Launched by Brian Hoffner, a 30-year veteran of the Houston Police Department, the clothing line addresses the needs of the fashion-conscious carrier of concealed handguns, and spotlights a recent rise in the number of people carrying concealed weapons.
The New York Times reports such stores as Dick’s Sporting Goods and Cabella’s have seen an increase in demand for “covert fashion.” The sporting apparel line Under Armour has adding Velcro pockets to items for easy gun access, and smaller businesses like Hoffner’s are opening around the country as the demand for gun permits grows, the Times reports.
Thirty-seven states offer concealed-weapon licenses to qualified gun owners, according to data compiled by ProCon.org. Illinois is the only state prohibiting the carrying of handguns.
Hoffner said launched his line two weeks ago at a Texas SWAT conference, after working on the idea for about a year and a half. He wanted to give gun owners a way to carry weapons covertly and have quick access. As a vice officer, Hoffner said he wrapped an ACE bandage around his gun to conceal it on his thigh so prostitutes wouldn’t find it, but that denied him quick access.
“These pants aren’t just for the SWAT guys, they’re for soccer moms and your everyday superheroes — those high-speed operators that suddenly need to defend themselves and their family,” he said.
His Texas-manufactured khakis and denim pants cost $150 a pair. “I thought, man, if I only had a zipper, and then a light bulb went off,” Hoffner said.
He plans to expand his line to include more colors, casual men’s dress pants and women’s skirts and pants, though some women have already ordered the men’s pants. Eventually, his company will offer to install zippers for the guns in any clothing.
“You have a less than two-second presentation of your pistol wherever it’s stored,” he said. Hoffner said any responsible person should get a concealed handgun license and not count on the government or police for personal protection. “It’s good to know they are going to be there in minutes, but you might only have a second to save your family,” he said.
Hoffner pants can help anyone carrying multiple items, such as passports and cameras. The only drawback may be remembering to empty all 15 pockets before doing laundry.