The festive holiday season is around the corner, and while it is mainly associated with fun and merrymaking, crime is still a significant concern. Every year during this time, there is a lot of emphasis on crime in the news, which can cause worry and anxiety. Being able to defend yourself while you holiday shop can come in handy.
Holiday U.S. Crime Rate Statistics
The National Crime Victimization Survey has found that theft of personal property often peaks in December, with these offenses rising by a whopping 20 percent during the year’s final month.
With an overall holiday crime score of 81.5, Florida has the highest holiday crime rate. The holiday crime score for Florida is significantly higher than the national average for the entire U.S., which is 32.9.
Reasons Crime Rates Increase During the Holidays
Crimes spike during the holidays due to several reasons:
- More idle time and more substance and alcohol abuse
- Increased stress as people strive to make ends meet and get extra cash to spend over the holidays. High stress levels increase the chances of perpetuation.
- Some people are prone to depression during the holidays, as it can increase feelings of loneliness.
Is it legal to carry a concealed handgun in public in the U.S.?
Concealed carry of handguns is permitted in all 50 states of the United States. Standards and procedures vary by state, but candidates must generally be:
- State residents
- Have passed a criminal background check
- Have completed safety instruction and live-fire shooting exercises
In several jurisdictions, the police are also authorized to deny permits to those deemed as a threat to society. Some states have very strict regulations on conceal carry. By regulating the public carrying of hidden weapons, these statutes encourage responsible gun ownership and guarantee that fundamental public safety norms are maintained. Check your state regulations before deciding to conceal carry.*
What is the best way for a female shopper to carry concealed in public?
The most common way for female shoppers to carry concealed weapons in public is by keeping it close to the body, either in a holster pocket or a CCW purse with a built-in holster, so it does not accidentally discharge. You should be able to safely, efficiently, and repeatedly draw and fire if needed.* It is best to occasionally practice drawing your firearm so if the situation arises, you can draw it easily, quickly and without panic.
Tips to CCW while you Shop
Be aware of your surroundings.
As you shop this holiday, be mindful of your surroundings. Be sure to scan everything around you, watching out for suspicious faces and situations that have the potential to escalate. In addition, look for exit points so you can safely and seamlessly extract yourself from the situation in an emergency. If you notice anyone behaving out of the norm, it’s safe to avoid that area.
Try not to shop alone at night.
Indeed, there is power in numbers. If you are going out, we always recommend shopping in groups, especially at night. An aggressor is more likely to attack you when you’re alone than when you have company. It is equally much more difficult to ward off an aggressor by yourself. If you are in a group of at least two people, you have a better chance of fighting off the aggressive person(s) and getting away.
Have your keys ready when you head out to your vehicle
Always have your keys ready when you are going to your car. Look around before getting into your car. Check for the quickest access to your vehicle in case you need to defend yourself in an emergency. The few seconds you waste fumbling for your keys in your pockets or purse may be the difference between life and death.
If you carry a concealed carry handbag, ensure you are always ready to reach for your firearm.
When shopping, you should leave your high heels and flashy accessories at home. There are better times to make a fashion statement. Go for simple attire such as jeans and flat shoes, which will let you blend in and escape quickly in the event of a threat. Avoid flashy jewelry, as these will draw attention to yourself. Generally, if you must shop after dark, bring a friend.
Other tips to consider include:
- Avoid parking near vans, camper-shelled trucks, or tinted autos.
- Avoid parking near tall shrubs or plants that may obscure your vehicle.
- Keep your bag closer to you by wearing a strap over your body. The strap will pull you back if someone tries to steal your purse. If you lose equilibrium, put yourself in danger, or get into an altercation with the aggressor, release your grip and let go of your handbag if it is slung over one shoulder.
Carrying a concealed weapon is a great way to defend yourself while you holiday shop. Are you looking for a suitable concealed carrier purse for your handgun? Find your favorite bag and other accessories here. If you need help deciding what purse is a great match for your firearm, please email us here.
*Content is not presented as legal advice. Please contact a lawyer for legal advice or law enforcement officer in your area for information on proper conceal carry and regulations.