Red Deer gun owners stocking up on ammo

Hunting and fishing shop owner says tough to say how much COVID-19 has to do with sales surge

Business has been brisk at a Red Deer sportings good store, with a steady stream of customers looking to build up their ammunition stocks.

Dale Malin, owner of The Sportsmen’s Den, said the COVID-19 virus — which has been behind a big spike in gun and ammunition sales in some U.S. jurisdictions — is likely at least partly behind the buying spree.

“I’m sure a little bit of that is because we’ve been selling a lot of buckshot and slugs, too. So I imagine it has a little bit to do with that.

“We moved a lot of SKS stuff,” he said, of the Soviet semi-automatic rifle. “Our SKS ammo, we had a run on that.

“We’re doing a lot better than normal, I would say. (Compared with) normal sales, I’d say probably three times as much.”

Malin is not reading too much into the uptick in business. Many customers are just looking to fill in gaps in their ammunition supply. A few might have been looking to spend a little of their tax rebate cheques as well, he said.

He suspects a few farmers are building up their ammunition supply to give them something to do during self-quarantining. After a few days or weeks stuck in the house, a little gopher shooting might help break up the monotony, said the gun store owner.

Malin said he’s ready if demand continues to be high.

“I’ve got lots of ammo, so I’m not too worried about running out.”

Red Deer Shooting Centre has also experienced more traffic than usual.

“I can say we’ve been busy,” said employee Cody Marryat. People have been buying a “little bit of everything.”

How many customers had COVID-19 in the backs of their minds is impossible to say.

“I’m assuming some of it’s related to that.”

Derek Bostock, owner of the shooting centre, said they are always busy and it’s hard to pinpoint whether anyone is coming in because of the pandemic.

Bostock believes less attention should be focused on gun sales and more on getting more police on the streets to protect the city during these “trying times.”

With files from The Canadian Press


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

230 new COVID-19 cases reported over the weekend

City of Red Deer has nine active cases

City grapples with choosing public art

‘Art is in the eye of the beholder’

Wage subsidy will be extended until December amid post-COVID reopening: Trudeau

Trudeau said the extension will ‘give greater certainty and support to businesses’

As postponed NHL season resumes, some fans say the lure of parties will be strong

EDMONTON — As hockey fans gear up for a truncated season to… Continue reading

QUIZ: Are you ready for a summer road trip?

How much do you really know about roads, motor vehicles and car culture? Take this quiz to find out.

David Marsden: The remaking of Westerner Park

Red Deer residents have been tested by the COVID-19 pandemic in innumerable… Continue reading

In reversal, UK says it will make masks mandatory in shops

LONDON — The British government decided Monday to require people to wear… Continue reading

New Zealand opposition leader quits 2 months from election

WELLINGTON, New Zealand — The leader of New Zealand’s opposition National Party… Continue reading

Federal judge voids Georgia ‘heartbeat’ abortion restriction

ATLANTA — A federal judge on Monday permanently blocked Georgia’s 2019 “heartbeat”… Continue reading

Mayor: US Marshals investigate shooting at Portland protest

PORTLAND, Ore. — The U.S. Marshals Service is investigating after a protester… Continue reading

Statistics Canada analysis suggests small hit to inflation from pandemic

OTTAWA — Statistics Canada says Canadians’ buying patterns changed so much during… Continue reading

Return of North American economy will negate need for tariffs, PM tells Trump

WASHINGTON — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau urged Donald Trump to think twice… Continue reading

Pieridae Energy says engineering company seeking exit from Goldboro LNG deal

CALGARY — The engineering company hired to build the proposed Goldboro LNG… Continue reading

Most Read