Sometimes the most brilliant solution to any given problem or set of problems is the simplest. CrossBreed’s Purse Defender solves a number of issues with carrying a concealed firearm in a purse in a simple—yet brilliant—fashion. But what are the problems it solves?
Many women who exercise their right to carry a concealed firearm choose to carry their handgun in their purse, which would seem to be a natural method of carry. The problem that arises is how to carry that firearm in a purse safely and with instant access in a bag that is generally designed to carry everything EXCEPT a firearm.
Women traditionally have been left with two basic choices when it comes to purses: the first is to take whatever purse they have and place a holstered handgun loose inside. The gun eventually finds its way to the bottom of the purse under a myriad of other items. The gun itself ends up in a myriad of positions, and is certainly not readily accessible in any sort of emergency.
The other option is to purchase a purse specifically designed for carrying a handgun. There are a number of problems with this solution as well. The first is that there are a number of carry purses available on the market that look exactly like carry purses. These designs were created many years ago for use by plainclothes female police officers, and haven’t changed since then. They really don’t do much for the average female permit holder in terms of style and are often overlooked as a viable option.
Several manufacturers now offer carry purses that don’t look at all like carry purses—they are very stylish, well designed and constructed, and keep the handgun concealed but ready for use through special quick access compartments. While these excellent holster systems solve one part of the problem, they raise another problem. Unlike most guys (like me), who can carry one waist-pack holster of one color and style for 20 years, most women have more than one purse, sometimes several more than one. This means that there is considerable expense involved in finding and purchasing multiple carry purses to accommodate changing wardrobes and seasons.
I recently was given an opportunity to delve into this issue, and find a resolution for several women who will soon be carrying concealed firearms for the first time. An area prosecutor’s office recently contacted me to conduct a concealed carry training class for his non-sworn male and female investigators and staff. He had concerns for the safety of his employees while they conducted their business on-duty as well as off-duty. (Note to the Nassau County, New York Acting District Attorney who tried to ban her staff from owning handguns: this is the way to take care of your employees!) A former associate of mine who works as an investigator in the office had selected 9mm Glocks for the actual office investigators and Smith & Wesson 642 .38 Special revolvers for the rest of the staff employees. The female employees carrying the 642 revolvers needed a way of carrying their new revolvers that would work best for their job responsibilities, one that would be secure yet provide quick access. Most of these employees seemed to be interested in purse carry, but would the aforementioned problems be overcome? This caused me to research a trusted source, CrossBreed Holsters, for a solution, and it seemed their Purse Defender might be the answer I was seeking.
The Purse Defender is incredibly simple. It consists of an L-shaped piece of stiff Kydex that has a 6-inch high by 9-inch wide Velcro pile-faced holster panel, with a 9-inch wide by 3-inch deep 90-degree bend that forms the base of the “L.” A separate Kydex scabbard holster, specific to the gun that you choose to carry, has the Kydex hook portion on its backing plate. The 6×9 panel allows for positioning the holstered handgun in a variety of positions and angles within the purse. I ordered a scabbard for my Smith & Wesson 642 in order to perform an exact evaluation using the same handguns the prosecutor’s office has on order.
I took the Purse Defender and my unloaded 642 up to the prosecutor’s office in order to allow the female staff to evaluate it with the purses they were carrying that day, to see if this system would work for them.
As advertised, the Purse Defender easily fit in three different size and style holsters. The base of the “L” fits all the way in the bottom of an empty purse, and the holster is placed in the position that works best for the user. The holster holds the butt of the gun near the top access point, while standard purse contents can be placed on top of the “L,” which now forms a rigid base in the holster. The purse contents can then “mold around” the holster without interfering with the handgun itself, keeping it ready for access, while the actual Kydex holster holds the handgun in place in a solid friction fit. There is no chance of the handgun finding its way to the bottom of a purse.
The prosecutor’s staff all liked the Purse Defender, and the fact that it allowed them to use it with all but the tiniest purses and that it could be changed between purses in a matter of moments. They were all able to easily draw the 642 from the holster, and they plan on adopting it for official use. It is definitely a winner not only for these professional employees, but for the average civilian carrier as well. A small Purse Defender, sized 4.75 x 2.25 x 7.25, is available for the smaller size purses that the standard Purse Defender won’t accommodate. Other components and accessories are available as well. MSRP of the standard Purse Defender is $52.95. For more information on the Purse Defender and all CrossBreed products, go to www.crossbreedholsters.com.
Looking for a new handgun? Check out Concealed Carry Magazines’s list of 15 Great Handguns For Concealed Carry.