May 312013
Carrying a concealed pistol in your purse can be either very safe or very dangerous. Please ensure you do so safely.

Carrying a concealed pistol in your purse can be either very safe or very dangerous. Please ensure you do so safely.

A woman in St Petersburg FL accidentally shot her friend in the leg with the pistol she apparently forgot she was carrying in her handbag.

She – and her friend – should both consider themselves as very lucky.  The consequences could have been much more severe for both of them.  The woman might have shot a lawyer’s kid instead!  The friend might have been fatally wounded, even in the leg (femoral artery), and so on.

According to this report of the incident, the woman had a small-caliber semi-auto in a ‘gun bag’ that was in the bottom of her apparently large-sized purse.  She dropped the purse, causing the gun to go off.

There are a couple of possible reasons for the gun going off after being dropped in the purse.

Maybe it is an old design of semi-auto pistol – almost every modern revolver and semi-auto pistol is designed to not discharge when dropped, but earlier models of both types of pistols were sometimes at risk of self-discharging in such cases.

If any of your pistols have this design oversight, you should stop using them.  Murphy’s Law dictates that if you have a gun with a vulnerability, then the situation that creates that vulnerability, no matter how unlikely it may be, is sure to arise at the worst possible moment.  Just ask the woman in Florida.

The other possibility is that maybe something else in the woman’s purse knocked against the trigger when the purse hit the floor, causing the gun to go off in a situation that wasn’t really the gun’s fault.

It is essential that your carry pistol be appropriately holstered.  The holster should protect the entire trigger area so that nothing can get into the trigger guard and to the trigger.

In the case of purses, the holster should both protect the trigger area so nothing else in the purse can accidentally press on the trigger, but it should also locate the pistol in a specific part of the purse so you always know where it is and how to grasp it when reaching in to your purse to retrieve it.

There’s more to choosing an ideal holster, but protecting the trigger area is probably the most important.

So please make sure your carry method and your carry pistol do not have any of these vulnerabilities.  An accidental discharge – some would say a better term is negligent discharge, because invariably you are to blame when the gun unexpectedly fires – can not only bring devastating consequences to you and other people around you, but it also gives more support to the anti-gunners out there, helping them to ‘prove’ that people can’t be trusted with guns in public.

We are all relying on your responsible good sense, for all reasons.  Please don’t let us (and you) down.

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