PSA: Use Holsters, Not Purses

    Tragically, 29-year-old mother Veronica Rutledge was shopping in an Idaho Walmart with her toddler and a trio of older nieces when the toddler reached into her purse, pulled out her gun, and fatally shot her. According to police Rutledge did have a concealed carry permit. She was visiting relatives for the holiday season and had taken the kids shopping when the tragedy occurred.

    Rutledge’s toddler son was just 2 years old. Two. Yes, her death is terrible and I am heartbroken for the trauma those children went through and the horrors they will continue to relive for years to come, but one fact remains: this could have been prevented.

    Women, do not carry your gun in your purse. Your purse is not a holster.

    There are concealed carry purses available that have a compartment specifically made for the gun, and within those compartments there are typically holsters of a sort. The compartments usually have a locking mechanism of some sort, too, but the women I know who use these purses never lock them because it would slow them down should they ever need to draw their gun. A concealed carry purse should be treated as what it is: a big holster, meaning it should never leave your body. You should always be carrying it, and even then there’s enough room for theft and error to make me nervous.

    As a woman I will readily admit there are times when it’s difficult to conceal a gun, especially when the weather warms up and you want to wear a cute tank top and shorts. And then there are those dressy night outs when you look fabulous – and have no place for a gun. As time has passed I have absolutely taken to dressing for my gun. Baggy shirts, sweatshirts, hoodies, jeans that fit properly with an IWB holster, it’s all part and parcel of being serious about concealed carry. On-body carry is absolutely, positively, without a doubt the best way to carry a gun. Is there ever a time you should drop your gun in your purse? I’ll make this easy: no.

    Your purse is not a holster. Women, we all have the habit of setting our purses in, say, a shopping cart, or behind our chair at a restaurant – or even on one of those table-edge purse hooks – or numerous other spots where pretty much anyone can steal it or otherwise access it. You might think accidents could not possibly happen to you, but they most certainly can.

    There’s no word on what kind of gun Rutledge was toting in her purse. Since it’s unlikely a two-year-old boy maneuvered a safety – although not impossible – odds are good it was a gun like one of my favorite Glocks that has no manual safety, or maybe she’d taken the safety off. Either way, she had a live round chambered. That gun was hot, and it was in her purse, in a shopping cart, next to a curious toddler.

    This is a horrific tragedy. My heart goes out to her family. This should, however, serve as a reminder to all the women out there – some who I know personally – who think their purse is an okay receptacle for their gun. It’s not. End of story.

    You can see the news story here:

    TFB Staffer

    TFB Staff, bringing you the latest gun news from around the world for a decade.