Women and Concealed Carry: Solved

Carrying a gun is difficult. You have to do things like train with it, and put it on every day.

Actually, let me rephrase: carrying a gun properly is difficult.

Actually, let me rephrase: carrying a gun properly requires a modicum of work and people don’t like work.

shelley rae 870 fde

I carry a gun. I get up in the morning, I put on jeans and a tank top (yes, I often still wear tank tops in winter in South Dakota) and I put on my gun. If I’m wearing an outfit that doesn’t accommodate my appendix carry holster (I wear tank tops in the winter because I rock sundresses all summer) I use other forms of self-defense, like a knife or pepper spray.

I go to the range (on my days off, paying full price, thank you very much) a minimum of once a week and shoot my gun.

Boom. Concealed carry solved.

Instead, firearms trainers and marketers and shoppers have turned “concealed carry for women” into this whole convoluted thing where we can’t just pick out a gun and a holster that work for us and then go about our lives, so instead of TRAINING women obsess about “oh I have hips and boobs and my hands are whatever and I need something special” when really they just need to get a gun and a holster that work for them and then train and then put it on every day. Or not, and then have back ups, and then oh yeah train because that’s really what’s important.

We are conditioned from an early age that guns are manly and scary, then we get stuck in some class with a bunch of other women and we are told that because we are women we have all these special considerations and so we enter the world of firearms thinking that somehow having internal genetalia makes us carrying a gun COMPLICATED and we need all these special bullshit guns and products to compensate for the fact we can lactate when really we just need to find a gun we like and a holster we like and train just like everyone else.

I’m not saying we shouldn’t market to women or continue to develop products for them, I’m saying we need to stop making this more complicated than it needs to be. I, for one, overthink everything in life plenty enough without some dude standing over my shoulder asking if I can rack the slide on a 1911 and telling me about this awesome .380 that will FIT MY CURVES and the TOTALLY FASHIONABLE holster purse that he must’ve seen in GQ or something since he’s SO FASHIONABLE. I also don’t need some woman telling me that because I have a butt I need a special fricken holster as if no guy on the planet has ever done squats before.

Get a gun. Get a holster. Take a class. Wear your gun.

Problem. Solved.


  1. re: I’m not saying we shouldn’t market to women or continue to develop products for them…

    Some trends on that are iffy, such as handguns in pink or fashionable dress other than dead serious.

    It’s going to take some time for reliable stats to develop, but if the objective is to manage threatening situations with a minimum likelihood pulling the trigger, drawing a fashionista firearm isn’t helping. It’s more likely to communicate a message of:
    a. this is a toy
    b. this person may have invested more in fashion than in training and determination
    Anyone carrying such a piece may need to be more than fully prepared to discharge it, because the style may aggravate the odds of needing to do so.

    I could easily be mistaken about this, but every buyer needs to consciously consider the issue, and make a deliberate choice on it.

    Looks great at the range, tho.
    Might affect resale value if the owner decides to re-choose.

    1. I have a pretty gun. I carry it at work. I had to qualify with it to carry it at work.

      I am pretty indifferent to what your gear looks like as long as it’s not crap and you know how to use it. Which brings me back to that whole training thing I was talking about…

      1. If “pretty” makes her carry more & train more, then “pretty” is good. Bullets hurt the same coming out of a pink muzzle, maybe more!

  2. Shelly your post me me laugh, not not laugh but belly laugh! I can just see some troll macho man trying to sell you something like a 380 not having a clue to who the sweet lil ginger is he is talking to! Based on this post maybe you need to post a quick before the coffee everyday, it clears the sole of some pent up frustrations us men leave with women. I have without a doubt been guilty of this in my younger days, having 3 sisters and marring a women who competed IPSC in California has a way of getting the dust and cobwebs out of your head and treating women equals in every venue ( not lactating as you are the Queens there and I seriously do not wish to compete). I’m a fan, a peer and a brother in arms, keep setting us strait…please enjoy a coffee and I hope your day is now wonderful! 🙂

  3. A guns color has zero effect on its function or employment. Just because a gun of a certain color may be marketed towards women, doesn’t mean they have to buy it or will be taken less seriously if they train with it. Or actually use it to defend themselves. No one looks at a gun pulled on them and laughs at the person pointing it because it’s a non standard color, like black or tan or brown or green or lighter green or bronze or grey or…..any of the other colors marketed towards men.

  4. It’s not the genitalia, it’s the fashion/clothing industry. They seem hell-bent to make your clothing as form-fitting, flimsy and/or revealing as possible. And unless you want to dress like a man, women DO have their work cut out for them. One amazing woman on YouTube put it nicely: “My friends are gonna know if I suddenly stopped dressing like a girly girl.” (I’m sure I’m paraphrasing, so don’t take the quotes as gospel.) Anyway, she crafted this super cool thigh rig by modifying a Supertuck holster. Brilliant!

    And then there’s Lisa Looper, the woman behind Looper Law Enforcement, who conceived and sells the “FlashBang” holster. More great innovation!

    So again, it’s not that women are all that different, or that gender is of any significance. It’s totally about our culture, the way clothing is made and one’s preferences.

  5. Based on my experience in the industry with plenty of women students on the range and watching a while bunch of craziness (gear and ideas) sold to and pushed on women, this is one of the most accurate articles on the topic of Women & Guns I’ve ever read. -RJP

  6. “If I’m wearing an outfit that doesn’t accommodate my appendix carry holster (I wear tank tops in the winter because I rock sundresses all summer) I use other forms of self-defense, like a knife or pepper spray.”

    Concealed carry solved: Don’t carry a pistol in the summer, because sundresses.

    I was hoping for a better answer than that, but maybe there just isn’t one. My soon-to-be wife is trying to find a good CCW method, and she wears dresses pretty much every day. Perhaps off-body carry is the only option for her…

    Shelly, I imagine you’ve spent more time researching the topic than I have – any good pistol concealment setups for a dress-wearing woman?


  7. Wow-and thanks!
    “Keep it simple, stupid” is another way to address those who would complicate matters.
    Your elegant treatise is much appreciated.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: