Gun owners of Alberta are stocking up on ammunition as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread throughout the country. While many Albertans are buying extra amenities such as groceries or medication, gun retailers are seeing a sudden boom in business, according to CTV News.
Calgary retailers in the firearms and ammunitions business have seen a surge in sales, "We’re seeing anywhere between a 25 to 35 per cent increase," said J.R. Cox, owner of The Shooting Edge in Calgary.
"They are buying shotguns, they are buying ammunition. We’re selling a lot of ammunition. We’ve seen an uptick in a few handgun sales."
Cox admits that the Albertan spike in sales still pales in comparison to the panic buying and seemingly endless lines at some American retailers.
"It’s not like places in the United States where some people who’ve never owned a firearm before are going 'Oh my god, the sky is falling. I need to get a gun to protect my family'," said Cox. "That’s not happening here."
Cox pointed out that there is a much stricter process for Canadians to own guns, such as being required to have a valid firearms license which can only be obtained via the RCMP’s Canadian Firearms Program.
Cox believes that one reason that Albertan consumers are making sure they have enough ammunition to last several months is due to the fact that the bulk of ammunition sold in Canada is supplied by the US, about 80 percent.
James Bachynsky, president of the Calgary Shooting Centre, has also noticed a rise in the number of customers buying rifles and ammunition.
"We’re doing a lot of our sales online and even shipping to addresses in Calgary," said Bachynsky.
The Shooting Centre has also seen an increase in people wanting to go through their firearms training so that they may later apply for a firearms license. Applications to enter for the program are currently backed up however by three-to-six months as it is.
Cox assures his customers that despite some of his shelves being a little baron at the moment, his store receives shipments every couple of days so there’s no need for Albertans to panic buy.