Bras, garters, corsets, lingerie, handbags… last week’s SHOT show was not just the site of new gun announcements. Companies took the opportunity to showcase a number of concealed carry options designed specifically for women.
Personal and home protection is a foremost reason women own firearms, according to research conducted by the National Shooting Sports Foundation. The NSSF survey of women who owned at least one firearm found that more than 42 percent have a concealed carry permit.
Many women need a way to carry firearms that is designed for the female body – not one designed for men and simply made smaller.
For women who want to keep a gun within reach, but discreetly and comfortably with their regular wardrobe, here are some concealed carry options featured and revealed for 2016.
Lingerie Holster –Can Can Concealment
Made by Can Can Concealment, the Micro Hip Hugger Holster is designed to be low profile and ultra comfortable for wearing all day. The company focuses on creating holsters that are “tactical, practical and pretty!”
With the Micro Hip Hugger, you can carry up to four sub-compact semi-automatics or revolvers up to four and half inches in length, as well as three magazines.
Related: Four concealed carry guns unveiled at SHOT Show
The gun (or guns) is held in place with four-inch high military-grade elastic. The built-in magnets also help to keep the gun in place while moving around. Each holster is designed to keep the gun in a position where the trigger guard is safely covered.
How about the draw? The Micro Hugger is designed for a left or right hand draw in both the front and back holsters. The holsters have silicone non-slip Tacti-Grip to help prevent slipping. To support easy re-holstering without looking, there are re-holstering tabs.
It is comes in black and pink as well as all black. Handmade in the U.S.A, the hip hugger micro is available for $76.
Bra Holster – Flashbang
How does it work? The holster attaches to the middle of a bra with a leather loop and is tucked under the bra’s underwire. A kydex mold encases the firearm’s slide and trigger. To draw, simply lift up the shirt and pull down on the handle.
Related: Blast an attacker with the new Taser
There are left and right hand draw options and it’s also available for a wide range of different pistols from the Smith & Wesson Shield to the Ruger LCR.
Depending on the size of the handgun and the user, the user may need to dress around the holster by wearing a looser shirt. For example, larger sub-compacts like the Glock 26 may require a bigger chest size to effectively conceal the weapon.
The FlashBang retails for $49.99.
Garter – Can Can Concealment
What if you want to wear a dress or skirt? In addition to the Micro Hip Hugger, Can Can Concealment offers other compression carry options like the Garter Big Shebang garter holster. This holster will keep your gun concealed, but still within easy reach.
It comes in three colors and is handmade in the U.S. It is available for $75.
Tactical Covert Handbag – 5.11
The 5.11 Tactical Lucy Tote Covert Purse is a fantastic option for the tactical professional, as well as civilian women who carry firearms for personal and family protection.
Designed in a modern versatile style, this tote is available in Iron Grey and Military Brown and made in water resistant fabric.
It has a TacTec System pistol compartment in a smart location to provide rapid, easy draw of your handgun. There’s also an integrated concealed pocket ideal for stashing badges, passports and even a wallet, as well as integrated flex-cuff slots.
The main compartment provides lots of space to load up your bag, as well as accessory pockets to keep things organized. The handbag is nearly 20 inches long, 11inches high and 7.5 inches wide.
The Tactical Lucy Tote Covert Purse is available for $99.99
Work Handbag - Gun Tote’n Mamas
Gun Tote’n Mamas introduced a number of new models for 2016 including the Blue Studded Tote, made from textured American cowhide leather. The company’s tagline pretty much sums it up what many modern women are looking for in concealed carry: “Taking control in style. Perfect mix of beauty and power.”
Related: SHOT Show 2016 in pictures
Gun Tote’n Mamas handbags incorporate holsters designed by Mernickel Holsters. The bag can be used for both leftie and rightie draws.
The bag is padded to prevent revealing the telltale shape of a gun. The tote has been tested with Glock 27 Subcompact (40 cal), S&W Shield and Ruger LCP.
Thwarting would-be thieves, the shoulder straps are also designed to be slash resistant. The drop length is 9 inches from top of bag.
This handbag is available for $199.95.
Allison Barrie consults at the highest levels of defense, has travelled to more than 70 countries, is a lawyer with four postgraduate degrees and now the author of the new book "Future Weapons: Access Granted" covering invisible tanks through to thought-controlled fighter jets. You can click here for more information on FOX Firepower columnist and host Allison Barrie and you can follow her on Twitter @allison_barrie.