Handguns are flying off the shelves in a Richmond gun shop following the federal government’s latest announcement that it will freeze the sale and import of handguns in Canada.
On Monday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the introduction of new legislation to further strengthen gun control in Canada and curb gun violence.
Some of the measures include implementing a national freeze on handguns to prevent individuals from buying, selling, and transferring handguns within the country.
Upon this announced, some Richmondites have decided to “load up” on some handguns before it’s too late.
David Yang, manager of West Coast Hunting Supplies on No.3 Rd, told the Richmond News that the gun sales at his store had gone up significantly after Trudeau’s announcement on Monday.
“We have been so busy this week and all handguns at my store might be sold out by the end of this Saturday. Customers kept coming in and many of them aren’t happy about the proposed legislation,” said Yang, who has been running the gun supply store for over ten years in Richmond.
To purchase a gun here, a person needs to go through a background check with the police, take Canadian Firearms Safety Course and get a Possession and Acquisition license, explained Yang.
“Therefore, the new rule is going to hurt well-behaved, law-abiding gun owners more than people actually involved in organized crimes,” he said.
One of the customers who chose to remain anonymous told the News that he decided to “react quickly” after hearing the announcement.
“I usually hang out with my friends at the outdoor shooting range for fun and the latest announcement made me worried about the shortage of shotguns in authorized stores in the future,” said the customer.
Although customers have been lining up to purchase handguns, Yang said he is unsure about his store’s future.
“Our industry has been hit hard by the ongoing supply chain issue and the new legislation might make us struggle more. Our sales have increased dramatically this week, but we are worried once we run out of supplies or Ottawa passes the legislation, our sales might die down in the future,” he said.
Richmond local MP Parm Bains from Steveston-Richmond East said the federal government’s payback program will offer compensation to help affected owners and businesses.
“It is my wish that Canada can be a nation that never welcomes gun culture. We listened to many victims across the country and Canadians deserve to feel safe in their communities, homes, schools, and workplaces,” said Bains.
“Canadians told us they wanted to see more action, more quickly, and we’re following through on our commitment to do more.”
Another local Liberal MP Wilson Miao said they understand the majority of firearm owners do not possess any harm to the community, and the main reason for this measure is to make sure these firearms are not in the hands of dangerous people.