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A model displays a concealed carry purse during the National Rifle Association (NRA) Carry Guard Expo Fashion Show in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, U.S., August 25, 2017. REUTERS/Ben Brewer TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY - RTX3DDUJ
Reuters/Ben Brewer
A purse that makes you wonder: Is she reaching for her lip balm or her 9mm pistol?
DRESSED TO KILL

Packing a pistol for yoga? The National Rifle Association’s first “fashion show” has you covered

By Marc Bain

On Aug. 25, a fashion show in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, displayed an America not normally seen on the catwalk.

As part of a multi-day expo on guns and gun ownership, the National Rifle Association (NRA), America’s most powerful organization of gun advocates, held what it billed as a first-of-its-kind runway show, where clothes were definitely not the focus. The spotlight was on products designed to conceal firearms.

The target audience—excuse the pun—included both men and women (guys, after all, are big buyers of accessories too). Products ranged from conventional holsters to carry purses, and the point, according to the NRA, was to show off their “features and benefits to an audience of firearm enthusiasts and industry media.”

Glamor was not the message, which given the models’ everyday attire seemed more along the lines of, “Yoga, grocery shopping, or a night out with friends: You can always be fashionably packing.”

It’s something many Americans may want, as a growing number of states let them carry concealed weapons without a permit. In at least 12 states, residents already don’t need a permit to walk around with a hidden weapon, and many more (paywall) have introduced similar legislation. For women in particular, who have historically had to rely on bulky holsters designed for guys, the situation has created new opportunity around gun accessories.

Here are some highlights from the NRA show:

Reuters/Ben Brewer
Dressed up for dinner, drinks, and maybe even a standoff.
Reuters/Ben Brewer
Sun’s out, guns out.
Reuters/Ben Brewer
Like Spanx, but with a spot for your gun.
Reuters/Ben Brewer
Probably not for use with a dress.
Reuters/Ben Brewer
A pair of jeans that says, “I’m packing.”
Joshua Lott/AFP/Getty Images
That athleisure look says she’s ready for yoga, or a gun fight.