Canada Risks More Shortages of Guns and Ammo, Suppliers Say

Main industry group says Covid-19 and record U.S. demand are “dramatically” affecting exports to Canada.

17 Nov 2020

2 min read

TheGunBlog.ca — Canada’s federally licensed firearm owners and stores risk expanded shortages of guns and ammo, an industry group said last week, quoting several suppliers.

Record-high U.S. demand and Covid-19-related manufacturing and shipping shutdowns have drained supply, the Canadian Sporting Arms and Ammunition Association said Nov. 10 on its website.

“All of these factors are dramatically affecting the availability of firearms and ammunition available for export to Canada,” CSAAA said. “While Canadian distributors are working tirelessly to secure allocations for the Canadian market, it’s proving difficult.”

1,000 Guns and 1 Million Rounds Per Day

Demand from Canada’s 2.2 million police-approved firearm users is also rising.

In an average year, we invest more than $1 million buying almost 1,000 new guns, 1 million rounds of ammunition, and other shooting gear each day. Almost all the products have to be imported. (See Canada Gun Facts & Stats)

This year, on top of normal shopping for protection, hunting, sport shooting, pest control, and collecting, three new factors are driving demand and squeezing supply.

Three Key Trends Are Driving Demand in 2020

  1. Contagion. Gun stores across the country reported record-high buying in March and April, as concern peaked about how the botched response to Covid-19 will trigger shortages and ravage the economy.
  2. Confiscation. The Liberal Party and Royal Canadian Mounted Police’s May 1 political attacks against firearm owners and businesses drove shoppers to snap up gear that isn’t yet prohibited.
  3. Contestation. Summer protests against racism, police brutality and bad government further fuelled buying.

Beretta: ‘Strain on Supply’

“Demand in Canada is quite high and continues to put a strain on supply,” Spyros Chryschou of Stoeger Canada, one of the country’s largest firearm importers, said in the CSAAA report. The subsidiary of Italy’s Beretta Holding SpA sells firearm brands including Benelli, Beretta, Tikka and Sako.

“Supply is going to be an issue,” Linda Conley of Bowmac Gunpar said in the CSAAA article. “A lot of the manufacturing was shut down and we’re star[t]ing to feel that now.”

Vista’s Ammo: One-Year Backlog

U.S.-based Vista Outdoor Inc., whose ammo labels include American Eagle, Blazer, CCI, Federal, Remington, and Speer, told investors last week it has a one-year backlog.

“We currently have over a year's worth of orders for ammunition in excess of $1 billion,” Vista CEO Chris Metz said, according to Fox News. “With demand far outstripping supply and inventory levels in the channel at all-time lows, we see strong demand continuing, and this metric informs our viewpoint of what a recovery or normalization could look like.”

North Sylva: ‘Extraordinary Circumstances’

North Sylva Co., Canada’s biggest firearm distributor, warned of supply disruptions and delays in June on Canadian Gun Nutz.

“We simply cannot provide ETA on anything due to these extraordinary circumstances and many new products have been delayed until at least end of the year if not to 2021,” the Toronto-based company said.


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