Monday, December 26, 2011

Is A Purse A Good Concealed Carry Option For Women?

Many women carry a pistol in their purse for protection. While I understand that having a gun on or upon your person is better than not having one and needing it. I would suggest that this carry method is not the best option. I realize that women tend to dress more fashionably as opposed to dressing around a gun.

Here are some of the problems I see. First off, GUN SAFETY!!!! A purse is not designed to carry a firearm period. Most women do not treat their purse with the level of integrity that is involved with safe firearms handling. Second, hopefully a would be attacker only wants your purse. with that said, if they take your purse they take your gun, your wallet, your car keys etc. In that case your weapon is now in the hands of the attacker and of no use to you. Just another handgun on the streets to commit another crime, another day. Have you ever noticed that Police carry their weapons in a retention system? A purse on your shoulder is NOT a retention system. Whenever I am in a mall, or food store I take notice when a woman is fumbling through her purse for a wallet to pay the cashier, or searching for keys while walking to her vehicle. Items usually work their way to the bottom of the purse with a ton of crap obstructing on top. The items sought after are never in the same place AND you have to look into the purse to help locate items. In a fight, if you take your eyes off your adversary, you usually loose.

Someone who is well trained in the use and deployment of a pistol, will tell you that your weapon should always be drawn from the same position and in the same fashion every single time. You shouldn't have to look for a pistol at the bottom of a purse. You know exactly where your gun is. Practice is everything.Through repetition of a correct grip and draw stroke your conscious has now become subconscious muscle memory or instinct. You don't think about it, it just happens naturally. If you have to root around the bottom of your purse to find the weapon you have lost the fight. Now, imagine doing this under stress. Keep in mind, even the most skilled and polished are still subject to reaction time. Normally an attacker would have the element of surprise working in his or her favor. Not to mention an unsecured firearm in the purse could easily be accidentally discharged if the trigger guard is unprotected while reaching for you firearm under stress. Is the muzzle pointed up, down, sideways? How about another object in the purse finds it's way onto the trigger causing it to negligently discharge? So these are things to keep in mind.


All the women I have spoken with regarding the topic told me with absolute certainty that they could get to the gun if they needed to. Then of course I asked, how often do you work on your draw stroke from the purse. The answer was the same for all or my test subjects. THEY DON' So I decided to set up a range day for some ladies to come and run drills from their purses. Sorry to report that none of them did so well. I would take a purse and put a plastic orange handled training aid in the purse and arrange it in such a fashion that the women didn't know exactly where the trainer gun came to rest within the purse. Then I would act like an attacker in various scenarios. They all failed miserably. As a matter of fact the only time they could get their guns out was when the knew they would be pulling it. I noticed each would have a firm grip on the handgun inside the purse as if they were prepared and anticipated a threat. That is great if you see it coming. But the moral of the story here is things happen quickly. You are more likely to be a target if and when you are not paying attention which for most people, is most of the time. My final conclusion is getting to the weapon in a purse is not likely under normal conditions when you are caught off guard and surprised, not anticipating trouble.

After this practice all 5 women suggested to me, that maybe they were wrong about the purse concept, BUT they would not be willing to carry a pistol in a holster on a belt etc... So my suggestion was to meet them in the middle. First off learn how to become a HARD TARGET.

Secondly, I suggest if you must use a purse get one that is a holsters actually designed with a separate compartment for a pistol. Some of which are fairly stylish. Of course, I wouldn't know style if it hit me square between the eyes. So take that one with a grain of salt.

Here are some I pulled off the internet:
* Gun Gear
* My Gun Purse
* Creative Concealment

As far as quality, I am not sure about most of these companies listed above since I have no experience with them. I am not endorsing any of them. The only one I can say for sure that is made very well is GALCO USA. Premium leather goods made here in the states. I own several Galco leather items which are almost 20 years old. Pricey, but well made and well worth it. So do your own research.

You want to get something secure, BUT the holster needs to be assessable and fast.

Whatever you decide as a Concealed Carry Weapon or Firearm option remember to train like you fight and fight like you train. Really torture test your weapon and carry system. Make sure it functions like it should and you can work from it safely and proficiently. Make practice a habit that becomes muscle memory. This way in a pinch you will react confidently and hopefully survive the fight. You can't anticipate or prepare for everything, but you can train for many scenarios which is better than relying on faith!

"You will not rise to the occasion, you will default to the level of your training."
Lt. Col Dave Grossman

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Florida Concealed Carry Weapons Permit Classes

Women Specific Handgun Self-Defense Training
Do you own a firearm for self-defense? Are you considering owning one? If so then I suggest you read on. Many people believe just because you own or carry a gun they are well protected. Just because you have a good set of tools, doesn’t make you a great mechanic. I hear it all the time. People call us up and say I want to participate in your tactical shooting classes. I find myself compelled to ask about their firearms experience first. 90% of the time they tell me they have their Concealed Carry Weapon Permit / License etc. Therefore, they feel qualified to take a Tactical Handgun, Shotgun or Carbine course. Although I appreciate their enthusiasm and would love to profit from such endeavors, we explain to these individuals what you you are about read below in this article.  My suggestion is start at the beginning go back through quality basic safety and concealed carry class first. This way you have a solid foundation to work from.

Most concealed carry permit courses being offered in Florida today only meet the minimum state requirements under FLORIDA STATE STATUTE 790.06 which doesn’t make it difficult to get a certificate and doesn’t hold the instructor who issues it very accountable to make sure you leave with something more useful than a piece of paper saying you have a pulse. I have seen Florida instructors charge as little as $45 for a 2 hour class where you watch a couple of videos, talk for a few minutes about the laws, then you shoot one round from a revolver which was already loaded for you. You receive your certificate. Then off you go to apply for your Florida state concealed carry license. Although this is perfectly legal under the state requirements I personally think instructors should hold themselves to a higher standard to teach instead of running license mills solely for profit..

Pretty scary from where I am sitting. Now you are going to carry a firearm on the street and think you are ready to win a gun fight? I have news for you...

Tactical U Classroom Hollywood, Florida
Our philosophy
Is one that is derived from many years of experience while working in Law Enforcement. All of our trainers are active or retired police Law Enforcement Certified Firearms Instructors who re certify every year on various weapon system platforms. We also train with other Law Enforcement Certified Trainers, Agencies, SWAT Teams and Associations.
First we start at the beginning, SAFETY!!!!! Whether you are shooting for recreation, hunting, cleaning your gun in the garage or defending your family from an attack, all firearms safety rules are derived from 4 basic GUN SAFETY principals. Once you understand these principals you will agree that there is no such thing as a accidental discharge, but only negligent or careless ones. We keep classes small enough to give special attention to each who attend.

Next up is nomenclature of the specific weapon you are going to carry showing you animations of how they function as well as break downs of their parts and what they are for. Since not all handguns are the same, you need to understand that just because you may have mastered one type of pistol or revolver, doesn’t mean you are the master of them all. Do not let your ego get in the way.

Then we cover Florida State Statues as well as Federal Civil Liabilities Law. From there we will show you a few actual scenarios letting you see how fast things happen and let you decide from what you saw if actions taken were appropriate responses to attack showing you that everything is subject to debate after the fact. You may have on seconds to react, when the courts and attorneys have weeks, months and even years to build a case based on perceptions and eyewitness accounts. The moral here is whether you are right or wrong, you are going to be subject to case review by the States Prosecutor. Bottom line is if you find yourself in a shooting and you survive, that is where it all begins. Will you be charged criminally? Will you be subject to a civil suit? Your guess is as good as ours. Either way, the legal fees can ruin your life even if you are found not liable. This is why training for an appropriate response is so important. An example would be, maybe training yourself  yell, STOP GO AWAY while retreating. If all else fails then you escalate. Knowing the techniques then practicing them so you can apply them is paramount. Our motto avoid, evade, then if all else fails counter.

From there we go into ammunition, loading, reloading stoppages, malfunctions, clearing them and keeping your pistol running. The use of emergency reloads, tactical reloads with and without retention. We also go over cover vs concealment, mind set, situational awareness, gear and accessories. We will cover the 7 fundamentals of marksmanship. Then show you how to clean and maintain your firearms and how to store them safely so unauthorized or untrained persons cannot gain access. Did you know if a minor under the age of 18 years off age gains access to your guns you are responsible and can be charged?

Once we are done discussing this in class we get everyone up and we begin dry handling their carry weapon. Once everyone is comfortable, then we fire a minimum of 50 rounds live fire.

Please understand this 4 hour course is bare bones minimum as far as we are concerned. We do not get into teaching how to work from a holster in this class. We feel the initial information needs to be  practiced and a certain level of motor skill and competency needs to be developed first before you ever attempt to work from a holster. When you leave you will be on information and sensory overload as it is. Our goal is not to overwhelm you, but give you sufficient information that you can work with. It is up to you to practice what was taught. Then from there you should consider furthering your education and training.

Unlike most instructors who will tell you how wonderful they are and that everyone else is crap to get you in the door. What I will say is that if you are going to seek out an instructor for your Concealed Carry Weapons License or any training for that matter, do yourself a favor, make sure they are an Accredited Law Enforcement Certified Firearms Trainers.

Once you have found a trainer(s) you are happy with learn as much as you can from them. There is no substitute for experience. You need to ingrain the skill sets you learn into your subconscious so that they become muscle memory. This takes time and practice. Do not think that one class or handling your firearm once or twice a year will suffice. I suggest If you are serious about self-defense you should practice often. Once a month should be a minimum and not just shooting at paper standing still.

In conclusion
As a firm believer in our second amendment rights. I think every law abiding citizen should be allowed to carry a firearm, but with that said I think it is a tremendous responsibility that too many take lightly. In closing if you are going to possess or carry a gun for protection, learn how to use it proficiently. Start with formal instruction, and then from there you can practice on your own.

If you have interest in any of our firearms training classes or events you can check us out at TACTICAL U or contact us via EMAIL for more information.

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