Gun Imports Sank in January-April, Even Before Covid-19 Crisis
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.
Concern of social unrest and supply shortages from Covid-19 led to an unprecedented surge in sales in March and April, just as deliveries slowed.
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.