So you just received your concealed carry permit in the mail... now what?! With so many options to choose from when it comes to concealing your firearm, we're here to break it down for you to help you find the right option.
First off, what exactly ARE my options? There are styles ranging from your traditional CCW purse, to leggings, to holsters, and within each of those categories comes it's own choices to make like brand and style. Let's break down each of those three options in the hopes that it may help with your decision making process.
1. Concealment Purse
This option is great for so many occasions, including wardrobe accessibility. Using a purse means you don't have to search for a place to hide your holster while wearing a dress. It also gives you a place to safely house your firearm while using a restroom, vs. having to figure our how to use the toilet while keeping your gun holstered at the same time. If you're anything like I am, you know what a challenge it can be to use a public restroom even without a gun! <Yuck!>
Concerns with CCW purses primarily come from issues like speed of the draw and unintentional firing. How quickly can your firearm be drawn from your purse? Do your children have access to your purse? Is it lockable? Is there a designated CCW pocket with a well made holster to ensure your gun isn't accidentally triggered by other random knick-knacks in your purse. These are all excellent questions to have, and can ultimately be avoided with a well designed concealment purse.
2. Concealment Leggings
Let's talk leggings... Great for working out, running errands, or even a night out on the town. No wonder the concealed carry market was looking into leggings as an alternative option! The idea that the leggings are so versatile and can be worn basically anytime, anywhere is its biggest appeal. It's a way of integrating concealed carry into your everyday life. It's also great because there is potential for a quicker draw and your firearm is on your person at all times, a feasible option for most.
However, what is most concerning is mainly due to unsafe designs that require additional safety measures to be taken. Without proper education, the untrained carrier might be doing more harm than good. Do the leggings provide trigger protection? Do they have retention so the trigger doesn't fall out of the holster? Does it present the gun at the same angle allowing for muscle memory? Are they comfortable to conceal carry in?
3. Concealed Pocket Holster
Pocket holsters are great for smaller handguns (obviously), and are great for concealment. They are typically more comfortable than many of the other holster options on the market today. It allows your firearm to sit in your pants or jacket pocket.
Typically smaller firearms have less power and functionality, which is something the wearer should consider when carrying in public places. With a pocket holster, there can be potential for a slower draw depending on the pocket size and other clothing items being worn. It is definitely not and ideal form of concealment if you will be doing a lot of sitting or kneeling. The last thing to note, is that debris from your pockets can accumulate inside the gun.
4. Belly Bang Holster
A belly band holster is the kind of concealment option that wraps around the body and is secured tight with Velcro. This style is the perfect choice for people who have an active lifestyle; who enjoying running or hiking with their weapon. It can be adjusted on a person's body to re-position the firearm to their liking. There are even a few styles that have additional pockets for spare ammo, small knives, etc...
This style of holster does prove to inhibit excessive sweating and could potentially damage your firearm. It also isn't the most discreet option if you were to wear it over your clothing either. Depending on how much clothing you may be wearing, it can also be difficult to draw from.
Hopefully these pro's and con's gave you some food for thought. At the end of the day, it comes down to choosing the right option to fit your lifestyle, while also taking into consideration the design and safety of the product itself. Remember to purchase from reputable companies that specialize in concealment fashion, as well as practice, practice, practice! Practice using your new purse, holster, belly band, or whatever it is you choose to carry with. This will help to create muscle memory so that in the case that you did need to draw your firearm in an emergency, you will do so with accuracy and precision.