The NFA notes women are a huge proportion of COVID-19 gun sale spike

Written By Wyatt Claypool, Posted on April 2, 2020

On March 26 on an episode of the Canadian National Firearms Association’s (NFA) online show “NFA Talk” the President of the NFA Sheldon Clare, Ontario Director Jordan Vandenhoff, and Executive Director Charles Zach, discussed several topics including the mass buy-ups of firearms from the COVID19 pandemic.

When the topic of the episode transitioned over to the spike in firearms purchases due to COVID19 Clare said, “One gun store owner told me that fully half of his clients who had come in and started buying firearms and ammunition were women, because they felt they needed to have something for protection.” Having a large portion of gun purchases being made by women is unusual and shows a shift in what is motivating the current buyouts happening all over Canada. 


Vandenhoff told The National Telegraph that at the retail gun store he works at, “we had a big run on guns and 70 percent of buyers were women”, and that from speaking to customers he can confirm that “people were buying guns as they were scared of not knowing what was going to happen or what path this could lead us down.”

Since both purchase and ownership require a PAL licence, it may be that because of COVID19 many women who hold a PAL license, but have not previously owned firearms, are taking the time to purchase one now.

Vandenhoff also noted that the most popular selling firearms currently are bullpup shotguns and pistol calibre carbines because you can “buy it and take it home that day” unlike other guns like pistols that sometimes require weeks for approval to be granted before you can take it home.

In Ontario Vandenhoff said that the wait time for pistol approvals is “4 to 5 weeks” and with the COVID19 pandemic it could be even longer. 

Women as voters tend to value things like health and safety as well as stability more than men. These values may better contextualize why many women are becoming gun buyers in the midst of the COVID19 pandemic.  Women are not the majority of gun enthusiasts, yet are buying-up rifles, pistols, and shotguns, showing that personal protection is likely the primary motivator.

Clare sees the sudden interest in firearms as a potential benefit in getting change to our bad firearm laws, as he argues the buy-up is teaching Canadians the value of firearm ownership and how current regulations aren’t helpful.

Clare said, “I think that maybe there is a shift in public opinion about the value of firearms and firearms ownership, particularly when now people understand that there are a lot of controls in place to stop people from getting legal access to firearms.”

The current firearms regulations are believed to be excessive and already bar people who are not eligible from purchasing a gun legally.   Unfortunately, the process puts gun buyers through regulatory hurdles that do nothing but lengthen the time it takes to legally obtain a firearm for legitimate buyers, and employs a large bureaucracy to do it.

It is unclear what the exact cultural effects will be on gun culture in Canada due to the COVID19 pandemic, but for the moment it has put firearms ownership and personal protection in the forefront of many Canadians’ minds.

(The episode of NFA Talk is linked below)

Wyatt Claypool

Wyatt is a student at Mount Royal University, where he is the president of its Campus Conservative club. In his writing, he focuses on covering provincial and federal politics, firearms regulation, and the energy sector. Wyatt has also previously written for The Post Millennial.

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