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concealed carry during the winter

Carrying Concealed and Winter Activities: Things to Consider

A simple answer as to how to safely concealed carry while ice skating: don’t fall.

In fact, that’s pretty much the answer in general to safely ice skating. Job done. Article over. Thanks for reading.

Kidding. Often the question itself is incorporated into a larger discussion of situational awareness attached to where the respective ice rink is, how dangerous the route to an ice rink will be and how to safely keep the firearm on the body.

Issues While Carrying Concealed At An Ice Rink

concealed carry while ice skating

Retention, negligent discharge and human interaction are some of the primary concerns while carrying concealed at an ice rink, which inherently is a danger in and of itself.

Are there really ever fatal scenarios while ice skating? Actually, yeah.

Minnesota released a report spanning 40 years of ice-related fatalities. In 1979 on Lake Minnetonka, an 11-year-old broke through the ice. A 56-year-old fell through the ice on Medicine Lake in 2008. There are countless other medical reports on winter-related sports.

Even more specific to the question of how to avoid injury while ice skating and how it applies to concealed carry, there are studies on ice-skating injuries that go so far as to isolating areas of impact on the body, which could affect where a firearm is placed if it’s needed while ice skating.

A 1988 report from the British Journal of Sports Medicine conducted research as to exactly how a given population fell on a public ice skating rink, which demographics were prone to doing so and other pertinent information pertaining to this type of injury.

Out of a hospital analysis of 8,361 reported accidents taken into consideration in that study, 80 of them were due to an incident at a local ice rink. The consensus: the majority of injuries were in the upper limbs, primarily being lacerations, fractures and sprains.

The takeaway for concealed carriers? Although impact will typically be absorbed through the upper limbs, the force may be redistributed to some key areas where concealed carry holsters rest on the upper body.

This is when retention and trigger guard coverage is imperative, because a firearm being compressed against the body or jostled onto the ice in a mess of limbs and skates can negligently discharge.

Although the likelihood of the accident occurring is slim, and the chance of the firearm being knocked loose is even smaller, understanding and utilizing the right level of retention and properly using safety mechanics will ward against anything unfortunate happening.

Learning how to skate? Don’t have a holster that will retain the firearm if an impact occurs? Look into renting a locker, if it’s even available, by calling ahead and having an appropriate gun case on hand.

Why Concealed Carry During Winter Activities


When tackling why to concealed carry during winter activities, people often misdirect the issue.

The concern over danger and self-defense becomes destination-based, as opposed to considering why everyday concealed carry itself is an overwhelmingly supported practice.

What does that mean in relation to the topic at hand?

It means most people aren’t expecting to need to brandish a firearm on the ice (granted, it may be a small possibility) but rather the weapon is equipped because they have to cross a questionable parking lot to get to the ice or the rink is in an area where crime rates are reported higher than others.

Winter activities are uniquely prone to this issue of situational need. Is the firearm necessary while cross-country skiing? Will a CCW be handy while ice fishing?

The fact of the matter is, self-defense incorporates preparation at all times and at all steps of any given activity.

What To Consider With Concealed Carry on Ice

carrying concealed while at an ice rink

Bottom line: when asking how to concealed carry while ice skating, there are a few things to understand and until the given situation is being experienced individually and in person, like those at ice skating rinks, this article will only skim across the surface.

Understand how to fall (easier said than done in the moment) and how the body will strike the ground given the circumstances. Utilize the right equipment that accounts for rigorous movement in a cold, icy environment that can result in unexpected movements or abrupt impact with other skaters and the surroundings.

Look into storing your ccw safely on location or in the vehicle once arriving, that is, if the concealed carrier anticipates a low enough likelihood of lethal danger.

Anticipating danger by actively carrying concealed can result in strange scenarios like this. Gun safety means asking questions like, “If I’m taking the kids out to the ice rink downtown or at that pond, how will I carry my weapon in the most optimal, safe way?”

A distraction from meaningful communication and developing theories on safe practices is disregarding the legitimacy of environmental conditions as they relate to firearms tactics, meaning concealed carry while ice skating is just one of many valid, if not arbitrary, considerations.

As a final note, there will always be anecdotes and best practices. Share yours in the comments below.

gun blog writer jake smith

About The Author

Jake Smith (@notjakesmith) is a copywriter and photographer based in the pacific northwest. He graduated from the University of Idaho with degrees in public relations and apparel.