Gun sales on the rise during coronavirus pandemic, says Manitoba sporting goods retailer

Toilet paper isn’t the only thing Manitobans are stocking up on during the coronavirus pandemic.

The owner of a Portage la Prairie-area outdoors shop told 680 CJOB that his customers have been buying more guns and ammunition than usual since the COVID-19 crisis began.

“In terms of the reasons why they’re buying, we’ve had quite a number,” said Wade Duncan of MacDonald’s Sporting Goods.

“The Canadian dollar’s taken a hit, so prices are going up. We’re having a lot of people want to stock up a little bit before it goes up too much. We have people who are saying, ‘I know I’m gonna be off work for a while… the weather’s nice, so maybe I can enjoy the range a little bit.’”

Duncan said the third group of customers are people who are preparing for worst-case scenarios.

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“We’re having people that are being fuelled by the media reports in the U.S., where the shelves are bare and stuff like that. I won’t say ‘preppers,’ but they want to have some backup, some inventory.”

READ MORE: Coronavirus — Firearms and ammo sales spike across Canada amid COVID-19, gun law fears

For the most part, though, Duncan said the customers — who have increased his store’s firearms sales by about a third over this time last year — are people who are reacting the same way as the wider population has been to other product shortages: they’re buying them while they still can.

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“They’re worried about down the road. Things might get a little tight.

“Our reps and salesmen are phoning, saying, ‘The U.S. is sold out of this, sold out of that… Don’t expect anything.’”

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