I should say this is also how NOT to carry a gun in a purse. You’ve probably heard about the tragic incident in January, 2015 when a mother of a two-year old in Hayden, Idaho was killed with her own gun while shopping. It wasn’t a criminal attack. Her young child reached into her purse which contained the gun and somehow pulled the trigger. Most of what I’ve read laments the woman’s perceived lack of training as leading to her demise. I haven’t found much that focuses on the exact nature of the problem, but it seems the gun was loose in the purse with other items.
Most of what I’ve read assumes she lacked proper training but the writers don’t seem to have checked that out. If the gun was thrown into the purse unholstered and in a compartment with other things, and it seems that was the case, then that’s the problem whether she had any gun training or not.
First things first: guns are neither safe nor unsafe. People are safe or unsafe. The saying, “A holstered gun is a safe gun,” is true. So long as the holster is the correct one for the particular gun and it covers the trigger guard, and is properly stored in a separate compartment or affixed to your body, this is the safest way to carry a gun. The act of removing from or re-inserting the gun into the holster is where the gun can become unsafe and is the point at which many gun “accidents” occur. The scare quotes are appropriate because unintended discharges are almost always the result of negligence and not “accidents.” Guns do not “go off” unless someone pulls the trigger.
The proper way to carry a gun in a purse is to have a purse that is made to carry a gun. That will mean that the purse has a separate zipper compartment for the gun. The gun compartment will have a holster either sown in or attached by Velcro to the inside of that compartment. Thus, the gun can be inserted and drawn from that compartment by ripping the zipper and gripping the gun as you would from any other holster. As the gun comes up out of the holster your finger will fall naturally up onto the frame of the gun, off the trigger, where it all remain until you consciously direct it to the trigger after you have decided to fire the gun. So long as you keep the muzzle pointed in a safe direction you will be acting in a safe manner. The rest of the gun purse is like any other purse, with many styles available. The zipper compartment will be either on the end of the purse or on the top to the inside so when the purse is over one’s arm the gun rests in the part of the purse that is next to the body. A purse with a gun in it should be kept over one’s shoulder and not in the grocery cart where a purse snatcher might get it.
A proper gun purse looks like any other purse when the gun compartment is zipped shut. All the other contents of the purse can be accessed without ever exposing the gun because it is secured in its own separate compartment. Fussing and digging around in the other compartments of the purse does not create any danger of inadvertently firing the gun because in addition to being in a separate compartment it’s also in a holster that covers the trigger guard. The purse does not telegraph to anyone that you are carrying a gun.
If the Idaho mother had her gun in a well designed gun purse it seems it would have been nearly impossible that her child could have accessed it and pulled the trigger.
I’m familiar with a story of a gun thrown into the glove box of a car. Lots of people put guns in their glove compartment. That’s probably the worst place to put a gun. Just as coat hangers turn around in the closet at night, guns put into a glove compartment of a car with the muzzle pointing forward almost always turn themselves around so that the muzzle is pointing at you when you open the glove box. In the story I heard a 16-year old girl grabbed the gun by the barrel to pull it out of the glove box and the trigger caught on some of the other junk in there causing the gun to fire, turning her hand into ground meat. Because our hands are nerve centers, nothing is more painful that a shot hand. You won’t die but you’ll want to. Don’t put guns into a glove compartment of a car. Don’t store or carry a loaded gun without a proper holster. Don’t let a micro-second of time change the rest of your life. Or end your life.
A 2-year who will grow up knowing that he killed his mother will need some counseling, even though what happened was in no way his fault.