Off-Body carry, sometimes called off-carry, is an often controversial topic. We are a safety first organization and it has been brought to our attention that we have not yet addressed this topic. Let’s begin by saying that we feel that careful, vigilant persons can off-body carry in a way that increases their safety without endangering the people around them. That being said, there are a number of things to consider and a number of responsibilities associated with this category of concealed carry. This article applies to both men and women, with some portions potentially only applying to one or the other.
Let’s ignore the question of why someone may be inclined to off-body carry and focus on SASA: Safety, Access, Security and Awareness. Going through these four points is critical to understanding your responsibilities for this carry method. If you can go through this article and honestly feel you can meet the requirements 100%, then this method of carry is something you can consider.
Is the container you’re carrying your firearm meant to carry your firearm? To rephrase that, are you ensuring that you aren’t throwing your firearm in a manner that allows it to move around freely? A loose weapon is an accident waiting to happen. Whether you are planning to take your handgun with you to the gym, on a road trip or out on the town, you must make sure that you are carrying your concealed weapon in a manner that is safe. Furthermore, it is critical that you are up-to-date with all the legal requirements and comfortable with your training. Caring a concealed weapon and not know how to use it, when to use it and being comfortable with it is more dangerous than carrying nothing at all.
It is best to think of access in terms of ease. You cannot ask a mugger or perpetrator for a few moments while you access your concealed carry firearm. It must be readily available and stored in a manner conducive to a quick and easy draw. Our bags are built so that you access the firearm by the grip. If the bag you are using does not take that into consideration, do NOT use it. If you reach into your bag and happen to grab your weapons by the barrel, you might as well be reaching in for a flashlight. The 1.5 seconds it takes to grab it, realize it’s facing the wrong direction and turn it around are like years in an attack. Finally, make sure you are well practiced in the draw of your firearm. No concealed carry method is viable if the motion is not smooth and rehearsed.
Nobody should have access to your firearm that you do not consent to and have given verbal permission. This means that wherever you go, your firearm doesn’t leave your immediate possession unless properly secured. You do not leave it at your chair when you go to refill your coffee. You do not have someone who is unaware, not legal to do so or irresponsible “watch” your bag while you run to the restroom. Despite not being an on-body carry, you must think of your firearm as a part of you. It should be secured and accounted for at all times. If you are carrying it in your vehicle, it goes with you when you jump out of the car to get whatever it is you forgot, and doesn’t stay with your teenage kids or unlicensed friend. In the case of security, we deny access to our enemies as well as our untrained or unqualified loved ones.
This is something that cannot be highlighted enough. When your concealed carry weapon is carried off-body, your draw time is inherently longer. We preach vigilance in all aspects of life, but here it can be the difference between life and death. KNOW YOUR SURROUNDINGS. If you find yourself in a position where you are less than comfortable with your environment, begin your preparation. Verify your bag is oriented for draw. Be aware of exit strategies and the necessary steps to reach safety. Identify potential threats and avoid them to the best of your ability.
Due to the fact that purses and bags often contain money or valuables, they will be considered a target. I don’t know about you, but I don’t like the idea of a criminal gaining access to a firearm I purchased. Apart from the potential legal nightmares of your gun being used in a homicide or robbery, there is a moral obligation to maintain control of it. This falls under security, but it’s important enough to mention it on its own. If you are carrying a firearm in a bag or purse, be aware that the bag or purse is a potential target and take precautions to prevent its loss or theft. As part of our line, we offer many bags with cabling in the straps to prevent the “slash and grab” of a purse or bag.
Whatever your method of concealed carry, make sure you do the right thing. If you are interested in checking out potential off-body carry options, please check out our page: www.womensholsters.com. We offer options for men as well women, all with free shipping and no tax added.
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