Beretta Blog

Is Off-Body Carry Really a Good Concealed Carry Idea?

Posted by Jason Hanson

on Feb 20, 2014 11:50:00 AM

I was at a gun show in Utah the other day and was amazed at the different types of holster designs that people seem to come up with. If you think about it, we can carry guns inside the waistband, outside the waistband, on our ankles, in t-shirts, in purses, briefcases, cell phone pouches, and dozens of other places.


(Holsters come in a variety of models and materials. Click image for more.)

Personally, I prefer to carry a gun on my body, either inside the waistband or in my front pocket. I realize there are many folks who aren’t able to carry this way for one reason or another, which is why they need to utilize off body carry. If off body carry is all you can do, it’s not a bad idea. Yet, you should abide by the following guidelines.

First, you need to find an off body method that utilizes a holster. In other words you should never just throw a gun in a briefcase or in a purse. Something could slip inside the trigger guard and cause the gun to go off.

If you’re going to carry a gun in a briefcase, you need a special briefcase that has a built-in holster. If you’re going to carry a gun in your purse, it also needs a holster. There are a lot of companies these days that make concealed carry purses and brief cases, but I’ll let you in on a little secret…

When my wife was looking for a concealed carry purse a while back, she couldn’t find a purse that was “cute enough.” She wants one she would actually carry around. I tried to suggest to her that “purse cuteness” was of zero importance, if it could safely hold a gun.  She disagreed with me and I did not prevail with trying to reason with her.

Instead, what my wife ended up purse shopping.  She found a purse that she liked that had a big pocket in the center. She took her holster and put heavy duty Velcro on the holster and also put a piece in the purse pocket. Next, she attached the holster in the purse and voila, she had her hand-made concealed carry purse. It works just as well as any of the expensive concealed carry purses you can buy, and her purse is one she’ll actually carry.

Once you have an off-body method that safely utilizes a holster, you need to practice your draw. I like to carry a gun on my person because I can quickly draw my gun in less than two seconds.  In a life or death situation, you most likely won’t have a lot of time to get your gun out.

Concealed Carry Purse

(A purse can be an off-body option, but only if on-body options are impossible. Click for more)

What you need to do is to stand in front of your mirror and practice your draw from the position you would normally carry your purse, briefcase, or laptop bag. If you always wear a laptop bag slung over your shoulder, then you need to practice drawing that way.  Make sure you can easily access the gun. If you can’t easily access the gun that way, you need to practice carrying your bag another way.

If you decide to use off body carry, you never let the bag out of your site. If you work in an office, and your bag sits next to your desk, then when you go to the bathroom that bag is also going with you.  Every single time.

Also, it’s important to remember your muzzle control while utilizing off body carry. When carrying inside the waistband, you don’t have to worry so much about muzzle control.  The muzzle is always pointing at the ground.

But if you’re carrying a gun in your briefcase and you throw your briefcase on top of your desk, where is the muzzle pointing? Is it pointing at a co-worker, or pointing at you? Make sure you aren’t muzzling yourself or anyone else, no matter how your bag is positioned.OffBodyPurseTitle

Like I mentioned earlier, I prefer carrying on my body and I recommend that to the majority of folks. But, if there are reasons you have to use off body carry, then you need to remember to treat the gun as though it’s on your body.  It never leaves you.  And you need to practice your draw just as you would need to if the gun were on your hip.

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Topics: Concealed Carry


Written by Jason Hanson

Jason Hanson is a former CIA Officer and author of The Covert Guide to Concealed Carry. He is also the creator of the Ultimate Concealed Carry Experience.