Some people subscribe to the thought that all concealed handguns should be carried by some type of method that is secured on the body. Some examples are inside or outside the waistband holsters, ankle holsters, shoulder holsters and some type of appendix or belly band. Depending upon the circumstances, especially for females, sometimes an off-body carry method is necessary.
In certain seasons when wearing lightweight clothing, it becomes a bit challenging to find a secure method of holstering or concealing even the smallest of carry pistols. For those times when off-body carry is needed, there are a few safety precautions that should be taken into consideration. If you make the choice to carry in a method of concealment that has the potential to be separated from you, it requires some intentional thought for both ladies and men.
If you are planning to carry in a purse, briefcase, backpack or something along these lines, you need to be aware of a few things. Remember that you are responsible for maintaining awareness of where your firearm is at all times. You also need to be sure that the firearm is with you in the event you need it to defend your life, but if handled in a cavalier or irresponsible manner could lead to theft of said firearm, or the accidental injury or death of another person if it falls into unauthorized hands. In addition, bear in mind that if the firearm is not within an arm’s reach of you when a threat arises, it is of no use to you at all. Please be sure that if you are thinking of an off body carry option that you have given some serious thought to the how and where of this choice. The “how” refers to the method of off body carry for concealment of your firearm. The “where” refers to maintaining awareness of the location and vulnerability of your concealment method and how you plan to maintain contact with that item. Is the method that you are selecting equipped with a locking mechanism or some type of reinforcement that minimizes it being easily accessed or stolen?
I have a few solid recommendations for off body carry. For ladies, there are some purse carry options I would encourage you to consider. One of my personal favorites for purse carry is the Concealed Carry Raven Shoulder Pouch by Gun Tote’n Mamas. This particular cross body carry purse has steel reinforced cable running through the strap in case of an attempt of someone to cut the strap to steal the purse. For you guys out there, they also have the Concealed Carry Urban Shoulder Bag with the same “slash resistant” strap. If you want to add a viable holster option to any purse, briefcase or computer bag, the Galco Gunleather CarrySafe™ may be a suitable option to fit your needs. In addition, for concealment for business professionals in the office (where acceptable) or for carrying outside the office, the Galco Hidden Agenda or the Defense Planner are both viable options and both come with a locking mechanism to provide an extra layer of safety and sole accessibility for the key holder.
The 5.11 Tactical COVERT 18 backpack and the COVRT Z.A.P. 6 (Zone Assault Pack) are two more of my favorite off body carry items. Be advised that whatever method of concealment you decide on, you must train with it and become proficient with accessing your firearm in a safe and efficient manner. Become comfortable with the safety mechanisms and proficient with accessing your weapon quickly if needed. Off body carry can be a viable method of concealment if the carrier is aware of the added responsibility and need for heightened awareness while carrying in this manner.