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 proximity. Concealed carry for women poses some important questions and challenges. Women have some unique challenges to effective and safe concealed carry. Challenges like holster locations on our curvy bodies, a variety of clothing styles that can make concealed carry challenging and the way a woman lives out her life.
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”. Self-defense is a fundamental right. The U.S. Constitution, the constitutions of 44 states, and the laws of all states recognize the right to use arms 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.
Make sure you have read the laws of your state and the permitting requirements prior to carrying your gun in a concealed manner. 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, as The Well Armed Women is focused on empowerment. However, in making the decision to concealed carry as a woman it is important to be fully informed.
Once you have made the decision to carry a gun and understand the laws in your state, there is one thing that is not an option. That is carrying a gun un-holstered. Whether you carry in your pocket, in a purse or in your belt, your firearm must be holstered and the trigger covered at all times. Be careful of holsters that do not fully cover the trigger guard. Carrying a concealed gun carries the great responsibility of being safe and fully trained how to use it. If you are not prepared to commit to these things than you are not ready for the responsibility of gun ownership.
Concealed carry for women has some very real challenges to comfortably and safely carry a concealed gun. Our clothing and our curves cause most of the challenges to the carrying of a gun on our person. If you are a larger woman, there are some additional challenges to solve. On the body carrying is preferred and is the safest and best way for you to carry your gun. 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. Let’s start with the challenges our clothing present gun and then discuss the best options for women to overcome them.
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. Yet, to provide the security we desire, we must have our gun readily available and accessible to defend ourselves, yet be hidden from view. Therefore, the gun must be close, accessible and ready.
The other key challenge is most holsters are made for men. With a woman’s curves and physical differences, comfort is compromised with concealed carry holsters made for a man. A holster made in pink is not a guarantee that it was designed for a woman’s body. 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 and designed a line of holsters for women and has made them available. 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.
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