Concealed Weapon Handbags Are a Thing — a Pretty Coveted Thing, Actually

When you first look at the handbags on Concealed Carry, they look just like your average purses. They come in an array of styles, from an unassuming canvas bag to a $4,200 crocodile version. But after about, oh, I don't know, 10 seconds, you realize that these aren't what you'd pick up at your local mall.

Concealed Carry bags have dual-locking zippers with a holster that allows gun-owners to carry their weapon safely. The idea is that women can easily (and stylishly) carry a gun without having to worry about their kid grabbing it, or it flying out of their purse. As you do. Considering 34 percent of Americans own a gun and that 43 percent of them are women, it makes perfect sense. Concealed Carry likely won't encourage any woman who isn't a gun-owner to run out and buy a Remington, but it might help women who already own guns carry them more safely.

The company was started by Dallas-based Kate Woolstenhulme, who tells Fashionista, "I’m not advocating people to carry a firearm. They’ve already made that choice…Firearms are lot of work — a lot of training, money and not a decision taken lightly. But there are women making this decision. And a Chanel or a Fendi are never going to make a gun-safe bag because it wouldn’t be politically correct."

I don't think it's completely irrational to find guns terrifying. Even growing up in a military family, surrounded by plenty examples of safe firearm use, I still don't feel comfortable around guns. Still, I understand that there are women, like Woolstenhulme, who don't feel fully comfortable without a gun. What Woolstenhulme is trying to do is provide a gun-safe bag for women who have already mad the decision that they want to carry a firearm. She points out that "trainers and men arguing that women shouldn’t be carrying because they don’t have anywhere safe to carry them." By creating a bag with a secure spot to keep the holster, she is helping to ensure women carry their firearms as safety as possible.

Sales for Concealed Carry bags have increased 30 percent in the past year, but Woolstenhulme says that gun-carrying women aren't the only ones buying the bags. "I’m going to Ireland, Singapore and Spain over the next few weeks, and I obviously won’t be carrying a gun," says Woolstenhulme. "But I’ll put my passport and jewelry in the locking pocket."

I could possibly see myself investing in a Concealed Carry bag if I were doing a lot of traveling abroad, but I don't imagine I'd ever purchase one to keep my gun safe, because, well, you can finish that thought. But for all this women who have already decided that they'll be carrying firearms (Robin Scherbatsky, I'm looking at you), Woolstenhulme has provided a safe and stylish option for doing so. Concealed Carry is a reminder that fashion isn't just runways and trends. It can also be functional and, at times, even political.