control of my firearm no matter what carry method I choose for the day, and I know exactly where I'm going to be before I go there. I am ok with carrying my gun in a purse on occasion as long as I never set it down and I practice drawing from it frequently enough that I feel confident that I can draw from it quickly.

For anyone who decides to carry their gun in a purse, I highly recommend using an actual gun purse that has a secure, dedicated holster pocket with an attached internal holster (so your holster won't come out with your gun). Only your gun should go inside the holster pocket, and your gun should be inside a holster that protects your trigger from any sort of accidental discharge and also allows you to get a consistent grip every time you draw the gun. You don't want to just toss your gun into a purse filled with clutter (even if it's inside some type of holster that's loose in your purse) because if you need to draw it in an emergency, you'll probably grab it at some weird angle, pull it out with your holster still attached, or even worse, not be able to find it in your purse at all!

Although purse carry has never been my main method for concealed carry, my daily purse for the past several years has been a gun purse. If you're going to carry a purse anyway, why not have one with a dedicated holster and holster pocket (just in case purse carry is the only holster method you have that will work in a certain situation)?

Many of you are already familiar with my Raven Bag (GTM-099) from Gun Tote'n Mamas (shown in my previous Youtube video), which I LOVE and has been my daily purse for over 2 1/2 years... but I recently got a new gun purse that I'd like to share with you because I think it's just incredible. I will be doing a full video review on it later, giving a lot more details on the design and features, (video shown below!), but here I just want to give you a quick look in case you are currently in the market for a unique, high quality concealed carry purse that is a bit larger (and much more spacious) than the small Raven Bag I showed (and had been using) previously.

This fun, one-of-a-kind purse was handmade by Julie, of "Concealed Chic" on Etsy, and the quality and attention to detail are exceptional. Trust me when I say that this purse is quite possibly one of the most well thought-out concealed carry purses on the market. You probably wouldn't think that so much trial and error could go into something as simple as a purse that has a pocket for gun, but the small, special details that Julie has put into her design are so essential to the flawless use of this purse as a concealed carry method. The holster pocket is ambidextrous, with a zipper on each side, and drawing from the holster pocket (and the holster) feels smooth & natural. The wide straps make the purse feel very comfortable on your shoulder, and it's sturdy and doesn't sag, even with a heavy, full-sized gun. She includes two matching holsters of different sizes to choose from, and between the two, they will accommodate pretty much any sized gun (that's larger than a tiny .380). My Ruger LCR, Ruger SP101 w/ 3" barrel, M&P Shield, and M&P Compact 9mm all fit great in the smaller of the two holsters included.

All of her concealed carry purses have the exact same construction and pocket layout, but she uses a lot of different fabrics. Her fabric patterns range from fun & funky to more casual & classy, and the ones she has for sale tend to change as she sells one purse and makes another. Priced at $165, you get what you pay for. Many concealed carry purses are more expensive and don't have nearly the attention to detail. Concealed Carry Purses from Concealed Chic are extremely unique, durable, well-designed, hand-made in the USA, spacious enough for the lady who likes to carry a lot with her, and each purse takes Julie over 8 hours to make. I'll get into more of the purse specifics in my later video, but in the meantime, take a look at Concealed Chic if you've been looking for something more fun than the regular concealed carry bags on the market. If you find a pattern you like, I can guarantee you won't be disappointed. 

Store: http://www.etsy.com/shop/ConcealedChic
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Concealed-Chic/585789701443556

** ADDED LATER: Additional Design Info and Excellent Things to Consider (from Julie, owner & creator of Concealed Chic Purses):

"Falia, I noticed you had a couple comments about the article/purse on your site and wanted to answer some of the questions you and your reader(s) had or may have.
 
Regarding the cross body purse style...this particular purse design would not work well for a cross body strap due to the shape of the top bag band, but I know the cross body style is very popular and I have had several requests for a cross body purse design.  My hope is that I will have a cross body design available early fall (September or October).
 
As for the cable reinforced strap...I know there are some CC purses with this feature and I did consider this early in my design, along with the locking zipper feature also available on many CC purses.  I gave both of these features a lot of thought and consideration, including discussions and input from some law enforcement, firearms instructors and other women before making my decision.  In the end I decided not to include these features and here's why.
 
A cable reinforced "slash resistant" strap at first thought seems like a good idea.  It made me feel that I would somehow be "safer", but after some serious thought I now believe it could actually be more dangerous.  If a thief is in close proximity and has a knife trying to slash your strap expecting it to release the purse as they take off running and it doesn't release, my thought is now I'm going to the ground and potentially in ground level brawl with someone that has a knife in their hand.  No thank you!  Now I don't want them to have my wallet or my gun either, but my preference is to not get hurt in this scenario.  If you're lucky maybe the thief would feel defeated and just run off if the strap didn't release, but I'm not willing to take that chance myself.  I don't know the statistics on how often "slash & grab" crimes actually occur and I'm sure it does happen.  While thieves can be very stupid they also don't like to work very hard at their chosen profession and are likely to target ladies that are distracted and not holding on to their purse.  I just try to be aware of my surroundings and tend to keep my hand on my purse strap whenever I can.  Also I carry my purse on my left shoulder and if I am with someone else I always try to walk to their right, so my purse is between us and therefore less of a potential target.
 
I also think the locking zipper features give the user a false sense of security.  Again at first thought I felt this would be safer, thinking then I could put my purse down if I lock my gun inside, right?  Uh, no...still not a good idea!  First of all little kids are very clever, they somehow seem to get into things you would never think possible.  And the keys for these locking zippers are very simple universal keys...the same key unlocks every zipper out there.  If I have my loaded gun in my purse I make sure I am in control of it at all times...lock or no lock.  The other problem with these locks is the potential to lock the zipper(s) and realize you forgot to unlock it at a time you needed to access it in an emergency.  Drawing from a purse already takes a little longer than a hip holster, you don't want to have to find your key first."

RE: Comment Below About Locking Zippers (email I received later from Julie, owner of Concealed Chic): "I saw the comment from "No Kidding" regarding the locking zipper, which is a scenario I also had not thought of.  However, I wasn't sure about the legality of using a purse with a locking zipper in this scenario.  I did some checking and asked my husband to post the question to police and lawyers via AR15 forum he is a monitor for.  Sounds like the law and interpretation of the law may vary state to state, so a general statement that this is OK or not OK is really hard to make.  I personally would recommend that any woman who chooses to use the locking zipper feature on a purse in this capacity educate themselves the best they can about the law and requirements for any state(s) they will be traveling.  Even then we are still subject to how those laws are interpreted by a judge or jury, but hopefully we make better decisions for ourselves the more information we are "armed" with.  I'll let you read the conversation from the forum (see link below) and decide if you want to add any additional comments to your website."
 
 
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Thank you Julie!! I appreciate your husband posting this question to the forum and giving me the additional info to add to my post.  I agree - It's extremely important to know your local laws! In a situation like this, I personally think that a lot of it may still depend on the particular cop you get pulled over by. Even if it is legal to lock your gun inside your purse, the cop may not know that, and you could still be hassled and dragged in. It may be legal and ok for your gun to be in a locked box underneath your backseat (or in your trunk if you have one), but a cop may not be ok with it in a locked purse. Even if it is legal, again, I do think you could still get hassled about it or end up in legal trouble (depending on the cop). Just my personal thoughts.

My Video Review:


7 comments:

Natasha said...

Gosh, in all my hunting for the perfect cc purse for me, I never thought to check etsy. Thanks for the review.

Anonymous said...

Thanks again for the great insight. Looking forward to your full video review. I have a large portfolio purse from Gun Toten' Mamas that is ok. THe straps are thinner, the bag is heavy and a bit of an odd shape and after a trip through the grocery store with it on my should I get a headache, so these lighter weight bags look like an awesome option. Wondering if she puts a wire cord through the straps for extra "slash and grab" protection...I'm also betting that since she's on etsy you may be able to work with her to get a cross body strap...feeling a little giddy... :)

FALIA REVIEWS: said...

Natasha - glad you liked it

Anon - I'll try to do the video as soon as I can. With the weight of a heavy gun, this purse is perfect! I love the wide straps and the lightweight (yet sturdy) material and design. There isn't a wire cord though the strap and I'm not sure if she will do any sort of custom changes (different length strap, etc). I'll have to ask her about that.

FALIA REVIEWS: said...

Anonymous - I emailed back and forth with Julie a little bit more and have added a paragraph to the end of my article regarding her design info & thoughts about cross-body bags and slash-resistant straps :)

NoKidding said...

A word about the locking zipper concept: this would help me out when I drive through certain states, if they don't honor my state's LTCF, since there is no trunk in my vehicle.

FALIA REVIEWS: said...

NoKidding - I hadn't thought about that. Thanks for mentioning it.

FALIA REVIEWS: said...

NoKidding - Julie and I both added a few more thoughts to the end of the above post regarding purse locks (and Julie also posted a link with some helpful insight as well) if you are interested! :)