Women’s Concealed Carry: Where Do We Hide the Gun?

Now that I’ve decided to carry concealed every place I legally can, I have ran into a challenge. How to carry. This is not a good conversation to have with some men or to try to read about in gun magazines and on websites. They all seem to want to tell me how there’s only one way that’s truly safe and if I don’t want to carry that way I shouldn’t carry at all. Yeah, that’s helpful. I’ve read, researched, asked questions, and tried a few holsters. Obviously, I don’t speak for all women, some will not have any of the same issues I do, but I think the complexities that I discuss can be common for many people.

Carry options I have considered:

  • OWB (outside the waistband), but I’m petite, short-waisted, and I wear office clothing. Way too bulky and obvious.
  • IWB (inside the waistband). I would need to buy all my clothes one size bigger to pull that one off. Yeah, that’s going to happen. Yes, I know I shouldn’t let that deter me, but let’s be honest and realistic here – it does! And it does for a lot of women. Ignoring the fact won’t change it.
  • Shoulder carry. Remember, I work in an office and wear office clothing. I don’t wear a suit jacket and certainly wouldn’t wear one every day all day long.
  • Waist band carry. A possibility but again not sure it would hide well under my office clothes.
  • Flashbang Bra Holster. Another possibility, but I’m not sure how well it would work for me as I have a slight belly, sit all day and tend to slouch a bit. I worry it could be really uncomfortable.
  • Purse carry. That’s what I’m currently doing. But most articles say never do that, you can’t get to it fast enough. Never do that, someone could steal your purse. True, but I am a fanatic about keeping my purse with me at all times. When walking, I keep a death grip on it and I NEVER lock it in my car. My frustration with carry purses though, is that they are SO heavy. I finally found a regular purse with a pocket that works well. I know, I know, I read the articles that say never do that, you need a holster. But for Pete’s sake, I will need another shoulder surgery if I carry one of those heavy leather purses! I know this because I have already wasted $100 buying two purses hoping they would work for me.
  • Ankle Carry. Now this one I like! I tried just putting my LCP in my sock (don’t worry, I just checked it out, I didn’t go out with my gun in my sock) and it could not be seen at all under my work slacks and jeans. Then what happened? I started reading articles saying never do that, the gun can get dirty. Never do that, you can’t draw while running. Very frustrating.

These are not all of the choices available, just the main ones I have looked at so far. Something that would really be helpful for women is some sort of traveling “fashion show” or maybe a Tupperware-type party, where we could see and try out all the different options. I know, most men will laugh at this – they pick out their holsters like their jeans, just walk into a store, look at the size, buy them and walk out. Again, let’s be realistic. Most women don’t do that with jeans and we aren’t going to be any different with our holsters. We need to try them on first!

So what is best? It really is so individual due to body build, job, and comfort level, so please don’t put up a lot of arguments against every way a woman suggests may work for her. While it may not bother some women, for others it can make them give up and not carry at all. And is that really what we want to happen? I intend to carry as often as possible so I’ll continue to research and try out as many options as I can. I have no doubt I will eventually find what works for me, whether others “approve” of it or not, and that’s what I will use. Because ultimately, should I ever need to defend myself, I am the one who will answer for whether it was a good choice for me.

About the author: Nancy Keaton

Nancy Keaton lives in Chehalis, Washington with her family. She is mother of three and grandmother of three and has recently acquired the healthy love of guns, self-defense, hunting, and the Second Amendment. Nancy and her family are also a travel writing team and you can learn about fun in the Pacific Northwest by checking out their blog at NorthwestRevealed.com. Questions and comments can be emailed to Nancy at nnkeaton@gmail.com.

View all articles by Nancy Keaton
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