It's a mother's instinct to protect her young, at all cost. And, for some women, that means carrying a firearm. One Oklahoma woman is making that task easier for women all across the country. She's the inventor of a little device called.. the "Flashbang."
"I just reach up and clear my shirt, grab and pop it straight down," says Lisa Looper, the President and Founder of Flashbang Holsters, as she demonstrates her first invention. She says she never wanted to carry a gun until she became a mother. "I always had the philosophy that I could just run away if there was ever a situation that I needed to get out of. But, if you have a kid tucked under your arm or a kid strapped in a car seat, you can't just leave. Having a gun helps me be able to protect my babies," she says.
But, she wanted to be able to carry a gun without it getting in the way, and without having to change the way she dressed. "I tried everything that was out there and nothing would work for me. It would show through my clothes. It would print," she says. So, she created the "Flashbang." "That little nook just under the bust line is a really good place to hide a gun. This whole thing tucks underneath the bra band, and this little strap right here goes around the center part of the bra," says Lisa, demonstrating the flashbang. "I have one on right now, but you'd never be able to tell," she says. And, you can't! By looking at her, you would never expect she's carrying a high-powered women under her blouse. But, if an intruder tried to mess with he children, they'd quickly learn otherwise.
"My home was burglarized and I needed a way to protect my home and myself," says Julie Routzahn, a mom and the Marketing Director for Flashbang Holsters. After the burglary, she quickly learned how to safely carry to protect her son, and she loves the different concealable options Lisa created. "I carry all the time! It's so empowering. I know that I'm always going to be safe, and I can keep my little boy safe. This is called the Ava, and it tucks inside your waistband," Julie demonstrates. "It becomes second nature to you, like wearing a watch. You feel uncomfortable if you don't have it on. It allows us to carry inside our pants and not have bulk," she says.
"It really contours to the body and hugs the curves. We added a little bit of suede on the back," says Lisa, pointing to the bright purple backing of the Ava. "I love that because it's comfortable against my skin. But, also, if I'm having a day where I'm a little bit "glisteny," this kind of helps with moisture control. It's breathable back there," she laughs.
It's a line for women, made by a woman who knows we need variety. "Maybe you're wearing a dress and you can't access a flashbang. Or, maybe you're jogging and you need something that works with a sports bra," says Lisa, as she shows us the Marilyn, which is a holster option that clips onto the side of the bra, underneath the arm. "It's drawn by reaching down into the neck of the shirt," she shows us.
Another option is the Betty, which also clips onto the pants. "It's got a really heavy clip on it, so that it will hold onto your jeans or yoga pants without a belt on," says Lisa.
In addition to function, each holster is designed with safety in mind. "It covers up the trigger-guard here, so it keeps everything safe. There's no way for this to accidentally fire," she says. And, with function and safety.. comes a little sass. "I kind of have this philosophy: Why just clip your toenails, when you can polish them? I mean, who names their holsters after pin-ups?" she laughs. "It's just something different. We want it to be colorful. We want it to be fun and exciting," she says.
Flashbang Holster has been up and running for two-and-a-half years. "The very first time we sold them on purpose was at the NRA convention, and we sold 42. I was so excited! We sold 42 in one weekend. And, it just kind of took over, and then this last year, we actually stopped making everything else that we make just to focus on this women's line because it was over 90-percent of our sales at this point. Now, we have several hundred retailers Nationwide who carry our products," she says. Lisa says H&H Shooting Sports is her largest retailer in the state.
If you'd like to purchase one of Lisa's holsters, or see more options, click here.