The Safest Place to Keep Your Firearm

By Kellene Bishop

concealed-carry-womenWhile this may not be interpreted as the best fashion advice, in truth the safest place to keep your firearm is on your person—literally.  

I realize that this suggestion may really push the envelope with the comfort zone of women, but before you discount what I have to say, consider the reasons why you’re even in the possession of a firearm.

To protect your life and the life of others

We don’t usually get much notice when it comes to handling life and death decisions.  Our decisions of self-defense must be made at a moments notice.  In many instances, the smallest delay can change our life dramatically, for the worst.  I, for one, don’t ever want to live with the “if only” doubts and thoughts.  I want to make sure that I’m ready when the unexpected arises.  That’s the only thing that truly makes me prepared and thus confident and competent.  Being ready for whatever happens is exactly why I teach emphatically that the safest place to keep your firearm is on your body.  

Photo c/o

Photo c/o

If you keep your firearm in your purse, you need to constantly be mindful of it even when you’re visiting friends and family.  While I do carry a spare, it’s in a hidden compartment in my purse.  But I still find myself aware and even concerned when visiting at friends’ homes.

If you keep your firearm in your safe, and with a trigger lock, then it defeats any purpose you had of being prepared.  Remember, when the opportunity presents itself, the time for preparation is over.  Getting to your safe—even the most high-tech device—opening it, and removing the trigger lock takes precious SECONDS and in some instances even MINUTES.  In life or death we simply don’t have that luxury.  It’s no use to you in the event of a crime or assault in action.

What about the scenarios in which you’re out in public, at a restaurant, at a bank, or a park and something happens?  How much good does that firearm at home in your safe do for you then?  Come on.  Most women won’t leave the house with at least SOME makeup on, so why would you leave the house without your lifesaving protection?

When I say that the safest place to keep your firearm is literally on your person, I do so from a dual safety consideration.

1) Away for unauthorized use

2) Its nearness ensures YOUR safety by having it accessible

When I carry my firearm on my person, when there are children around, I don’t have to wonder whether or not they’ll find the gun.  I know right where it is at all times.  (Yes, the “extras” should be kept in a suitable safe, with a combination.  I also highly recommend a Bio-Vault*.  That safe only allows my fingerprint for access.)

Blackhawk CQC c/o

Blackhawk CQC c/o

I keep my firearm in a safety latched holster (Blackhawk Serpa, Close Quarters Concealment).  The only way my firearm will come out of that holster is if I take it out.  I simply push a button with my index finger when withdrawing it straight up for the holster.  My firearm cannot be stolen from me from behind, the side, etc.  And the button isn’t obvious either, so anyone attempting to take it from me is going to have a difficult time.  Plus, I practice with it which is an advantage.  This is yet one more reason why I say your body is the safest place for a firearm.  It cannot easily be stolen and it is available when I may need it most.  Sure the hugs you get at family reunions are interesting, but usually I’m received with a look of surprise and then an accepting nod, almost like they are relieved to know someone’s ready in the event of an emergency. 

The holster type you select is key to making your body the safest place to keep your firearm.  Be sure that the firearm can’t easily be removed from anyone else besides you.  A side holster or a belly holster would be my two most favorable recommendations for a woman followed by an ankle holster.  However, if you can fit the firearm in an ankle holster, it’s not likely that it will give you as much protection as you may need.  So consider the efficacy of such a firearm as well.  Also, while thigh holsters appear sexy in James Bond movies, they aren’t made for real women’s thighs.  I’d say pass on those

Also, consider how your body NATURALLY responds when threatened or surprised.  You draw into yourself, right?  This is why I’m not fond of holsters on the side of my torso or at the small of my back.  We tend to draw ourselves into our body for protection when we are afraid or surprised.  I can’t think of a single instance in which I was surprised and immediately grabbed for my back, my ankle, high up on my torso, safe, trigger lock, or my purse.  But, drawing into my belly is a natural reaction as is my hip.  These two positions play on my body’s natural movements and instincts.  I also find that these two places do not interfere with most of my other activities. 

Remember that under a “fight or flight” mentality, your fine motor skills will be depleted and you will be left solely with the use of gross motor skills.  So having to rummage in your purse or figure out the combination of a lock or even the simply operation of a key will be severely challenged.  This is yet another reason why the safest place to keep your firearm is on your person.  Having a firearm should be coupled with practice, so that you don’t have to rely on your fine motor skills to stop a criminal target.  Keep it on your body and you’ll always be ready for a “what if” situation.

*For those of you who aren’t legally able to keep a firearm on your person, I highly recommend that you put your firearms in a well hidden, but ACCESSIBLE place in your home.  If you have children, then a Bio-Vault would be my first recommendation as it opens with a swipe of YOUR finger—no fine motor skills necessary. 

Copyright 2009 Kellene Bishop. All rights reserved.  You are welcome to repost this information so long as it is credited to Kellene Bishop.


12 Responses

  1. I like the SmartCarry for on body carry. It puts the firearm concealed at hip level (not waist level) in the front. Does not interfere with hauling kids on my hip and who notices a little extra bulk under belly button level where I’m naturally a bit bulkier? Also the holster is attached to me, not my pants, so it doesn’t matter if I have a sturdy belt on (I’m not a belt kind of gal). Oh yeah, and it’s concealed by my pants, so I can wear my favorite tighter fitting Tshirts and not show pistol through them 😉

    Also use a purse–had to modify the generic holster part of it with a pocket holster made specifically for my gun and industrial strength velcro so it would stay in place in the gun pocket.

    Tried the ankle holster, but couldn’t get my pants over my gun! Would make accessibility a bit difficult . . . “Hang on, bad guy, I just need a few minutes to get my pant leg off my pistol . . . ” Yeah, that would work . . .

    Great article as usual Kellene! Thanks!

  2. Great article and the safest place is on your person!! Hiding it and locking it up does what when you need it?
    Do you ask the intruder to
    “Excuse me while I get my weapon out of my safe!”
    or even better “Can you wait while I dial 911?”

    And we practiced this past weekend my boys and I!!

  3. That’s exactly what I say when I’m teaching. “Excuse me Mr. Bad Guy…”
    Great to know you’re practicing!

    • Going to Alaska this summer and I intend to carry when there!! Need both boys proficient and it is scary how accurate and fast they are!! Guess all those 1st Shooter video games have some benefit. They both want to bring their handguns. Mulling that one over!

  4. Great article, which follows the advice given in the NRA Basic Pistol Class I took before buying my first handgun. One of the other gentlemen in the class wanted to have the gun accessible, but was worried about his children. One of the instructors said he should use a belt holster – immediately accessible, but always under control. I have followed the same advice.

    • Your instructor was smart. NRA doesn’t necessarily get around to mentioning that in their classes. I try to in mine. But as NRA Instructors, we have to be careful about what we say in order to ensure not unnecessary backlash on the Association. I’m so glad to hear that your’s gave you good advice, but even better, that you followed it!

  5. I keep mine in my inside the waist holster and belt by Milt Sparks.

    • Dom! YOu keep it there?! Way to go. See, I knew I liked you. Now, how are we doing working on Kerry to keep one on her?! She’s lost all that weight. Surely she’s ready for the next challenge? 🙂

  6. Great post and I agree with your comment on keeping your weapon on your person,and not in a holster purse or such. Those can be easily stolen or have unauthorized person access it, like children.

    • Yup. I’d much rather enjoy my visiting rather than hawking over my purse and leaving people to think that I’m afraid they are going to steal money from me. 🙂

  7. […] THE gun that feels good in your hand and in whatever manner in which you’re going to store it (preferably on your person).  This way you will be sure to make your practice and your shots count.  A gun is one thing that […]

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