Posted: 30 January 2019
The phrase “fight like a girl” has completely transformed in recent years. What was once a degrading and dismissive catchphrase is now a chant of empowerment and equality.
No one wants to think about defending themselves against a violent attacker. But with three women being murdered every day in the United States alone, it’s a reality that needs addressing.
Self-defense courses are great for teaching tactical skills. But they aren’t the only option. Carrying a weapon for self-defense is growing in popularity.
Protecting yourself starts with knowledge. So, it’s time to get informed! Read on to learn more about the benefits of concealed carry and how to decide if it’s the right choice for you.
Do Your Research
Safety is paramount when becoming a gun owner. Without proper training and education, a weapon in the wrong hands can end in disaster. Before you apply for your concealed carry permit, educate yourself about the different types of guns, ammo, and holsters available.
Best Guns for Concealed Carry
Size does matter when it comes to concealed carry. And this is especially true for women.
Some weapons are easier to use for concealed carry than others. The smaller the firearm, the better. But you should also consider how many rounds the gun holds and how you plan to carry.
Compact, lightweight firearms are perfect for women with petite hands. The lighter the weapon, the easier it is to find a comfortable holster that makes concealed carry convenient.
Revolvers were once the most popular option for women. Tucked into their purse next to their lipstick and comb, a revolver is reliable and easy to load. But many 21st century women are breaking stereotypes and opting for more powerful guns including Glocks, Rugers, and Berettas.
Attention fashionistas! If you’re worried about carrying around an “ugly” gun, don’t fret. Most handguns come in a variety of colors including pink, purple, and powder blue. Companies like Striker Industries also offer countless accessories for your firearm.
There’s no real science to choosing the ammunition for your concealed firearm.
The type of gun you choose will dictate the type of ammo you use. One thing to note is that certain states only allow handguns to hold a certain number of rounds. Most magazines are pinned to carry only 10 rounds of ammunition.
Many gun owners use hip holsters. This makes carrying convenient and relatively comfortable. It also makes accessing your firearm quick and easy in case of emergency.
Other popular holsters include ankle and shoulder. The type of holster you use is determined by the type and size of the firearm, as well as your comfort level.
Most shoulder holsters are made for carrying multiple weapons. You might recall seeing your favorite TV detective wearing a shoulder holster where two handguns rested snuggly under their armpits.
Not only are shoulder holsters uncomfortable but they’re not really practical for a woman using concealed carry for protection. Leave the heavy packing to Lara Croft.
Ankle holsters are also a non-traditional choice for females. Mostly because women wear pants that are straight-legged or fashionable shoes, making it difficult to safely conceal your weapon.
In states where open carry is permitted, this isn’t an issue. But many women may not consider a handgun on their ankle an attractive accessory.
Can You Pull the Trigger?
When you decide to carry a firearm, it isn’t just about whether or not it’s cumbersome on your hip or if the style you want comes in your favorite color. Gun ownership is a serious step and not one to be taken lightly.
You need to be prepared to use your weapon in times of need or distress. If you’re not willing to pull the trigger and deal with the aftermath, you should reconsider your decision.
You’re walking in a desolate parking garage leaving work. You hear footsteps behind you and they’re quickly approaching. You reach for the gun on your hip and turn around, facing your attacker.
They stop dead in their tracks but don’t retreat. It’s now a standoff.
After several seconds go by, your attacker realizes that you’re scared. Nervous, even. They might doubt your ability to shoot and shoot accurately.
Now, what? They lunge at you unexpectedly, ripping the gun from your hands. You’ve just equipped your attacker with a lethal weapon.
The same lethal weapon designed to protect yourself.
Before applying for a concealed carry permit, it’s important to understand the responsibility and risks that come with it. But once you accept these realities and are comfortable carrying and using your weapon, you’ll be a force to be reckoned with!
Practice Makes Perfect
Practicing your craft at a gun range is another important step when deciding to carry a weapon. Gun ranges offer a safe, controlled environment for you to practice shooting and get comfortable with the firearm.
Private instructors and gun range employees can help you practice loading, firing, and unloading your weapon. You’ll practice target shooting from various distances.
Most gun ranges use paper targets with outlines simulating a human body. This allows you to aim for different areas including the head and chest. Without proper training, you may end up hurting yourself or an innocent victim.
Remember, simply shooting your gun a few times after you purchase it isn’t enough. Don’t let months or years go by without holding, loading, unloading, and shooting your firearm. You should be comfortable handling your weapon and practice basic gun safety.
Equip your gun with a trigger or cable lock. This prevents the gun from being loaded or accidentally fired by unauthorized users.
To prevent anyone from handling your firearm, keep it locked in a safe. For extra safety, keep your firearm unloaded and store your ammunition in a different, secure location.
Protect Yourself and Deter Crime
There are countless arguments surrounding the pros and cons of concealed carry. Those in support of the law believe that arming citizens with weapons reduces crime, while opponents believe the opposite is true.
According to the NSSF (National Shooting Sports Foundation), women are now leading the way in concealed carry permits. There’s no concrete evidence of what caused this upswing but the proof is in the numbers.
Following the Parkland Florida school shooting tragedy, the number of concealed carry permits jumped 120%, with more than half of those permits belonging to females. An increasing number of women are choosing to take matters into their own hands and arm themselves.
Of 7.5 million people who reported being stalked at least once in their lives, 61% were women. A larger number of women in today’s society either live alone or are left alone while their partners are at work, increasing the need for self-defense.
The theory behind concealed carry deterring crime and saving lives is that criminals won’t know if their victims are armed. This may deter them from planning attacks or committing violent crimes.
If just one person were armed during a mass shooting and had the training to successfully take out the gunman, countless lives could be saved.
Understand the Law
While the benefits of concealed carry may seem clear, the laws surrounding it are less cut and dry. Gun laws vary from state to state. And even within those laws, there are gray areas.
The four laws regarding concealed carry are unrestricted, shall-issue, may-issue, and no-issue.
Unrestricted carry is exactly what it sounds like. Gun owners don’t need a license or permit to carry a weapon and are permitted to do so either concealed or openly. Unrestricted gun laws exist in 31 of the 50 states.
The line between shall-issue and may-issue is blurred. In a shall-issue jurisdiction, individuals must have a license to carry a concealed firearm. But obtaining that license is relatively easy since applicants aren’t required to show “good cause” and the granting authority has no control over license distribution.
May-issue jurisdictions are slightly more regulated. Not only do applicants need a permit to legally carry a concealed weapon, but the local authorities are involved in the application approval. In no-issue jurisdictions, most private citizens aren’t permitted to carry a concealed weapon, regardless of circumstance.
Benefits of Concealed Carry Go Beyond Self-Defense
The benefits of concealed carry for women go beyond just self-defense. The ability to protect yourself against unexpected dangers is empowering. It breathes confidence and independence into the gun owner.
Concealed carry doesn’t discriminate either. Whether you’re a single woman, married, or a mother with children, carrying a weapon helps you protect yourself against unwanted attention and attackers.
Some women take the benefits of concealed carry one step further and adopt shooting as a sport or hobby. Countless citizens visit gun ranges as a form of stress relief.
If you’re still not sure that gun ownership is for you just yet, check out some other sports and hobbies that might be more your speed.