While the Open Carry Texas guys swagger about in public with their ginormous junk on display, others prefer to keep their guns on the downlow… Especially the ladies.
WFAA 8 reports Texas women hold over 25 percent of concealed firearms permits in the state, and 67,000 applied in 2013 alone. This presents them with a puzzling dilemma — no, not what the heck’s going on in our society that makes all these women feel like they need to carry weapons around, that would be silly — but, where to hide their handguns.
According to WFAA 8 (scroll down to the bottom for the video report), women often keep their handguns in their purses because, as Carrie Lightfoot from The Well Armed Woman points out:
“Most holsters have been built for men’s bodies. Women are built differently, and we dress differently. Because one day she’s wearing a dress, the next day she’s wearing a suit, the next day she’s wearing exercise clothing.”
Demand has spawned a bustling new industry that offers a dizzying array of holsters and accessories, so women can pack their heat more comfortably. These include all sorts of garter belts, waistbands, magic underwear, pouches, purses, anklets, and more. Yet, these femme-fatale-friendly options pose a whole new set of challenges — like quickly extracting your handgun from your Flash Bang Bra holster.
That’s where Lightfoot and her organization come in. Tag-lined “Where the feminine and firearms meet,” the Well Armed Woman offers merchandise, classes, and resources to its large and growing community of women gun owners.
16 ways for women to conceal their handguns.
1. Wear it like a man: If you’re wearing jeans and don’t mind that unflattering bulge on your hip, you can wear your gun like a man and hook a regular holster on your belt. But this doesn’t work for many women — or their wardrobes.
2. The garter belt: The perfect option for date night, depending on what kinds of dates you go on… Looks great with shorts or can be hidden beneath a dress, or skirt.
3. The ankle holster. Provides easy, discreet access when worn under jeans, sweats or slacks.
4. The waist or belly band. They’re comfortable and can have additional pockets for personal items like wallets, keys, kleenex, and extra ammunition. But, The Well-Armed Woman web site warns:
A caution when using belly bands and under wraps is the likelihood of aiming the muzzle of your firearm at your torso when placing it in the holster. Placing the firearm in the holster prior to putting it on is a good practice. It can be difficult to adjust or re-holster your firearm once the band or wrap is in place without compromising your non-dominant hand or torso.
5. A sexier waist band. Why be drab when you can go glam?
6. Have gun, will travel: This lacy, flesh-toned garter lets you pack some serious heat.
7. Compression concealment shorts. These give you a place to put your handgun and a smooth, flattering fit! Well, smooth and flattering except for that weird bulge… Available in white and nude, with holsters for right- or left-hand access … or both.
8. Compression tank top. As with the compression concealment shorts, you get a flattering fit, and they’re available in white, nude, and black. Unfortunately, you may need to stick your spare handgun in the above compression shorts, because the tank top doesn’t exactly offer easy access.
“These ‘undershirts’ have holster pockets on both sides and holds the firearm just under the armpit. These are not considered fast draw holsters as depending on the clothing you are wearing – you will have to get to the firearm to draw it, this can slow up your draw time considerably.”
9. Pistol Pouch from Thunderwear: Great for a casual summer day at the beach! Is that a gun in your pocket, or are you just glad to see me?
10. Flash Bang Bra Holster: Over-the-shoulder-boulder-holder? Meet Flash Bang Bra Holster, one of the most popular items on The Well Armed Woman’s web site. Lightfoot quips to WFAA 8.
“It’s kind of a natural location depending on the size of the gun… and the size of your guns!”
11. Classic Hip Hugger Holster: Billed as “the most versatile holster you’ll ever wear,” this Can Can Concealment original lets you carry “up to four firearms and three mags at the same time.”
12. Garter Holster: This stylish little number holds two firearms and one magazine. Toss a classic little black dress over it, and you’re all set to dance the night away. The laces and trim come in several jazzy colors.
13. The Betty Holster: Pistols and Pumps describes this simple but versatile holster clip as:
“The combination of a super strong clip and a perfectly light retention on the gun allows this holster to be used with or without a belt. It can also be clipped into an interior pocket of a purse, or even to the top of a cowboy boot!”
14. A purse: If you’d rather carry your concealed weapon in a purse, there are lots of stylish options online with secret compartments. Just please don’t drop it!
15. Mini-gun fingernails: These aren’t real, but… imagine if they were.
16. Shoes with guns for heels: Watch out, Manolo, these Louboutins are chic, practical, and lethal. Though, for a quick get-away, you’ll need to bring along your Chucks.
Watch WFAA 8’s report on where Texas women are hiding their handguns.