Purse carry is a bad idea. In a purse snatching incident, the victim can’t get to their gun nor can they give up the bag with the gun in it.

The harsh reality of violent attacks and self-defense situations is that they’re quick – very quick. Most violent attacks are over and done in less than a minute, usually mere seconds. Violent attacks tend to have very little warning the attacks are about to happen. This lack of warning poses a problem for people who carry firearms in purses or bags. Purse carry has a very slow draw time, and that’s when the criminal isn’t grappling for the purse in a purse snatching incident.

I’ve heard quite a few people say something along the lines of “I don’t need a lightning fast draw time” – if you want to be able to get to your gun to defend yourself, you kinda do. As I said, violent crime usually has very little warning and is over in seconds, especially targeted violent crime.

Here’s a real-world example of a woman getting attacked for her purse. Even though she has a gun in her purse, she can’t get to it in time and ends up losing her purse and the gun that is in her purse.

This woman is extremely lucky she wasn’t shot. Even if she had stopped and realized she was about to be attacked a little bit sooner, she had no legal justification to draw a gun to defend herself until the criminal already had a gun out. Even if she had started to draw her gun earlier, the criminal already had the drop on her. The best thing for her to do in this situation is to simply give up the bag and hope that’s all the criminal wants, another harsh reality, but true. Unfortunately, giving up a purse with a gun in it is much worse than simply giving up a purse with money, IDs, and misc things in it.

This isn’t the first time I’ve written about why purse carry is a bad idea, and it probably won’t be the last as people still defend purse carry, and off body carry in general.

Purse snatching

Purse snatchings are unfortunately common and the recipe for a purse snatching is pretty standard. A criminal gets as close to the victim as possible without raising alarm, grabs the purse with little to no warning, yanks the purse away, and runs away. I’ve seen one of these happen in real life when I was a pre-teen. It really is over just that quickly.

Can’t draw a gun while grappling over the purse

Remember, purse snatchers don’t telegraph themselves. This doesn’t give time for self defenders to reach for their firearm. Often the only warning of a purse snatching is hands grabbing the bag. While grappling over a purse, self defenders can’t draw their firearm, but they also can’t give the criminal what they want and resolve the incident without even drawing a gun.

This results in a quickly losing situation during the grapple for the bag, especially if the victim is a small woman and the attacker is a large male.

Alternatives to purse carry

There are many alternatives to purse carry, even for women. Entire companies have been created around the principle of helping women conceal carry safely while on body. Here’s some excellent suggestions for women to conceal carry on body. Ultimately, this may mean certain wardrobe choices aren’t compatible with conceal carry, this applies to both men and women.

So the question is simple. Which is more important, carrying a gun in a safe and effective manner, or wearing a certain outfit?