Thunder Bay

Ammunition sales spike at Thunder Bay sporting goods store

The owner of a sporting store in Thunder Bay, Ont. says the Covid-19 pandemic, and the associated slowdown of factory production in the United States, has lead to a spike in ammunition sales. Adrian Hagar of D&R Sporting Goods said sales started to increase last week, and then really took off last Friday, March 13, when word that ammunition was selling out south of the border started to get out.

Pandemic has created concerns about ammunition supply, home safety

Hagar said that March at his store is usually about ice fishing, not ammunition sales. (photo: Gord Ellis )

The owner of a sporting store in Thunder Bay, Ont. says the Covid-19 pandemic, and the associated slowdown of factory production in the United States, has lead to a spike in ammunition sales.

Adrian Hagar of D&R Sporting Goods said sales started to increase last week, and then really took off last Friday, March 13, when word that ammunition was selling out south of the border started to get out.

Hagar said all sort of rounds are being bought by his customers including both pistol and hunting ammunition.

He said although unusual in March, these types of runs on ammunition have happened before.

"Obviously after 9/11, and then any time there is war talk in the U.S., the (Americans) start stocking up and the word gets on the news and the Internet," he said. "Then the Canadians do the same. And then the availability goes down months down the road."

Hagar said the store was ready for the burst in sales, as his fall ammunition order came in just before the traffic picked up. He said he has not needed to limit sales of any rounds as of yet, and as a retailer, wants to sell out product.

Hagar noted the process of buying ammunition is carefully controlled and requires a valid Canadian firearms licence, and the number of that licence is recorded when a sale is made.

Boxes of various bullets for sale. (photo: Gord Ellis )

Hagar said although most of the buyer concerns seem to be about the possibility of an ammunition supply slow down, he suspects there are other reasons for the increase in sales.

"There are some people that obviously are concerned for their well-being and safety which I don't think we have to worry about too much up in Thunder Bay, in Canada," he said. "But you know paranoia does play into the cards."

Hagar said most of the ammunition sold come from the states, while the rest comes from Europe.

"There's only one or two manufacturers in Canada, and it's mostly shotgun shells," he said.

Hagar said with the increase in ammunition there has also been more firearms sold.

He said March break sales are usually all about ice fishing, but he said this year has been shaping up quite a bit differently.

"Yesterday I had three people who had had firearms licences for a couple years buy their first firearms," he said. "So whether that's a coincidence or not, you know, they never mentioned. But they came in and got their first firearm and some ammunition."

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