A hunting and firearms store in Maple Ridge has seen a 200 per cent jump in gun sales over the past couple of weeks.
A large portion of the increase in sales could be due to the COVID-19 crisis, said Matt Mendel, co-owner of Wanstalls, that sells firearms and hunting supplies right across the country.
But, there could be other factors contributing to the increase as well, he said.
“I think it’s a perfect storm of scenarios going on right now,” noted Mendel, whose business is only doing online sales and curbside pickup, where orders will be brought out of the store for local customers.
Some people who have unused hunting licences might be thinking this is the perfect time to go, said Mendel.
And, a poor performing Canadian dollar might mean that the price of firearms could go up in the future, he said.
If the value of the Canadian dollar goes up, any new inventory they get at the store will be priced more expensive because of the higher dollar.
“If a shotgun is $1,000 this week in my store. Two weeks from now there could be a 10 to 15 per cent price increase on it just because of the dollar,” he said.
Anyone sitting on the fence will opt to buy now rather than later, continued Mendel.
“Also, we are coming into another election year in the States and that always produces panic buying down south,” he added.
Since about 95 per cent of the firearms and supplies that they sell comes from the United States, an increase in demand down south means less coming across the border for Canadians.
Mendel said he is surprised with regards to the panic buying over the COVID-19 pandemic, but, he wants to remind people, that firearms can’t be purchased in Canada for the purpose of self-defense.
“I don’t understand what people think is going to happen where the worst place in the world right now that’s affected by it is Italy and they are all hanging out of their windows and singing to one another,” he said.