Conceal and Carry, Concealed Carry, or CCW, is defined as the carrying of a handgun or other weapon in public in a concealed manner; either on one’s person or in close proximity. Concealed carry for women poses some important questions and some unique challenges. Whether it is the challenge of finding effective holster locations on our curvy bodies or being able to conceal the gun in the variety of clothing styles that we wear. The task of safely and effectively carrying a concealed firearm as a woman seems insurmountable.
What is Concealed Carry
The Supreme Court, in District of Columbia v. Heller (2008), ruled that the Second Amendment protects “the individual right to possess and carry weapons in case of confrontation,” deeming self-defense as a fundamental right. The U.S. Constitution, the constitutions of 44 states, and the laws of all states recognize the right to use firearms in self-defense. Right To Carry laws respect the right to self-defense by allowing individuals to carry firearms for protection. The laws change and it is imperative that you know the laws in your state. You can learn more about the Second Amendment by visiting our 2A- What You Need To Know Section of the website.
Make sure you have read the laws of your state and the permitting requirements prior to carrying your gun in a concealed manner. Keep in mind, that it is your responsibility to understand the concealed carry laws and to understand the seriousness of the responsibility you assume when you choose to concealed carry. As intelligent women, we instinctively know that we need to protect ourselves. We also know the world we live in requires us to always be aware of our surroundings. We recognize that there are some very bad people out there that will do us harm. I don’t want to dwell on the gruesome, painful realities and statistics of the violent crimes against women; here at The Well Armed Women, we are focused on empowerment. However, it is extremely important to be fully informed when deciding to conceal carry, especially as a woman.
Once you have made the decision to carry a gun, understand the laws in your state, have any necessary permiting, and begin carrying your gun, there is one thing that is not an option; an un-holstered gun. Whether you carry in your pocket, in a purse, or on your belt, your firearm must be holstered and the trigger covered at all times! It is imperative that you use a quality holster. Be careful of holsters that do not fully cover the trigger guard. Carrying a concealed gun bears the great responsibility of being safe and fully trained on how to use it. If you are not prepared to commit to safety, then you are not ready for the responsibility of gun ownership.
Concealed carry for women can be challenging to be able to comfortably and safely carry a concealed gun. Our clothing and our body shape cause most of the challenges. If you are a larger woman, there are some additional challenges to solve. The preferred and safest way to carry your gun is by keeping it on your body vs carrying off body. When you are carrying on body, it is on you, within easy reach, and the opportunity for someone who you don’t want to get to your gun is extremely limited. Here is a guide on how to “Build Your Concealed Carry System” this article goes over topics that will help you determine how to find the best way to carry based on your lifestyle.
One of the challenges I mentioned above deals with our clothing choices. Let’s dig deeper into this topic.
How Does Our Clothing Play a Role In Concealed Carry
Women tend to wear more fitting styles and many of the fabrics we love are thin and sheer. Naturally, this can make it difficult to conceal a gun. Dresses pose an additional set of challenges as the absence of a belt add to the difficulty of finding a good holster and to your draw. To provide the security we desire, we must have our gun readily available and accessible to defend ourselves, however, in most cases we need it to be hidden from view. So we must find a way to make our style work with concealment.
The other key challenge is that most holsters are made for men. Holsters made or developed for a man simply does not work for a woman’s curves and physical differences. Simply making the holster pink does not guarantee that it was designed for a woman’s body. However, the industry has made some progress in addressing these issues. Finding them is extremely difficult, both online and in gun stores. The Well Armed Woman has sought out the best options for women and you can find our top picks of places to find them here: Where To Shop. Every woman’s lifestyle, needs and of course, bodies are different. Finding holsters that work for you and that are comfortable is an absolute necessity and will take some time finding.
Build Your Personal Concealed Carry System
Practice is a necessity with each of your holster choices. You will likely have a number of different holsters to wear with a variety of clothing styles. Each holster will require you to practice drawing it (with an unloaded gun only) and become proficient from each. Here is an article to help you build your Personal Concealed Carry System.
If you are ready, you can find my detailed guide to drawing from concealment here: Drawing From Concealment Part I.
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