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“More Canadian Than Hockey” – Canadian Gun Licenses Hit Record High

Monday, February 12, 2024

“More Canadian Than Hockey” – Canadian Gun Licenses Hit Record High

Despite – or perhaps, because of – the relentless campaign being waged against responsible gun owners by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government, the number of Canadians with gun licenses has hit a new high. As of December 2023, there were over 2.35 million Canadians with an RCMP-vetted Possession and Acquisition License (PAL). According to the thegunblog.ca website, the “number of PAL holders rose by 87,694 in 2023, the biggest annual advance since at least 2003,” and, with the exception of the 2020 pandemic year, the number of licenses “has been climbing since 2009… More Canadian adults have a firearm licence than play hockey.”

A PAL is required to own a firearm or ammunition. In addition, the RCMP website states that, “[u]sually if you are in possession of a firearm, you need a licence even if you are not the owner and never handle the firearm.”

Obtaining a PAL is a testament to the dedication and determination of individuals in the firearm-positive community. An applicant for a PAL must first pay for and successfully complete the Canadian Firearms Safety Course (in the case of “restricted” firearms, the Canadian Restricted Firearms Safety Course as well), submit an application with supporting documents (including proof of identity, a photo plus the signature and personal information of the “photo guarantor,” two references, the signatures and personal information about the applicant’s current and past spouse/conjugal partner), and a non-refundable fee of C$64.54. The RCMP will conduct a criminal record check, background check, reference check and mental health check. There is a mandatory 28-day waiting period for first-time applicants. In terms of overall wait times, the RCMP advised last year that the processing time was generally 35 days, although not everyone would agree. One individual’s path to a PAL, documented by thegunblog.ca, took roughly four months and cost almost C$500. PALs must be renewed every five years.

Regardless, the popularity of firearms continues to rise. The trend in the True North mirrors what has been happening in the United States.

Based on sales-only adjusted NICS data (filtering out NICS checks processed for non-purchase purposes), America’s National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) reports that firearm sales for the last quarter of 2023 were up 4.6% over the same period in 2022, and rounded out a multi-year streak of record-high sales. “In the end, 2023 was the fourth highest year on record for firearm sales since the FBI’s NICS system was first implemented, trailing behind only 2020, 2021 and 2022.”

The NSSF estimates that almost five million Americans became first-time gun owners in 2023, and an NBC News national poll in November showed, for the first time since the poll was initiated, that a majority of American voters now live in a gun-owning household. Significantly, while the overall number of respondents who said they did is up ten points from the poll results in 2013, the share of Democrat voters in a household with guns has climbed from 33% in 2004 to 41% in 2023. The polling firm observes that, “In the last ten years, we’ve grown [10 points] in gun ownership. That’s a very stunning number… By and large, things don’t change that dramatically that quickly when it comes to something as fundamental as whether you own a gun.”

The NSSF predicts 2024 “will likely be another year of record firearm sales” owing to presidential election year trends. “In every presidential election year since 2000, yearly NSSF-adjusted firearm sales totals have been higher than the previous year, in some cases the previous few years.”

All this must be galling to the likes of Justin Trudeau and Joe Biden, both of whom have campaigned on platforms of ever-more radical gun control measures. 

Unlike the rhetoric about gun violence prevention and “common sense” gun safety laws being peddled by Trudeau, Biden and their anti-gun compatriots, responsible gun owners on both sides of the border share an understanding that the real threat to public safety isn’t ordinary, decent citizens but violent criminals with illegal firearms.

With elections looming large in 2024, freedom-loving gun owners will once again be offered the opportunity to choose between more pointless gun control and actual common sense. While the stakes are undoubtedly high for America’s gun voters, those in Canada are on the brink of what may be the extinction of their gun rights. A Canadian gun rights group offers the grim reminder that if “Trudeau is elected again, he will complete the destruction of Canada’s hunting and sport shooting communities that he began in 2015 and ramped up in 2019.” The upcoming election may be “our last chance to remain lawful gun owners.”

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Louisiana: House Passes Constitutional Carry, Now Headed to Gov. Landry’s Desk for His Signature

Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Louisiana: House Passes Constitutional Carry, Now Headed to Gov. Landry’s Desk for His Signature

Today, the House voted 75-28 to pass Senate Bill 1, the NRA-backed constitutional carry legislation that passed the Senate last week.

Louisiana: Constitutional Carry Advances to the House Floor – Final Vote Imminent

Monday, February 26, 2024

Louisiana: Constitutional Carry Advances to the House Floor – Final Vote Imminent

Today, the House Administration of Criminal Justice Committee passed the NRA-backed constitutional carry legislation, Senate Bill 1, by a 10-3 vote. The bill now heads to the House floor for a final vote this week. SB 1 ...

Washington: Two Anti-Gun Bills Advance Through the Legislature

Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Washington: Two Anti-Gun Bills Advance Through the Legislature

On Tuesday, February 27th, HB 2118, the “FFL Killer” passed the Senate, and SB 5444, "sensitive places" expansion, passed the House. Both bills were amended in the second chamber and now must return to their ...

Maine: PETITION: Stand with Maine Gun Retailers

Monday, February 26, 2024

Maine: PETITION: Stand with Maine Gun Retailers

Gun Control groups are launching an all-out assault on the Second Amendment in Maine. Their most recent tactic?

Maine: Gun Registries, Red Flags, Universal Background Checks and more.

Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Maine: Gun Registries, Red Flags, Universal Background Checks and more.

It has been a busy week for Maine’s anti-gun politicians. From releasing a new bill that would implement Universal Background Checks and Red Flag laws in Maine, to Rep. Jared Golden (ME-02) pushing for a ...

Minnesota: Two Anti Gun Bills Scheduled to be Heard in Committee

Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Minnesota: Two Anti Gun Bills Scheduled to be Heard in Committee

On Thursday February 28th at 10:30 am, House File 601 and House File 4300 will be heard in Room 200 of the State Office Building by the Public Safety Finance and Policy Committee and the Children and ...

South Dakota: Enhanced Conceal Carry Bill Passed in Committee

Tuesday, February 27, 2024

South Dakota: Enhanced Conceal Carry Bill Passed in Committee

Yesterday, Senate Bill 203 was passed in the House Judiciary Committee with a vote of 11-1 and will be heard on the House floor today, February 27th. The bill allows gun owners with enhanced concealed ...

Minnesota: "Assault Weapons" Ban Referred to the Committee on Public Safety Finance and Policy

Wednesday, February 14, 2024

Minnesota: "Assault Weapons" Ban Referred to the Committee on Public Safety Finance and Policy

On Monday, House File 3570 was referred to the House Committee on Public Safety Finance and Policy and would ban so called “assault weapons” by expanding upon an existing statute used to define these firearms. The bill ...

South Carolina: Permitless Carry Passes the Senate, Waiting on Concurrence by the House

Tuesday, February 6, 2024

South Carolina: Permitless Carry Passes the Senate, Waiting on Concurrence by the House

Last week, South Carolina moved one step closer to becoming the 28th state to enact Permitless/Constitutional Carry! This effort has been years in the making, clearing a major hurdle by passing the Senate, which has been ...

Louisiana: Senate Passes Constitutional Carry - Take Action Now!

Thursday, February 22, 2024

Louisiana: Senate Passes Constitutional Carry - Take Action Now!

Today, the Senate passed Senate Bill 1, NRA backed constitutional carry legislation, on a 28-10 vote. The bill will next be considered in the House. Please contact your state representative and ask them to SUPPORT Senate Bill 1.

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NRA ILA

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.