Ten years ago, Anna Taylor was dealing with the fallout of divorce.
“I became a single mother. I was responsible for my own safety and the safety of my family. I wanted to take our defense into my own hands,” she remembers. Taylor took action, getting a concealed-carry permit and gun but she struggled to find training and an acceptable holster. She ended up locking her gun away and “feeling very disappointed that I wasn’t able to practice my fundamental right”
Around the same time, Dawn Hillyer was wrapping up a traumatic six years during which her life was threatened by a stalker whose threat was so grave that she went into hiding. The stalker received 10 years in prison for Felony Stalking. During the ordeal, Dawn bought her first gun which she named “Hilda” and obtained her own concealed-carry permit.
It wasn’t something that others in her line of work (as an executive recruiter) did. In fact, her company had an explicit non-firearm policy. “But I was afraid for my life,” she says. She remembers another kind of fear, the anxiety that people would know she was carrying firearm. “I’m not ‘tactical,” she thought. “I needed to be able to blend in.”
She needed to find a way to hide Hilda.
The Rush To Arm
Anna and Dawn are far from alone. According to the Crime Research Prevention Center (CPRC), a firearms and public safety research organization, surging demand for guns has been accompanied by a spike in demand for concealed-carry permits.
Applications for the permits have surged 34% in the past four years. Demand is so high in 2020 that it has overwhelmed many jurisdictions, resulting in waiting lines according to the CRPC’s latest report. As of this month, there are 19.48 million concealed-carry permit holders in the U.S., more than 9% of the 209 million adults in America and 820,000 more than in 2019.
In the report, recently retired CRPC president, Dr. John Lott, says that, “Permits for women and minorities continue to increase at a much faster rate than for either men or whites.”
Available metrics may be under-reporting the trend according Lott’s findings in which he notes that 17 states no longer provide data on the number of people legally carrying a concealed handgun because people in those states no longer need a permit to carry.
What Works For Her
In Dawn Hillyer’s search for a way to hide Hilda, the predominant advice she received was to carry the gun on-body she says. For her that didn’t work. Existing holster/carry options “imprinted” when on her body as gun industry folks call it – the outline of the gun is visible.
Dawn gave it some