It seems like a useful solution to several problems at once, but it raises so many safety and control issues that any advantage is all but cancelled out.
Women, my wife included, frequently put their purses down and walk away from them, even if only for a few steps. My wife has even forgotten hers in a rest-room stall.
Think about visiting a friend's home, putting the purse down, and then hearing, "Mommy—what's this in (whomever's) purse?" And that question might be followed by "BANG!"
Think about a purse snatch.
Now the creep has not only your money and identification, but also a nice pistol with which to effect his next robbery. It, too, might then include a "BANG!"
I could go on, but I hope that you get the idea...
Nothing wrong with carrying in a purse if you're a female. Thing is, you have to adjust accordingly. I know several women that do, and when they do, they change their habits.
That means their purse doesn't leave their side at any time. A couple of them have a purse that is designed to conceal carry. They don't even have to unzip or snap it open. The purse has a concealed pocket built right into it.
Anyways, they do carry responsibly and it's available to them within a second or so.
...And what about purse snatching?
I suggest a Sig P238 .380 acp. Single action with safety and easy to load or a S&W 637 .38spl
That said, when I take a gun with me, I am always cognizant of its presence. If I were a woman, I wouldn't be leaving my purse around, etc, given my level of gun safety practice. But that's the problem. Most people come nowhere close that level of anal-retention! I've seen the stupid bug bite many a friend, unfortunately. I had a buddy leave his pistol in the bathroom of a local grocery store cause he had to go number 2. Got home and realized he'd forgotten it and that was that. Fortunately, someone turned it in and it went to the PD for processing. Took him awhile to get it back and he's lucky he didn't loose his CHL.
In a perfect world, purse carry is great, but I think Steve is right at the end of the day. And we have to remember, we're talkin' about women! (Just kiddin', of course!)