Politicians continue to misread the tea leaves when it comes to gun ownership. When calling for bans, gun sales typically increase. Announcing that a gun would actually be banned in the future only creates unprecedented demand. Such is the case this month, as sales of handguns have reached record levels in Canada.
It was less than a week ago that Canada’s government introduced legislation that would implement a “national freeze” on the sale, purchase and transfer of handguns as part a new gun control package. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau claimed that the new measures were needed as gun violence was increasing in Canada.
“We need only look south of the border to know that if we do not take action firmly and rapidly it gets worse and worse and gets more difficult to counter,” Trudeau told reporters.
The freeze on handgun sales would contain exceptions, notably to those including Olympic athletes and other elite sports shooters, but also to security guards and senior government officials. Notably, Canadians who already own handguns would be allowed to keep them – and that fact has resulted in the aforementioned surge in sales, despite the fact on May 20, authorities had said they didn’t expect a run on handguns in anticipation of the freeze.
Currently, would-be gun owners are required to have a restricted firearms license to even buy a handgun, which explains why authorities didn’t expect a surge in sales. However, as a ban is coming, many Canadians have now applied for such a permit, and some gun retailers have reported long lines of “panic” buying – so much so that many stores have seen their stock sell out.
Jen Lavigne, co-owner of That Hunting Store in Richmond, Ontario, outside Ottawa, told Newsweek that sales have been stronger than ever.
“We sold 100 handguns, or almost our entire stock, in the last three days, since the prime minister announced the freeze,” Lavigne explained. “This measure is only going to hurt legal gun owners. It’s not going to reduce any of the crime because the bad guys don’t follow the rules.”
These boom times could also be followed by bust for business owners.
Darryl Tomlinson, owner of Canadian Gun Guys in Winnipeg, also told Newsweek that he worries for his future business. “This handgun measure is going to take away livelihoods and break up communities. It’s a Catch-22; we’re busy now, but I fear we’re going to be put out of business in the fall.”
Moreover, Trudeau’s bill has resulted in exactly what he and so many other gun control advocates often fail to expect – that more people who might have never purchased a gun will run out and make a purchase.
For now, U.S. President Joe Biden has said he has no plans to implement a similar ban, but he has called on U.S. lawmakers to institute what he has described as “common-sense gun laws.” That is likely only to result in a spike in gun sales across the United States.
Now a Senior Editor for 1945, Peter Suciu is a Michigan-based writer who has contributed to more than four dozen magazines, newspapers and websites. He regularly writes about military hardware, and is the author of several books on military headgear including A Gallery of Military Headdress, which is available on Amazon.com. Peter is also a Contributing Writer for Forbes.