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Conditions related to COVID-19 have caused an ammunition shortage.
Winkel said increased demand due to the pandemic started the shortage here and in the United States. An increase in new hunters has also been well documented south of the border, but it is a little harder to define in Canada however, there has been an uptick in Ontario.
“At this time, there appears to be higher than expected Ontario resident hunting licence sales when compared to the historical trend,” said Maimoona Dinani, acting media relations officer with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry. “The ministry has not done an analysis to determine if new or lapsed hunters are taking up hunting in 2020.”
Increased demand has been hampered by a shortage of raw materials – again caused by the pandemic – and federal employees who issue licenses working from home, which is slower.
There is also speculation that there will be another American buying spree due to Biden’s election – due to the perception that his administration will be more restrictive regarding firearms.
To make matters worse, the bankruptcy and sale of Remington ammunition brought their production to a halt. Winkel said this represented 35% of his sales. With Vista Outdoor purchasing Remington, the goal is to be producing the Remington products by year-end 2020. However, Winkel said this, along with Barnes being sold to Sierra Bullets, would require new licenses for these products, which are again coming slower than normal.
Winkel was told it would be the third quarter of 2021 before he sees some purchase orders placed now.
The Remington bankruptcy, combined with pandemic-related factors, have also resulted in fewer guns on the shelves in most gun stores.