Making Change: A Less-Lethal Coin Purse from Mean Gene Leather - ITS Tactical
 

Making Change: A Less-Lethal Coin Purse from Mean Gene Leather

By Bryan Black

I never thought I’d write a review of a coin purse. However, when Gene of Mean Gene Leather told me about his newest product, the “Hot Tamale,” I was thoroughly intrigued.

Gene’s website description for the Hot Tamale states that it’s intended for spare change, but can also be used for personal defense. We joked here that it could be used to make change, both at the store, or to your situation.

Hot Tamale

Designed to store $10 in quarters, the Hot Tamale is handmade from a selection of different U.S. leathers and made to be worn on the belt. Using a fold-over design, the Hot Tamale wraps over a belt and secures to itself with a directional security snap that prevents accidental release if snagged.

Its zippered opening accommodates the $10 in quarters, or another variation of items. It’s super simple to pop the directional security snap and pull the Hot Tamale for use. I haven’t had one instance where the brass snap came undone unless I was purposely unsnapping it.

The size of the Hot Tamale is very low profile, despite its overbuilt ruggedness that Mean Gene is known for with his handmade leather belts. The brass zipper utilized is also a quality made YKK zipper and had no issues opening at the wrong times.

This is much like I always say with carabiners, “screw down so you don’t screw up.” MGL used this same philosophy when designing the Hot Tamale, ensuring that the zipper would move towards the closed position with gravity, rather than away.

Measuring 3” wide at the change storage end and as wide as 2” at the tail, the 1 1/4” taper between these is comfortable to grip as you’re removing it from your belt to make change. The leather measures in a 1/4” thick where the two pieces that make up the Hot Tamale are joined together. 1/8” thick pieces of leather are stout for this coin purse and it’s worn in nicely as I’ve carried it (around the house.) It weighs 3.2 oz. empty and 11 oz. filled with $10 in quarters.

Legality

I’ll get the legal questions out of the way now and say that you definitely need to check with your local laws and ordinances before you go carrying this around outside your home or vehicle, whether it’s filled or empty. The big deal here is that as a coin purse, it could be misinterpreted as a “Club” aka “Blackjack,” or “Sap.”

In Texas, a “Club” is defined as “an instrument that is specifically designed, made, or adapted for the purpose of inflicting serious bodily injury or death by striking a person with the instrument…” That being said, Texas only deems it unlawful (committing an offense) when a person intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly carry a “club,” on or about his or her person outside of their own premises or premises under the person’s control. Vehicles are ok too, provided you’re inside it or directly en route to your own vehicle or one that’s under your control.

You can see by reading this, that here in Texas, for example, you’d have to prove you were carrying a change purse and not a “club” if you were out and about. I’m certainly not trying to take away from the utility of the Hot Tamale, only trying to fully disclose what you need to be aware of. Please don’t take what I wrote though as legal advice, I’m only stating my interpretation of the Texas Penal Code that I feel covers this.

Here’s what Mean Gene Leather has to say about the legality: “Each consumer should be familiar with the state and local laws in the consumer’s jurisdiction before purchasing, carrying, or using this product.”

Parting Thoughts

I’ve really enjoyed the time I’ve had with the Mean Gene Leather Hot Tamale and it beats carrying around a roll of quarters, albeit it having a larger footprint. You can pick one up directly from Mean Gene Leather in your choice of seven different colors of leather.

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Discussion

77 comments
Igor A. Panteleyev
Igor A. Panteleyev

No matter how you will call it, it's bloody black jack... Felony will fallow automatically

Aaron Cook
Aaron Cook

Much easier to carry than the sock full of pennies I usually lug around. Ha

Benjamin Watkins
Benjamin Watkins

Eric my thoughts are that this would not be legal in MN.

Eric Reetz
Eric Reetz

It's illegal for police to carry a sap. However, as a personal defense tool from a personal attack, I think you'd be just fine.

John Hutchings
John Hutchings

It looks like a miniture size "soft case /gig bag " for a guitar! Musicians dig it!

Ucity Trae
Ucity Trae

This makes me so sad/angry; because I live in Texas. What madness, that I can openly carry my Glock 20; but be arrested for carrying a slap!

Jake Rogers
Jake Rogers

Just like those little "bottle opener" knuckle dusters. Looks cool, but any cop, judge, or juror is going to know exactly what that is.

Andy Duckworth
Andy Duckworth

If someone has messed up to the point where I'd be willing to hit them over the head with that thing, they've probably already arrived at the point where shooting them would be an acceptable option.

Cory Cepelak
Cory Cepelak

Maybe, Colin, but he saved me the trouble of looking up the CT statute. Thanks Glen!

Scott N Shellie Colvin
Scott N Shellie Colvin

When I saw this, I thought to myself. I know what I will be trying to make and see how it turns out. My only problem is you know I will need to put my own personel touch on it like a cool ass design.

Jake Bowser
Jake Bowser

Scott N Shellie Colvin if you start making these keep me in mind

Mike Ray
Mike Ray

Tim, we JUST talked about these lol

Dana Miller
Dana Miller

Dam!!! That would straighten out the snowflakes real fast lol

Larry Adkins
Larry Adkins

They're kinda pricey. I'd get one but then I couldn't afford to pay the fine if I get caught carrying it.

Fred Vela
Fred Vela

Lol, my palm works just as well. But that's a cool tool to have around!

Steven Vincent
Steven Vincent

A good idea but still skirting the law. "Black Jack or any device shaped in the fashion of a black jack to be used for the purpose of striking, hitting, or clubbing". It would be felony and more severe charges depending on the extent of the injuries you inflict with it.

Steven Vincent
Steven Vincent

That's true. It might be a good basis for defense if this item were ever used.

Bob O'Krogly
Bob O'Krogly

Oh, but a woman can slam you with her pocketbook that's filled with change? What's the difference?

Tnt Hofer
Tnt Hofer

print a guitar on the back to justify the shape would help..

Mike Ray
Mike Ray

Yeah, but given a choice, would you rather have my blackjack to your head or my .45???

Joel Boswell
Joel Boswell

It would be the local D.A.'s call first. If this item or any other item were used such as blades, firearm, belt, closed fist, etc ...(insert imagination) to save one's life from an attacker I doubt the D.A. will rule against the victim in "most" states. The bottom line, if it saves your life or others who really cares. The last thing on my mind in a self defense situation is "Skirting the Law".

Steven Vincent
Steven Vincent

Skirting the law is a my mind. I live in a liberal state that frowns on self defense items. CCW is almost impossible and even a BB gun is considered a firearm.

Michael Pinon
Michael Pinon

Judged by 12 instead of carried by 6 statement applies here I would think. Reality is people will be a victim or go beast mode and do whatever and use whatever to defend themselves.

Dave Stevens
Dave Stevens

You just have to look at it this way. Use of this item is probably going to be considered use of lethal force, as it is considered a lethal weapon where I live. However, as long as this weapon isn't deemed illegal, you just need to be sure that the use of lethal force is justified before grabbing this thing and going to work.

Levi Burtner
Levi Burtner

One's on the way. Gene's an awesome/crazy guy lol

John Kelly Butler
John Kelly Butler

Yeah, saps and blackjacks are illegal in a lot of states. Most of which have wording to cover stuff like this. Bummer, that's a really awesome idea.

Lester Wilson
Lester Wilson

Fill it with coins and it's illegal in NY (Penal Law 265.01(1)).

Jack Starr
Jack Starr

I got one when they first came out. I have it filled with quarters. Who would ever think you could protect yourself with a wimpy change purse that turns into an old fashioned black jack. High quality leather work too.

Peggy Sanders
Peggy Sanders

well, let me say that a woman's purse can be (and has been) used as a good defensive weapon.

Colton Reml
Colton Reml

Anything can double as a BDSM accessory, just gotta be creative.

Uriel Nunez
Uriel Nunez

I know that ..I'm just making small talk lol

P Willy
P Willy

Officer: "That looks like a blackjack to me."


Me: "Well, would $10 in quarters change your mind?"

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