Safety First For Women’s Empowerment: A Refresher Course in the GTM’s Purse Owners’ Manual

Anyone making the decision to carry a handgun for self-defense should understand that, just as being the victim of a violent crime involves serious risks of physical harm or even death, attempting to defend oneself or others against a violent criminal attacker involves significant risks as well. 

We care about our GTM customers and are passionate about keeping them safe and protected. With that goal in mind, we created what no other concealed-carry bag company has ever done: the GTM Purse Owners’ Manual that comes with every GTM bag.

The Manual is very detailed, but we’d like to remind you here of a few key safety reminders about carrying and drawing weapons that we cover in the document: 

  • First and foremost, before carrying or using a handgun for self-defense, we STRONGLY RECOMMEND you obtain formal training from a qualified firearms instructor. Nothing can replace this training to keep you safe.
  • Carry your handgun in your GTM purse in the manner recommended by your handgun’s manufacturer.
  • When carrying a gun in your GTM purse, place the gun in the holster provided. Do not carry objects other than the gun in the compartment with the gun, as these objects could activate the gun’s trigger, hammer, manual safety, or magazine release, resulting in accidental discharge of the gun, release of the magazine inside your GTM purse, or other problems. 
  • Before you insert, carry or draw a loaded handgun from your GTM purse, “dry practice” with an unloaded gun in a safe location and with the gun pointed in a safe direction until you can safely, comfortably, and reliably open the gun compartment and draw the handgun from it. Dry practice is best done without any distractions (TV, radio, children, visitors, cell phones, texts, etc.), and without any other people in the room – both so they are not there to distract you, and so they are not endangered by anything you do while practicing.
  • In drawing the gun from the GTM purse, and in replacing the gun in the GTM purse:
    • Keep your finger off the trigger and outside the trigger guard to avoid accidental discharge.
    • Don’t let the gun point at any part of your body or anyone else’s body while drawing or re-holstering the gun.

Other safety recommendations include:

  • Wear the purse’s strap across your body, rather than just over your shoulder to reduce the risk that an attacker may grab your purse from you.
  • An Off-Body Gun Carrying Device Is a “Holster,” NOT a Gun Storage Device. Your GTM purse is not a gun safe, metal lock box, or locking gun case. It is not as secure as those storage options, as it is designed to make your gun readily accessible for self-defense.
  • Your GTM purse is not “childproof.” Children are ingenious and can figure out how to operate any gun. If you cannot keep the purse under your direct control, lock the entire purse with the handgun in it in a gun safe, or in a securely locked container or compartment to which only you have access.
  • Lastly, Make Safe Gun Handling A Ritual! A “ritual” is a serious ceremony consisting of a series of actions performed in a specific order from which one never varies. If you are going to carry, or even possess, a handgun for self-defense, you should make your gun-handling actions safety rituals from which you do not deviate. For example, you should ritualize the steps of unloading your semiautomatic pistol so that you never fail to eject the chambered round after removing the pistol’s magazine, and so you always check the chamber and magazine well both visually and physically (with a fingertip) to confirm the pistol is empty. In a similar way, a mother with children in the home should make it a ritual, when she returns home with a loaded handgun in her GTM gun purse, to either remove the handgun from the purse and lock the gun up in a gun safe or quick-access lock box, or to lock the entire GTM purse, with the handgun in it, in a gun safe or other securely locked container to which only she has access.

“Our products are designed to empower women, to keep them safe in what is sometimes an unsafe world. Regardless, it’s critical to your safety and the safety of everyone around you to always remember the basic rules of firearm safety,” says Claudia Chisholm, president, GTM. “When it comes to firearms, you cannot guess, you cannot assume, you cannot forget, you cannot overlook. Your handgun is a deadly weapon for which you are responsible. How seriously you take that responsibility can literally mean the difference between life and death for you, your loved ones, and others around you.”

No Owner’s Manual, nor any other book or manual, is an adequate source of training in these critical subjects. As we’ve already said, you need hands-on training from a qualified instructor. Local gun stores, gun clubs, shooting ranges, and police departments frequently offer such instruction, or can tell you where to obtain it. If you cannot find a local source of training from a certified firearms instructor, contact the National Rifle Association at, phone 703-267-1000, or U.S. Concealed Carry Association,, phone 877-677-1919. 

As always, please remember to ONLY purchase GTM products from licensed, approved retailers. As with any popular brand, some companies have tried to imitate the GTM design, or resell our products via unauthorized websites. To make sure you are getting the best of the best, make sure you’re buying the real deal. Our quality promise and our warranties only apply to purses/bags/ products sold by GTM Original’s authorized dealers/ retailers, such as SportCo and It’s in the Bag Boutique. Additional approved online dealers selling GTM products include Hiding Hilda, Gun Goddess and The Well Armed Woman. To find a list of stores with authorized dealers, visit the handy store locator page.

You can find the entire GTM Owners’ Manual on our website here.

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