Canada’s Booming Demand for Guns Is Amazing, And Has Drawbacks — We may not like the cause, but the boom in demand for guns from the Covid-19 crisis is doing more for Canada’s firearm industry, gun culture and “gun rights” than anything else in modern times.

It also comes with drawbacks, besides the mass death, infection and economic devastation from the virus and the government response.

Record Spike

Dozens of national and local news articles over the past month have quoted federally licensed gun stores reporting record-high business. (Some articles quote me, like here and here.)

Smart shoppers among Canada’s 2.2 million adults with a firearm Possession and Acquisition Licence (PAL) are stocking up as the pandemic response fuels concerns about safety, shortages and rising prices.

The Covid-19 buying spike comes on top of regular seasonal purchases for hunting and sport shooting.


Safety, Survival: People see the benefit of having firearms for personal/home protection as a last resort in a life-and-death emergency, and for hunting in case of food shortages.

Industry Boost: Manufacturers, distributors and retailers are getting a revenue boost.

New Shoppers: Many licence holders, especially women, just bought their first firearm.

New Interest: Record-high numbers of people without a licence now want guns and ammo.

  • First Contact: Thousands of of them walked into or called a gun store for the first time in their lives, their first contact with the shooting community.
  • Education: They got a quick course in the law and (hopefully) got tips for how to get a licence, training, and firearms.
  • Personal Experience: Direct contact with shop staff beats anything they could learn from the media or movies.

Future Clients: Stores that treat these prospects right will turn them into future clients.

Media Interest: More than two dozen national and local news publishers have written about the soaring demand. That doesn’t include TV, video, radio and podcasts.

Public Education: The media interest is a golden opportunity for the shooting industry to tell its story. It’s the best way to educate the press, the public, politicians and policymakers.

The Biggie: Gun Rights

More people owning and desiring guns means:

  • More people have an interest in promoting their right to respect, dignity, privacy and fair treatment as human beings and good citizens.
  • More people have an interest in protecting their right to access and keep their property.
  • Unethical politicians may think twice before attacking safe and responsible Canadians and threatening us with mass confiscations or wasteful restrictions.


Shortages Now: Shoppers face shortages since many stores are sold out of popular firearms and ammunition. Good luck finding a 12-gauge shotgun, an AR-15 target rifle or a 9 mm handgun.

Slowdown Next: The increased buying now may result in a slump later.

Shut Down: New firearm owners and existing owners with new guns will find they have nowhere to test or train with their new gear. Most target ranges across Canada are closed.

Locked Out: New gun owners may find there’s nowhere for them to shoot even when ranges re-open. Many target clubs and ranges, such as those around Toronto, are at maximum capacity and refusing new members.

Paperwork Delays: Getting police permission to buy and sell new handguns and AR-15s is delayed by a double whammy: soaring transfer requests and fewer staff to deal with them.

No Training, High Risk: Some first-time shoppers bought gear for personal or home safety in case of a lethal threat. (See above.)

  • This creates a major risk for anyone ignorant about the morality, legality, psychology, and tactics of armed self-defence and the brutal aftermath.
    • The risk is even higher for new owners unfamiliar with their new, untested setup and/or who have never taken professional defence training.
  • This is an extremely serious topic with grave consequences.
  • Store features some U.S. books on the topic, such as What You Don’t Know Can Kill You: How Most Self-Defense Training Will Put You Into Prison or the Ground. (I get a tiny commission if you shop at Amazon using my links, at no extra charge to you. It helps support this website.)


Overall, even with the disadvantages, the gushing interest in guns is more beneficial for the shooting community than years of advertising, campaigning and blogging.