The number of Canadians with a gun licence rose to a record in March after 24 straight quarterly increases, RCMP data show. The surging appeal of sport shooting also drove Canadian handgun owners to a new high.
The country counted 2,186,161 adults with a firearm Possession and Acquisition Licence (PAL) at March 31, the Ottawa-based Royal Canadian Mounted Police, which oversees permitting, told TheGunBlog.ca May 15 in response to our request for the data.
More than a thousand people got licensed each week on average as the popularity of sport shooting with handguns, rifles and shotguns rises, especially among women. Many of Canada’s 1,400 target ranges are at maximum capacity. Movies that feature guns and shooting are setting box-office records.
Liberals Kill Sport, Industry
The governing Liberal Party is preparing to cripple or kill the shooting sports and the firearm industry.
Bill Blair, the minister exploring mass gun confiscation, told CTV News last week the government doesn’t exclude ordering gun bans before the October election. A gun-rights group said May 10 the government will ban AR-15 target rifles.
Bans for Votes
The Liberals are also about to pass Bill C-71 as a new law to simplify prohibition and confiscation, starting with the owners of more than 10,000 rifles. Opinion polls show Liberal voters are the most hostile to gun owners and that new restrictions could help the party win votes.
John Wick 3
Proficiency with guns and shooting has spread to popular culture and entertainment.
John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum set an opening box-office record for North America last weekend, Variety reported May 19.
The firearm-focused action movie with Keanu Reeves, a naturalized Canadian, and Halle Berry required months of training in marksmanship and gun handling led by Taran Butler, a competitor and gunsmith.
(Handgun Owners Rise to record at 31 March 2019)
Handgun Owners Surge
- The number of people who own at least one pistol or revolver jumped 6.1 percent to 260,677 at the end of March from 245,726 a year earlier, RCMP data showed. (That means less than half of RPAL holders own a handgun.)
- That’s equivalent to more than 40 new owners per day, or almost 1,250 per month.
- The total represents less than 1 percent of eligible voters.
More Context & Data
- Personal gun licences climbed 2.5 percent to 2,186,161 at the end of March this year from 2,133,793 at the end of March 2018, the RCMP data showed.
- The RCMP restated the figures after Jan. 2018, showing about 11,000 fewer PALs each month than data they shared with TheGunBlog.ca last August.
- The number of PAL holders has risen each quarter for six consecutive years, since March 2013.
- On top of the almost 2.2 million licensed adults, millions more unlicensed family and friends of all ages hunt and shoot safely and responsibly under the control of permit holders.
- Canada requires business licences for gun stores and museum licences for museums, in addition to personal licences for individuals.
- A PAL allows the holder to buy and own certain guns and ammunition. It doesn’t allow carrying a loaded firearm for personal safety. Police reject almost all requests for carry permits.
- “Restricted”: 608,649 people had a so-called “Restricted” PAL at April 30, Senator Pierre Dalphond said May 18 on Twitter, citing the RCMP. That compares with 579,323 at the end of June 2018. Many handguns and AR-15 rifles require a “Restricted” licence.
- “Prohibited”: 48,399 people had a “Prohibited” licence at April 30, Dalphond tweeted. That compares with 50,740 at June 30.
- Canadian law classifies guns arbitrarily as “Non-restricted,” “Restricted” and “Prohibited.”
- All guns and their owners are tightly restricted.
- All guns are banned for everyone without a licence.