This is a “very fractured year” for Canada’s gun market, Wes Winkel, the president of the country’s main industry group, said after hearing from executives this week.
Canadian gun imports jumped in the first nine months of the year to the second-highest level on record, in a turbulent period that saw shipments surge before a planned legal change, and then plunge.
The gains were driven by shotguns from Italy, rifles from Finland and handguns from Austria.
Following is a list of Canada’s biggest gun importers in 2016, based on official statistics published two weeks ago.
Colt Canada Corp. was the RCMP’s biggest supplier of guns last year, as Canada’s national police equipped officers with AR-15 rifles. M.D. Charlton Co., which sells SIG Sauer, Mossberg and Winchester among its brands, came second, followed by Smith & Wesson Corp. in third place.
AmChar Wholesale Inc. is entering Canada’s gun industry with a bang: the U.S. firearm distributor set a 16-year record for imports of Glock pistols from Austria as it prepares to supply police, recreational shooters and competitors.
Today I got to visit the Canadian facilities of Italy’s Beretta Holding SpA, whose brands include Benelli, Beretta, Sako, Stoeger and Tikka guns, and Burris and Steiner optics. My hosts showed me the offices and target range, but we spent most of the time in the showroom.
Canada’s gun imports surged in the first quarter as companies stocked up to shield themselves from government import rules that take effect June 1 and threaten to hurl the industry into a crisis. The government said it’s planning an update soon.