Gun Imports Sank in January-April, Even Before Covid-19 Crisis
See our interactive charts based on data this week from StatCan.
06 June 2020
2 min read
TheGunBlog.ca — Canadian gun imports sank in January-April even before the Covid-19 crisis hit.
Shipments plunged to the weakest April in eight years, followed May 1 by a government attack on the firearm industry.
Data Table (CAD Million)
|Firearm Type||% Change||Jan-Apr 2019||Jan-Apr 2020|
Source: Statistics Canada, Import Data, 04 June 2020
See interactive charts below. Monthly charts are at the bottom.
Why It Matters
- The import decline from December through February suggests gun shops expected demand to drop this year, since they typically place orders six months before the guns arrive.
- Imports are the only public indicator of the health of the firearm industry. Almost every new firearm bought in Canada comes from abroad.
- Stores order more when they expect sales to rise, and import less when they expect business to decrease.
More Declines Ahead
Imports will almost certainly plunge further after the governing Liberal Party’s May 1 order for immediate gun prohibitions.
Some store owners have said they expect the surprise attack to wipe out 30% to 40% of their business.
Imports for a single month can show wide swings.
- April 2020 vs. April 2019: -43% to $10.6 million, the slowest April since 2012.
- The number of firearms that entered Canada rose 4.2% to 117,062 in January to April.
- Rifle and Handgun: -9.4% to $37.3 million in January-April. April 2020 vs. 2019: -28% to $11.2 million.
- Shotgun: -19% to $5.6 million in January-April. April 2020 vs. 2019: -14% to $1.95 million.
Handgun Price Dive — Turkey
- The average import price of handguns has dived 24% over the past 12 months to $501 from $663, dragged down by shipments of lower-priced pistols from Turkey.
- Handgun imports from Turkey surged by more than 10 times from 2015 to 2019.
- Note: (1) Retail price is typically 25% higher than import price. (2) This doesn’t say anything about profit margins.
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