Gun Tote’n Mamas owner Claudia Chisholm stops long enough at the SHOT Show to share one of her company’s concealed-carry purses.
Each year the company produces a special Legacy Bag (seen here is this year’s model), and part of the profits from its sale are donated to organizations dedicated to fighting abuse against women.
Bags for pretty much every occasion. They may not say Coach or Fendi, but they might save your life.
Gun Tote’n Mamas CCW Purses
This story came as a tip from our friend Carrie Lightfoot at The Well Armed Woman. There are a ton of “CCW purses ” out there, but most of them were made by men and don’t work at all. We almost covered a company last year that made a purse that worked like a raccoon trap. You could put a woman size hand into the gun pouch on the side, but once you grabbed that shiny gun, you couldn’t get it out. Carrie is working on a series of articles for us here at GunsAmerica, and she will be the first to tell you that carrying a gun in a purse isn’t for everyone. You have to make sure that bag stays with you at all times and is in your complete control, but in some modes of dress, bag carry is one of a short list of options, and possibly the most sensible one. Of all the bag companies that have courted Carrie, to sell them on TWAW, Gun Tote’n Mamas is the one she likes the most. They have a huge assortment of bags for just about every taste and mode of dress, and the gun parts work, which is the most important thing.
The Gun Tote’n Mamas booth at SHOT Show was insane, despite a basement location (like yours truly at GA) and nothing but purses to attract crowds. I might have understood it if we were on Park Avenue, but we are here the mostly male dominated SHOT Show in Las Vegas. I had to come back three times to attempt to even take pictures,and the throng was still there, with many of the men relating stories like mine. I purchased my wife a pair of concealed-carry purses. Both still hang in the closet, often used to highlight my inability to find an appropriate gift and destined to be used as hanging planters someday.
Don’t get me wrong. My wife carries, just not in those purses. Apparently they were designed by a guy with as much eye for fashion as I have. Plus, there were certain challenges with the purses. One of them is the raccoon trap, even with a small LCR. Even her very small hand gets stuck inside the purse. The other one I purchased seemed more fashionable, but was too petite to accommodate a gun, wallet, cell phone, makeup, car keys, you get my drift.
Gun Tote’n Mamas is one of those success stories that really came about by accident after Claudia Chisholm was displaying embroidered wallets for Kingport Industries at the last SHOT Show that took place in Orlando, FL (2009). In one of those windy outside tents, traffic was light, but the questions and follow-up calls were persistent. “When will you start offering concealed-carry purses,” they asked. Claudia said her husband nagged her for nine months to start working on concealed-carry purses, with the same eye for fashion as all Kingport Industries gear, a high end luggage and bag company. When she relented, Gun Tote’n Mamas was born.
Judging by the crowds, she’s done everything right in the past five years. Prior to beginning design work, Claudia talked to shooters, NRA instructors and women who carry. Her goal was to create a line of handbags women will want to be seen with, yet retain real concealed-carry usability, because we are after all talking about real gunfights here, and nobody needs to bring a raccoon trap to a real gunfight. Then she sent samples to a variety of shooting schools, including Gunsite. After more modification, she rolled out her new line.
Here are some of the key components gun guys don’t think about. A slash-resistant strap is critical. We always talk about gun retention, and one of the most popular ways to grab a gal’s purse is to cut the strap, grab and run. Good luck with Gun Toten’ Mamas purses. The straps are built with something like a cablelock inside, so you really can’t just cut them with a knife. Some of the other features you’ll find are included holsters (that can be moved to suit individual shooters and configured for left- or right-handed use), leather zipper pulls (when fashion demands), roomy enough main compartments to swallow all that battle gear and the kind of looks that will make her girlfriends jealous. All leather used in the company’s purses is produced in the United States.
Take my word for it, don’t buy until your wife approves, but, as difficult as it was to actually get pictures, check out some of the line. An Evening Shoulder Pouch, a Traditional Open Tote, Concealed Carry Basic Hobo Handbag (the zebra print really had the booth abuzz), and a Concealed Carry “Raven” Shoulder Pouch, among others. The offerings are too many to detail here, but if you visit Gun Tote’n Mamas (with your wife or girlfriend), I’m pretty sure you’ll both ID something perfect for Valentine’s Day.