As a law-abiding gun owner, you’ve undoubtedly heard a few misconceptions and wild exaggerations about your favourite sport. Putting aside the political arguments – a no-win debate for both sides – there are caricatures of shooting enthusiasts that have been repeated so often they’re assumed to be true. Except it turns out they’re not.

Here are the three biggest facts that most people – even you! – have probably gotten wrong about Canadian gun owners: 

1. Canadians don’t like guns

Au contraire, about 22% of Canadian households own guns.

More Canadian adults have a firearm license than play hockey, golf, soccer, or baseball.

Over 20 million guns are registered in Canada.

2. Guns are mostly in Western Canada

The Canadian city with the most licensed shooters is Montreal, with over 100,000. Of the major cities, Calgary has the highest per-capita rate, however the city with the second highest number of licensed shooters per capita is Ottawa.

Ontario has 33 gun clubs and ranges, as many as the rest of the country combined.

3. Shooting is dominated by men

While a majority of North American gun owners are male, women are catching up.

The spike is mostly in the US, where 25% of women own guns, up from 13% in 2005. In Canada the gap remains wider, with women representing only 12% of gun owners.

That said, Canada was represented by two shooters in the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, both of them women. The 2020 Olympics (being held in 2021 in Tokyo) has only one qualified Canadian shooter – also a woman.

The President of Canada’s government-recognized shooting organization, the Shooting Federation of Canada, is Dr. Sandra Honour.

Remember that arming yourself with facts is the best defence when faced with a misconception about shooting.   

Stay safe and happy shooting!

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