Canada Gun Stores Report 'Extreme Surge' of Sales Amid Coronavirus Outbreak

Gun stores in Canada are reporting a surge in sales of firearms amid the coronavirus outbreak coinciding with fears the country could soon implement stricter gun laws.

In a similar trend as seen in the U.S., where gun stores have reported selling out of stock and customers queueing around the block, stores in Canada are also experiencing an unprecedented rise in sales as the country deals with COVID-19.

"We are seeing a surge in sales," Ross Faulkner, owner of The Gun Dealer in McAdam, a village in New Brunswick, told The Canadian Press. "When things get tough, it's certainly a feeling of security, especially when you're dealing with uncertain times like we're dealing with now."

Wes Winkel, head of the Canadian Sporting Arms and Ammunition Association, also told Toronto.com that he saw "an explosion" of sales over the weekend.

"I'm watching the ticker of online orders come in now and yes, honestly, I haven't seen numbers like this in years. As we're talking, I'm seeing the sales pop up. It's quite incredible."

Speaking to The Canadian Press, Winkel said the "extreme surge" of people buying guns may be a result of panic as government offices, required to obtain a firearms license, begin to close to the public to help stop the spread of the coronavirus.

Others may also fear the supply of guns and ammunition could soon run dry, preventing them from hunting in remote areas of Canada where food may also become sparse.

"In no product in our supply chain does it take longer to replenish than in firearms and ammunition," Winkel said. "People know if they don't get stuff and the supply chain is being depleted, they're going to run out quickly."

The rise in gun sales is also occurring while Canada is debating bringing in gun reform in the country, including a ban on military-style assault weapons and allowing municipalities to decide if they should prohibit handguns.

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(File photo) Guns are seen at Cherry's Outdoor World January 23, 2020, in Ottawa, Ohio. Gun stores in Canada are reporting a surge in sales of firearms amid the coronavirus outbreak Brendan Smialowski / AFP/Getty

Gun reform advocate Canadian Doctors for Protection from Guns said people rushing out to buy guns means the government has to act soon to introduce tougher laws.

"Especially in a moment when we are all focused on evidence-based preventative public health care, increasing access to guns—a public health risk—is dangerous," the group said in a statement.

There are more than 720 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Canada, with nine deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University. A further nine people have also been able to recover from the virus.

This graphic, provided by Statista, shows the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 around the world as of March 19.

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Statista

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