Gun stores across Canada have been selling out of AR-15-style rifles as Canadians rush to purchase the firearm with the threat of an imminent gun ban.
Staff at the Montreal Shooting Club say AR-15 sales were up 75 percent at that location. Though they don’t expect the surge in sales to impact public safety, contrary to messaging from the Liberals that legal guns are the problem.
“People who are vetted and who own guns legally don’t go out shooting people. They have to make the laws more difficult for criminals, not for legal gun owners, yet that’s what they’re doing.” said a staff member at the club.
Other firearm stores across the country have been selling out of the rifles as quickly as they are getting them in, with gun blogs abuzz telling license holders in Canada who has what in stock.
Tracey Wilson, spokesperson of the Canadian Coalition for Firearm Rights, said a source from the firearms processing centre in New Brunswick told her it is receiving about 1,800 transfer requests per day for AR-15s,
Wilson and the CCFR have been calling on gun owners to show up in droves to buy guns potentially facing prohibition, which they’ve been sharing online with the hashtag #BillBlairSentMe.
As detailed in a recent video, True North’s Andrew Lawton was among those who purchased an AR-15 to preempt a possible ban.
The surge in sales was believed to be motivated by Independent MP Tony Clement’s announcement in the House of Commons that the Liberal government is planning on announcing a gun ban in the near future.
According to Clement’s source, the announcement was supposed to occur at the Women Deliver 2019 conference. Despite Clement’s warning, no such announcement took place, though Minister Bill Blair has refused to take an order-in-council off the table.
The Liberal government has also since indicated is considering banning handguns and “assault rifles.” With the lack of time between now and the federal election, a cabinet directive would be the only way any significant prohibition or restriction could be taken by the government.
“Assault-style rifles are military weapons designed to hunt people, and not animals, in the most efficient manner possible that maximizes the body count at minimum effort,” said Blair’s office in a statement.
“There is no option that will be discounted and all possibilities will be considered.”
The AR-15 is not a single gun, but a style of firearm that is legal to purchase in Canada with a restricted license from most vendors. They can cost anywhere from $500 to $5000 depending on the models. Magazines are limited to five rounds each in Canada.