Women Find Concealed Carry of Guns Not So Easy in Practice

Monday, 23 Jun 2014 02:48 PM

By Sandy Fitzgerald

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More women than ever now have concealed carry handgun licenses, but are facing a problem about where to conveniently conceal their weapons.

"Most holsters have been built for men's bodies," firearms instructor Karla Pohl told ABC affiliate WFAA in Dallas.

"Women are built differently, and we dress differently."

While many would say to carry a gun in a purse, the weapon may not always be easy to access from there. So designers are looking at bra holsters, waist-cinchers, ankle holsters, and specially made garters.

Bra holsters are a "natural location," said Carrie Lightfoot, owner of The Well Armed Woman," WFAA reports. But, she noted, "Women need options because one day a woman is wearing a dress, the next day a suit and the next day exercise clothing."

Story continues below video.

However, Lightfoot said having different holsters brings different challenges.

"Each position will require a different draw because in the heat of the moment you can't say, 'Hold on a second. I don't know how to draw from this thing. I have to learn now.' It just doesn't work that way," Lightfoot said, WFAA reports.

Since the holsters differ so much, women will need extra practice drawing a weapon from the different areas and shooting, to make the action natural when women need to draw their weapons.

And as more women are packing heat than ever, the question of proper holsters will likely keep climbing. The Texas Department of Public Safety reports the number of women who were issued concealed carry permits nearly doubled last year from 2012, with 67,000 people qualifying.

Other states are marking similar increases. The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services says 22 percent of concealed weapons holders are women, up from 15 percent in 2004.

Tennessee women are also carrying more guns, reports the Tennessee Department of Homeland Security. In that state, women had been issued more than 30 percent of the almost 193,000 permits in effect at the end of last year.

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