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What you need to know about COVID-19: August 11, 2020
A massive rise in firearm purchases by Americans is making it challenging for some Edmonton gun shops to reload their shelves.
Jim Osadczuk, the owner of Sebarms Guns and Gear, said he started to notice a shortage in June.
“Everything is in short supply,” he said. “Certain models are gone and out of stock. (It is) the less expensive stuff. If you had a hunting rifle, the least expensive ones are what’s gone first. Same with shotguns.”
According to a Financial Times report on Thursday, an estimated 2.4 million firearms were sold in the U.S. in June, a year-on-year increase of more than 140 per cent. A surge in gun sales south of the border has continued throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
Osadczuk said he believes Americans have been panic buying, which contributed to the low supply. He said he still has plenty of inventory but the cheaper weapons are the ones that are becoming harder to reorder.
Most Canadian gun shops and outfitters rely on American-based manufacturers for the majority of their inventory.
Bill Girard, retail manager for Phoenix Indoor Range and Gun Shop, said the store has noticed delivery delays.
“A lot of items have been sold out,” he said. “We’re waiting to be resupplied from the States but the challenge isn’t necessarily a Canadian challenge. The Americans have been purchasing firearms at a phenomenal rate over this last little while.”
He said with so much disruption happening such as the pandemic, he believes some Americans who were on the fence to purchase firearms may have stocked up. Girard also said the recent federal ban on certain guns is also hurting gun stores’ inventories.
Girard said the delays in deliveries vary depending on the manufacturer.
“We’ve got some stuff that they’re telling us most probably (won’t arrive until) October,” he said. “In the firearm industry, we have a tendency to live from feast to famine just as a normal thing. From personal experience, I remember purchasing a particular firearm directly from a Canadian distributor and it took me almost a year to get that firearm because there were none in stock in Canada and there were none in stock in the States.”
He said he had to wait for the gun he ordered to be shipped from Japan to the U.S. to the Canadian distributor before being able to get it.
Of the firearms that are hard to get, Girard said he’s finding lever-action guns are less available.
Dianne Harnois, the owner of P & D Enterprises, said if there is a firearm shortage, she hasn’t noticed one just yet.
“We always carry a decent supply,” she said. “We are a company that always has inventory in our store. We don’t buy as we need it. There are some very good stores in this city who do look after their inventory. I’m just saying if there was a shortage, we’re not seeing it because we have inventory in our store.”
Harnois said she did notice a shortage on some calibres of ammunition but she didn’t see that as a big problem since she has plenty of stock.
Copyright Postmedia Network Inc., 2020