Have you ever felt like a fish out of water? Well, if you are a woman with a gun who lives in New York State and were looking to buy a holster about a year ago, you would share that same sentiment; asking a male store clerk their opinion about which holster to buy was like speaking a foreign language. The best they would do was to point toward the back wall, and then you were on your own to decipher the acronyms on the sealed packages. At the time, many holsters were not geared toward women, and there was not a big variety among those few that were. I felt like a mermaid trying to buy a pair of shoes.
The idea for the Women’s Concealed Carry Fashion Show began on January 24, 2012 after my third attempt to shop for a holster at the local gun stores failed. My quest to conquer this dilemma prompted me to find another way. I decided to invite some of my gun gal pals to my home for nacho night and to go online and discuss and demonstrate concealed carry with my friends. I asked them to bring as many holsters as they could beg, borrow or steal for the evening. Having actual holster fittings in a comfortable, non-intimidating atmosphere saved us the embarrassment of asking the male store clerks for their opinions and definitions of IWB, OWB, AFBH, etc. and allowed us to try on and figure out how to wear these foreign objects instead of “trial and error purchasing” a.k.a. “cash and trash”.
As soon as I proposed the idea, friends of friends began reaching out and wanting to know how they could be part of this. So many women shared the same frustrations about getting to know what was available for them in concealed carry fashion and really wanted to see how to wear a holster properly before buying it. We even thought about bringing a little fashion show to each of the local clubs and even private homes. The venue changed three times in order to welcome the 250 excited guests to the First Annual Concealed Carry Holster Fashion Show held in Churchtown, New York on July 21, 2012.
For the show, the ladies of all shapes, sizes and ages wore holsters with different attire including everyday casual, athletic clothing, evening-wear, and career wardrobes. They modeled to demonstrate the draw and
re-holstering using training guns for each particular type of carry. This runway presentation made decision making about the ultimate fashion accessory fun and easy. But that wasn’t all.
Learning how to wear and purchase a holster was just one aspect of the fashion show. The need for women to be educated about the importance of safety, responsibility, choosing the right gun and training before ever starting to carry was emphasized through the various speakers, which included three expert shooters from the TV show Top Shot, a former County Attorney’s presentation on the ramifications if you pull the trigger, expert self-defense trainer’s demonstration of personal protection without a firearm, Sheriff Deputy’s discussion on personal defense in the home, and a retired Lt. Commander Navy Seal encouraged all women to practice situational awareness. These were all topics which were clearly presented and well received.
The First Annual Women’s Concealed Carry Holster Fashion Show sold out. Profits were given to The Reach Center, an advocacy group for women who are victims of crime, and to a local gun club for “Women’s Day Shooting” programs.
The New York State Rifle and Pistol Association believes in what we are doing and we emphatically believe in protecting our 2nd Amendment rights; We support NYSRPA for standing in the front lines for all gun owners across New York State, and across the entire nation and we are proud to have NYSRPA sponsor us for this year’s show. Our profits this year will go toward the legal defense fund as well as women’s shooting programs.
Women’s Concealed Carry, Inc. is expanding to meet the needs of the over 75% increase in female firearms owners this year. We hope you are one of them.
We look forward to seeing you this year for the Women’s Concealed Carry Fashion Show on March 29, 2014 at Birch Hill, in Schodack, New York!