Concealed Carry: What About Your Wife?

Concealed Carry: What About Your Wife?
To help your significant other learn how to shoot a defensive handgun, your best option is to find her some qualified instruction. You’ll both be happier for it!

Love your wife? Then let her take her own journey buying a concealed carry handgun and getting trained up on it. You'll both be happier.

Why A Defensive Handgun And Training Are Your Wife's Business:

  • Being mentally ready for the responsibility of owning a firearm is purely in her court.
  • She needs to find a firearm that fits her and she's comfortable shootings.
  • It's more likely a trained professional instructor will provide a positive experience for her first live fire.
  • You won't strain the complicated interpersonal relationship with your significant other.

Without any intention of sounding like a chauvinistic jerk, What about your wife?

Yes, I know there are women who read Gun Digest, and the question could equally be, What about your husband? However, most Gun Digest readers are men, and a lot of them are married. And, they might be facing a common problem that many gun-toting men experience: how to get their wives to carry a gun to protect themselves.

A woman will be happier carrying a gutn when she controls the process of selecting it and learning how to shoot it.
A woman will be happier carrying a gutn when she controls the process of selecting it and learning how to shoot it.

Too often, attempts to sort this out include the man buying a gun for his wife and then attempting to teach his wife how to shoot it. While this bit of advice might qualify as a fit for the “Hillbilly Wisdom” section of this column, I’ll share it here: There are several things men should never try to do with their wives. Those include hanging wallpaper, picking out paint for the house, changing the oil in your truck … and trying to teach them to shoot.

This is partly because the very complicated interpersonal relationship dynamic between a husband and a wife can be fragile—even in the best relationships. Most men are programmed to be in charge, and when the task is challenging, such as hanging wallpaper or trying to teach someone to shoot, this “in-charge” attitude becomes offensive and a barrier to learning. It’s also partly because few men (read, humans) are actually good at teaching/instructing anything. Just as being an engineer requires a specific skillset, so does being a good teacher.

If you further complicate this process by handing a woman a handgun that doesn’t fit her hand or that she’s not comfortable with, you’ll create a situation that, at best, will end up with no one getting shot and, at worst, a divorce.

More Gun Info For The Ladies:

Gun Selection: Lady's Choice

You can pick out sexy underwear for your wife, but you do this for your benefit. She might also wear that sexy negligée, but not because she thinks it’s the most comfortable garment she’s ever had on her body.

So, don’t pick out a gun for your wife. Sure, you can help in the process, but the final decision—the ultimate decision—should be hers. It’s better for her to realize she picked out the wrong gun than it is for her to attempt to please you by trying to make the wrong gun that you picked out work for her.

Contrary to conventional wisdom, there’s no such thing as a “lady’s gun.” There are guns that fit small-sized hands, medium-sized hands and big hands. There are guns with very little recoil, moderate recoil and heavy recoil, just as there are guns with good triggers and bad triggers. There are also guns that seem complicated to operate and those that seem simple. You wouldn’t want your wife picking out a gun for you, and you shouldn’t attempt to pick one out for her.

Training: Turn To The Pros

When it comes to training, you’d be best-served to find a reputable and qualified instructor who can teach your wife. Yeah, I know, it seems as if it ought to be your job. But, here’s the thing: If your wife isn’t already a shooter, that first exposure to gunfire is very important; it needs to result in a positive experience. If it doesn’t, all might be lost. It’s best to risk that experience to a professional.

To help your significant other learn how to shoot a defensive handgun, your best option is to find her some qualified instruction. You’ll both be happier for it!
To help your significant other learn how to shoot a defensive handgun, your best option is to find her some qualified instruction. You’ll both be happier for it!

Oh, but, “I’m a trained firearms instructor,” you might say. Hey—good for you.

The problem here is that if you, as a professional, attempt to teach your wife, not only are you going to have to deal with that very complicated interpersonal relationship dynamic of being married, your stature as an experienced firearms instructor will add additional stresses to the educational process. It’s one thing when couples learn together; it’s another thing entirely when one—who’s a professional—teaches the other.

I learned this the hard way.

Throughout the 13 years I worked in law enforcement, I tried to get my wife to carry a handgun for protection and learn to shoot. It didn’t happen until a friend of hers convinced her to give it a try. They went to Gunsite Academy together. While there, my wife experienced high-quality instruction from someone other than me. She now carries a gun every day. She also knows how to use it, and it’s the gun she wants to carry.

So, what about your wife? She needs encouragement and support. With that, she’ll find a gun that fits her, as well as someone qualified to teach her how to use it. Afterward, you can go to the range together … and she might even out-shoot you. More importantly, somewhere, someday, she might even save your life!

Editor's Note: This article originally appeared in the August 2020 issue of Gun Digest the Magazine.


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  1. Good article, although I’m happy to say that I never had to work hard to get my wife interested in EDC. She loves shooting and owns a nice selection of guns, including a 1911 Government Model that she wanted for Christmas a few years ago. In general, I’ve taught quite a few women to shoot and the main motivation for them has been two-fold. First, they want to be able to defend themselves or their family, and two, once they try it they really enjoy shooting for fun. My wife loves shooting her Beretta 92, her 1911, and our .22 pistols, and she carries her G2c whenever she leaves the house and I trust her training and her mindset completely to use it as necessary. The main success factor, I have found anyway, is to make sure their first few shooting experiences are fun. After that it’s an easy ride for them and you.


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