Take a look around, as you walk through a shopping mall or your office. What’s the most common sight? Almost everyone seems to be carrying either a backpack or a briefcase designed to hold a laptop computer. In the terrorist bombings in London, the bombers carried their explosives in backpacks. More recently, New York subway passengers carrying backpacks were stopped and searched, so I think that the days of the backpack are numbered.
However, a computer briefcase carried over the shoulder is a very handy concealment kit. It not only can hold your laptop or notebook computer; it can also be a very good place to carry your personal defense sidearm in a totally discreet manner.
Drawing from the case was remarkably easy. I found that the best method was to grasp the bottom of the case with the weak hand while making the draw.
In 21st Century America, there are very few places left where open carry is permitted. My home State, Arizona, is one of the few places that still allow this, but even here, it is becoming rare to see anyone carrying openly. Of course, Arizona allows concealed weapons to be carried if you have qualified for a concealed carry permit.
But not everyone wants to carry their concealed handgun in a holster, so with this in mind, I decided to look at different ways to carry a concealed handgun. I approached The Concealment Shop in Mesquite, Texas. This company specializes in the manufacture of handgun concealment items, all of which are made here in the USA. I spoke to the company President, Helen S. Jaquess, and she sent me a sample of one of their medium-size concealment attaché cases.
When the package arrived, I opened it to find a black leather attaché case fitted with a shoulder strap, as well as a detachable carrying handle. There are two separate compartments, each fitted with pockets to carry spare disks or accessories inside. The case is a handsome piece, extremely well made, and would not look out of place in the office or the boardroom of any company.
My laptop is an older model and fairly bulky, yet it fits inside the case with room to spare. I filled the other compartment with a selection of files. This made for a pretty heavy load, but I wanted to see just how much the case would hold. The side of the case has a Velcro fastening that is reinforced with a snap fastener and hides the hidden gun compartment. A holster is fitted inside there with an adjustable Velcro fastener. Selecting one of the larger weapons in my armory, I put a 9mm Browning Hi-Power into the holster. It fit perfectly, and I could close the Velcro easily.
To get the feel of carrying the case, I removed the files, but left the laptop inside and headed for my local shopping mall. I visited a couple of stores, and spent some time in a bookstore making a number of purchases, which I placed in the case. No one commented, and I received no suspicious looks. In fact, I did see a number of people carrying similar cases, so I can give top marks to The Concealment Shop for making a fine product.
Next, I was interested in finding out how good the case was while in use. I happen to be right-handed, so I hung the case over my left shoulder with the concealed gun compartment facing forward and the Browning inside. Drawing from the case was remarkably easy. I found that the best method was to grasp the bottom of the case with the weak hand while making the draw. This gave the case some stability and allowed my strong hand to snake inside and get a firm firing grip on the gun. With practice, remarkably smooth and fast draws could be made.
I will definitely be using the concealment attaché case on future occasions when I’m wearing business casual clothes and don’t want to wear a holster.
I only found one very small drawback: With anything heavy, such as a computer in the case, two-handed shooting was made a little more difficult because the bag tended to swing like a pendulum when the gun was drawn. Shooting one-handed was easy, with the weak hand grasping the case, eliminating any swing effect. I will definitely be using the concealment attaché case on future occasions when I’m wearing business casual clothes and don’t want to wear a holster.
The Concealment Shop also makes a fine line of gun purses for women. These range from classic designs that are suitable for everyday wear to more jazzy designs that are made to match evening wear. A color catalog is available from:
|The Concealment Shop, Inc.
3550 E. Highway 80 Mesquite, TX 75149.
They can be reached at: (972)289-8997
[ Tony Walker is President of SAS Training, Inc., in Scottsdale, Arizona. He teaches regular defensive handgun classes with his wife, Vannessa, and he is the author of numerous magazine articles, which have been published in the US, Australia, South Africa, and the UK.
Tony is also the author of the action thriller, Snides. He has recently completed a sequel, Pilgrim’s Banner, which will be published later this year. You can e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org or check out his website at www.johnpilgrimbooks.com to learn about his novels, which feature the hard-hitting John Pilgrim and his swift-shooting wife Sally. In addition to his novels, Tony has also recently completed How to Win a Gunfight, which will be available soon. ]