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New survey reveals economic impact of hunting and shooting sports industry

Hunting rifles are seen on display in a glass case at a gun and rifle store in downtown Vancouver, Wednesday, Sept. 15, 2010. The Senate has passed a Liberal government bill that would expand the scope of background checks on those who want to acquire a gun. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward.
Hunting rifles are seen on display in a glass case at a gun and rifle store in downtown Vancouver, Wednesday, Sept. 15, 2010. The Senate has passed a Liberal government bill that would expand the scope of background checks on those who want to acquire a gun. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

The Canadian Sporting Arms and Ammunition Association says the survey reveals the shooting sports industry is worth 8 point 9 billion dollars to the Canadian economy.  Ontario residents spent one point nine billion on hunting and sports shooting.

“In the Peterborough area alone we have two manufacturers, three distributors, we have 4 retail outlets, we estimate Peterborough supports 250 thousand square feet of industrial strength for the sporting arms industry and about 300 jobs are based here in the Peterborough area” says Alison De Groot, Managing Director of the CSAAA.

READ MORE: Ontario halts hunting licence fee increases

De Groot says for the first time, they know the specific impact sports shooting.  Sports shooting is competition based, using small calibre rifles, handguns and semi-automatic rifles, not out in the field but on indoor ranges. The survey indicates 1 point 8 million Canadians take part in shooting sports and she adds a lot of those are women.

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“Our retailers are telling us this is the growth area of shooting sports is the participation of women, so while there might be a lot of barriers to women to participating in hunting, the safety of the range, the indoor nature of sport shooting, the year round access seems to be drawing a significant number of women” says Alison De Groot.

READ MORE: Women taking up hunting in increasing numbers in B.C.

De Groot hopes the new economic data will provide a different topic than the usual pro-gun/anti-gun discussion around the country