Paula Summers has spent the last several years working as a private investigator in Tacoma, Washington. One evening she and one of her investigative partners were sitting in her car surveilling a lead as part of a case they were working when her partner noticed a paper bag on the seat between them. He asked her if it was coffee and her reply was simply, “no, that’s my gun.” That simple exchange, Summers says, prompted her to wonder if there wasn’t a better way for a female PI to carry her firearms while working. Later that night after she got home she began doing research on the internet and found that there are several women’s purses on the market that are designed with pouches specifically for carrying a gun.
Summers flew to Dallas shortly after for a trade show and introduced herself to representatives from a number of companies that make the purses and a few months after that she started her own website selling concealed-weapon handbags.
“As a private investigator,” Summers says, “carrying a handgun is just part of the job. But it’s an important part and I was tired of carrying my gun around in things that were never meant to hold a gun.” Summers admits that in the five years that she has been a PI she has always carried a gun but has never had an opportunity to fire it or even take it out.
Summers says she began taking the fact that she carries a gun as part of her profession much more seriously when she began selling the handbags. When asked if all women should carry a gun, she said “No, but I wouldn’t mind selling every woman a gun handbag. Women should only carry a gun if they are prepared to deal with the consequences of using one. I wasn’t properly prepared before I started selling the handbags and I should have been. It’s my job. Now I am prepared.”