In the last edition, I talked about selecting a gun to fit a lady’s needs. If you missed it, you can go online at www.AthensNowAl.com. Click on Foreman’s Forum just under the top of the front page.
Just this week, I had a lady in my pistol training class. She had bought a very nice Ruger snub nose revolver. Because her job sometimes takes her into questionable parts of town and exposes her to people she does not know, she feels the need to be properly trained. Bravo! Shooting a firearm and properly defending yourself is a lot more that just pointing and pulling the trigger. And the best part? She wants to keep up her training and practice. For anyone, ladies or men, to purchase a firearm, then put it on a top shelf and not touch it for the next ten years, is just not the way to stay safe.
This lady had concerns about how she was going to carry her firearm. Several months ago, I wrote in this forum, “Don’t Let Your Gun Go Naked.” Everyone, ladies and men, needs to have a proper holster with which to carry your gun. With ladies, carrying a firearm often takes second place to fashion. Yes, men are guilty of this too. Anyone who carries a concealed weapon needs to fit their clothing style to the gun, not the opposite. The ladies just cannot wear today’s form fitting skinny jeans and tank top and still expect to carry a gun and have it concealed. On the other hand, today’s long flowing tops are perfect for concealing a firearm on your person. Overall, I do not recommend ladies carry their gun in a purse or handbag, however, there are exceptions. Carrying a firearm in your purse takes a very disciplined lady. The purse must never be left sitting anywhere. It is best to carry the purse across your body. The armed lady cannot lay her purse in the shopping cart. She cannot leave it lying on the front seat while she fills her tank with gas. The concealed carry lady cannot lay the purse down ANYWHERE in which she does not have total control over the purse holding her gun. Does it sound like I am encouraging you NOT to carry in your purse? It really depends on how careful and diligent you are while carrying a firearm.
Other than the cross body purse for ladies carrying concealed, there are some other very good and safe options. The lady I mentioned above is going to be in her car for hours at a time in mostly city driving. She plans to carry the purse’s strap across her shoulder and the purse, with firearm, sitting in her lap. If she sticks with this discipline, I think she will be fine. Another way to carry for the ladies is an ankle holster, which again would be fine for quick access while driving a car. With ankle holsters, the pant leg needs to be loose and big enough to cover the holster and firearm. While in the car, the ankle holster is easily drawn from a sitting position.
A cross draw holster on the waist is another option for carry while driving. Again, it needs a cover garment such as an un-tucked blouse or jacket. The “strong hand” holster on your waist, whether right or left, can be difficult to draw from with a seatbelt. All of these options (strong side waist, cross draw waist, ankle or purse), can ONLY be safe and efficient if you PRACTICE!
Back in the ‘90s, I was a deputy in Lee County Florida. We were issued new holsters for our Glock 9mm pistols. The holsters were “high retention” holsters. A law enforcement officer’s greatest fear is having their gun snatched away by a criminal with deadly intentions. The Range Instructor told us to holster and draw 100 times, to lock in our muscle memory. There was only one way to draw from this holster which I will not write in detail here. Attempting to draw any other way would result in the gun staying secure in the holster. After about the 50th practice draw, the cussing stopped and the deputies began to be able to draw their guns properly and very fast. You need to do the same with your holster, no matter where you carry it. Get trained and practice constantly.
Paul Foreman Is a retired Deputy Sheriff from Lee County, Florida. He is also a NRA Certified Pistol Instructor, AHA Certified Instructor in First Aid, CPR & AED.
For firearms training, Paul can be reached through e-mail at Captureman@PaulForeman.com or his web site, www.PaulForeman.com