Many Texas Women Still Prefer Concealed Over Open Carry

Julianna Crowder, founder of A Girl and A Gun. photo from keranews,org.

In Texas, it's been a few weeks since the new open carry law went into effect, and this story from keranews.org says many women are electing to keep their pistols concealed.

The reporters went to Ray's Sportig Goods in Oak Cliff where store manager Chuck Payne told them he's sold a lot more guns and accessories to ladies lately.

"A lot of married ladies with their husbands have decided that (if) their husband's not home, they need to be able to do something," Payne said. "And they need a different gun than what their husband has."

And, he says, that means they’re buying different accessories too, like the purses with hidden pockets, special jackets designed for women’s concealed carry, and similar products that he carries.

Though he's selling to more women, Payne says he hasn't seen one woman come into the store carrying openly.

In the story, Julianna Crowder, founder of A Girl and A Gun shooting club, says one reason women aren't carrying openly is because they don't want to draw attention to themselves. Crowder said she keeps a 9mm pistol in an over-the-waistband holster, under her jacket.

"I also think culturally-wise, here in Texas, we're so used to concealed carry that it's a bit of a shift to figure out what our carry method would be if we decided to open carry, and is it going to be secure enough," Crowder said in the story.

Companies that make gear especially designed for women to carry concealed or otherwise are seeing spikes in business, like The Well-Armed Woman, which we reported on yesterday.

Kate Woolstenhulme's high-end line of concealed carry bags.

Carrie Lightfoot’s Arizona-based online store sells bra holsters, concealment garters, lace waistband holsters, and a lot more. She says women’s wardrobes and body shape can make safely concealed and drawing a gun more challenging, and that overall, sales and shooting club memberships are up more than 130 percent since the fall.

"The misperception is that women are casual about the carrying of the gun," Lightfoot said. "And that really is not accurate. Women are extremely responsible and concerned about safety."

The story also mentions the success of some off-the-body carry methods for women, like Plano-based Kate Woolstenhulme's line of high-end concealed carry handbags introduced in 2009, which are made to emulate designer bags like Coach or Burberry, with special pockets and locking devices for firearms.

The bags are pricey, but the story quotes a stat from the NSSF that showed women who bought a gun in the past year spent an average of $870 on firearms and more than $400 on accessories.