The Ultimate Guide to Buying a Concealed Carry Purse

The Ultimate Guide to Buying a Concealed Carry Purse

Yes, gentlemen, Mother’s Day 2020 is just around the corner. Stop stressing about what to give your gun-toting wife. Most women love purses and what  concealed carry wife isn’t going to be pleased with a stylish, well designed concealed carry purse?

Most of us (read husbands) are just a bit uncomfortable trying to shop for any accessory for our wives. Take heart – with a little preparation and a little understanding, finding that stylish  concealed carry purse that will put a smile on your wife’s face is easy.

So, what do you look for in a concealed carry purse? There are several things to look for in a  concealed carry purse that will both please your wife and meet the demands of proper concealed carry requirements.

  • Style
  • Dedicated Carry Compartment
  • Integrated or Accessory Holster
  • Functionality
  • Proper Size
  • Easy Access
  • Shoulder Strap

You may still be apprehensive about selecting a purse that will meet your wife’s tastes and needs. Finding a purse that meets your spouse’s sense of style yet provides the necessary safety and usability features can be a challenge.


Purses come in a wide variety of styles. Many of the are not suitable for concealed carry. The following styles of purses are most adaptable to  concealed carry. If you need a clue about what style of purse your wife prefers, do a little investigating. Look in her closet and compare the purses found there. That should give you a head start on what to look for when buying a  concealed carry purse.

Here are the styles that are the most adaptable to concealed carry. Many manufacturers are now making full lines of purses designed for concealed carry that have all the functionality required as well as being as stylish as any designer purse on the market.

Shoulder Bags

Shoulder bags are probably the most popular style of purse that women carry. They come with both long straps and short handles, or with intermediate length handles allowing shoulder carry or arm carry. The size of these bags lends itself well to  concealed carry.

Tote Bags

Tote bags are a variant of the shoulder bag. This style of bag is larger and more casual than a shoulder bag. The usual shape is rectangular with an open top and longer handles. The size of tote bags makes adapting them to concealed carry easier. The downside is the sheer bulk of the purse, making it hard to control in awkward situations.

Crossbody Bags

Crossbody bags feature a longer strap configured to go across the body or around the waist. These bags are usually smaller than a shoulder bag, and because they are worn tight to the body, they provide good control of the bag at all times. 


Like crossbody bags, satchels feature shoulder straps allowing crossbody wear. Satchel bags are larger than crossbody bags and feature an envelope flap and buckle closures. Satchel bags are a very secure design but can limit access to the firearm.

Hobo Bags

Hobo bags are essential shoulder bags with a slightly different shape. The hobo bag is a favorite for many people and is considered very stylish. Its’ size and shape lend adaptability to concealed carry. Many concealed carry purses use this shape in their design.

Backpack Purses

Backpack purses are popular with younger women and students. The design allows hands-free carry and is easily adaptable to  concealed carry. The downside is that carrying the backpack purse as designed puts the firearm out of immediate reach. 

Now that you have an idea of what style of bag that suits your wife’s taste, let’s take a look at what a functional and safe concealed carry purse incorporates into the design.

What Else Should a Concealed Carry Purse Have?

As was mentioned earlier, there are more considerations to choosing a concealed carry purse than just style. When looking at  concealed carry purses, you should also consider the following details.

Dedicated Carry Compartment

A concealed carry purse must have a dedicated compartment for the firearm. Dropping a loaded firearm into the main compartment of a purse is asking for problems. Most purses feature a large main compartment into which women tend to drop almost anything. This can lead to dangerous situations where loose objects can interfere with the firearm or even trigger a negligent discharge.

A dedicated compartment eliminates these hazards. The design of most concealed carry purses provides a dedicated compartment with a side opening to make accessing the firearm easier and safer. This end opening feature sets up the purse for either right or left-handed draw.

Shop for a purse whose dedicated carry compartment unzips from the end. The end opening allows the firearm to be drawn smoothly from the compartment, no matter the orientation of the purse in relationship to the body. 

Integrated or Accessory Holster

Even if the concealed carry purse has a dedicated concealed compartment, a properly fitted holster is a must. Whether the bag features an integrated holster or has fittings for the addition of an aftermarket holster, the firearm is best protected and kept in a ready position in a holster. The wide range of available models and styles of  concealed carry firearms makes the ability to use an aftermarket holder a popular option.


Functionality is closely akin to style. Women have their own ideas about how a purse should function and what it must do for them to be happy with it. It may take some detective work to understand what your wife wants in her purse. Consider the following questions to get a better idea:

  • What does she normally carry in her purse? The purse must be big enough to carry everything she uses during the day comfortably. 
  • How does she carry her purse? Does she carry with the strap across her body, or does she hang the bag from her shoulder by the straps? 
  • Does she prefer leather, fabric, flamboyant colors, solid colors, or patterns? Again, a little undercover work in the closet will give you a better understanding of what your wife prefers.
  • Think about construction and material quality. A purse is as much a fashion statement as it is a functional piece of your wife’s wardrobe. She wants it to reflect her personality and her sense of style. An important part of this is the quality of the material that goes into the purse and how well made. Remember that this purse will go with her everywhere she goes every day and will suffer a lot of wear and tear. Opting for quality, in the beginning, will pay in the end.

Proper Size

If your wife prefers to carry small bags, you may face a challenge. The purse size must be adequate to conceal the weapon she intends to carry concealed. A subcompact automatic like a Glock 43 isn’t as big a challenge as a full-frame pistol like a Smith and Wesson M&P. 

Easy Access

Even if the purse has an end opening dedicated compartment, make sure that the access to the compartment is adequate. The size of the firearm carried, and the way the compartment sits on or in the purse can affect the way the firearm can be accessed. If possible, check the fit and the access to the firearm in the dedicated compartment with the firearm itself.

Shoulder Strap

Whatever style of bag you chose, it should have a shoulder strap. Purses are a favorite target for grab and go theft. Losing a purse with credit cards and cash is bad enough. Losing a purse holding a firearm to a snatcher is another matter altogether. Carrying the purse with a crossbody shoulder strap offers much more security. Many manufacturers are putting steel straps or wires into the shoulder straps of their  concealed carry purses to foil purse snatchers who may try to slash the shoulder strap to get the purse.

The Shopping Options

Not to many years ago, getting a concealed carry purse meant a custom job. Today, many options exist for anyone shopping for a concealed carry purse. Here are a few of the better manufacturers you may consider.

Emperia Handbags – Emperia offers a tote style bag that is aesthetically pleasing and functional. The Emperia tote features a fully padded, dedicated compartment. This tote bag comes in three colors with faux leather trim.

Gun Tote’N Mamas – Gun Tote’N Mamas offers a full line of purses and bags for both men and women. These are stylish and designed by women who are concealed carriers themselves. Gun Tote’N Mamas has a full line of styles, colors, and materials from which to choose.

Beau and Arrow – If Haute couture is your wife’s thing, then you need to shop at Beau and Arrow. The founders are versed in fashion and design and have brought that knowledge to the concealed carry market.

Gun Goddess – Gun Goddess, not only sells their line of fashion concealed carry purses, but they also have a complete line of shooting and carry accessories designed just for females. Check out their hobo tote.

The Well Armed Woman – The Well Armed Woman is not just a purse and accessory website. The Well Armed Woman is a resource that covers the gamut of shooting sports. They also sell some of the best concealed carry purses on the market. If your wife prefers smaller purses, The Well Armed Woman is one of the few manufacturers that offers a complete line of clutch and evening purses designed for concealed carry.

Now Go Shopping

Alright! You’ve now done your homework. Armed with this information (pun intended), get out there and select a concealed carry purse that will be perfect for your wife. You’ll look like a hero, and Mother’s Day will be a wrap.

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