By: Alanna Pittard
Woolrich Clothing Company was established 182 years ago and specializes in outdoor apparel. It has caused somewhat of a stir with its Men’s Elite Concealed Carry Chinos that have a special feature of concealing your everyday handgun and/or knives, if that tickles your fancy.
Woolrich designed the pants with an additional pocket behind the traditional front pocket, which is large enough to conceal a weapon. The company advertises the pants are “ideal for situations where discretion is important.” However, outside of undercover police officers, what other situations would these pants be ideal? Robbing a bank?
So who is the target audience here? Essentially, men who carry guns often enough to dress for the occasion such as undercover cops and NRA enthusiasts. Is this dangerous? Is there a way to have a screening process to require the customer’s handgun carry permit number in addition to his credit card number? Does this create an incentive for those who feel inconvenienced by their guns being too revealing to the public? Or does it create a new audience, like the young men of our generation who wear baggy jeans as means to conceal their weapons. Does it say a mere $65 will make ‘packing’ a lot easier?
Anyone who recently picked up the NY Times is privy to this advertising appeal. According to the NY Times article, the amount of people with handgun permits has increased in number and the clothing companies have kept up. For instance, the athletic gear company Under Armour, has added a ‘Guntuck’ series of compression shirts that feature a weapon concealer holster.
The rise in weapon-carrying citizens may be due in part to the changes in state concealed handgun laws, following the latest Supreme Court decisions on the issue. The Second Amendment protects the right of the people to keep and bear arms, but not until recently has the Supreme Court clarified the full extent of this Amendment. In the 2008 case, District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570 (2008), the Court struck down a D.C. law that banned the possession of handguns in the home and held that the Second Amendment protects an individual’s right to keep and bear arms for self-defense purposes. Two years following Heller, the Court further held that the Second Amendment is fully applicable to the States in the case McDonald v. Chicago, 130 S. Ct. 3020 (2010). Is it a happy coincidence that 2010 is the same year Woolrich first debuted its expansion to the Elite Series Tactical line to include concealed carry streetwear? Hmm.
In any event, it seems the demand for apparel specifically tailored to weapon concealment is high enough for the clothing market the to answer the call.
To read the NY Times article, click here.