Nick’s Sports Shop in Toronto to Sell Guns as Mayor Seeks Bans
TheGunBlog.ca — Nick’s Sports Shop Ltd. said it will restart selling handguns at its store on Yonge Street in downtown Toronto to support the shooting community and defy Mayor John Tory’s push for new bans.
The plan makes Nick’s the latest gun store to oppose municipal and federal government hostility aimed at millions of Canadian hunters and sport shooters. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is planning a new law with more prohibitions for lawful gun owners and examining other bans.
Paul Margettas, who manages Nick’s, said today he’s “getting geared to the firearms market” to serve shooters and oppose City Hall.
Mayor John Tory was re-elected in October after campaigning to shut down gun stores and take away firearms from men and women with federal firearm licences. Tory invited the city’s 100,000 sport shooters to leave Toronto as he blamed them for gang violence that has soared since he first took office in 2014.
“We are a community in Toronto,” Margettas told TheGunBlog.ca from his store counter. “And by banning handgun sales, our elected officials are, in a way, saying we ourselves are selling those firearms on the streets.”
Nick’s joins Al Flaherty’s Outdoor Store in Toronto and Wanstalls Tactical & Sporting Arms in British Columbia among retailers standing against new government restrictions on lawful shooters and businesses.
The hunting, camping and military-surplus retailer will begin offering Glock and Beretta handguns from a secure area at its main street-facing store, Margettas said. He also plans to sell optics and other firearm accessories next year. The store used to sell guns actively and scaled down after a break in many years ago.
“We’re getting back into it,” Margettas said. “As word gets out there, we’ll slowly be adding higher-end models like SIG Sauer. It’s definitely a matter of ‘walk before you run.’”
More Canadian Than Hockey
Hunting is at the core of Canada’s heritage and target shooting is one of the country’s safest and most-popular sports. More men and women have a federal firearm licence than play golf, hockey or who ski.
All firearms are banned already for everyone under threat of prison unless they have a temporary waiver authorized by the federal police.
Nick’s, which operates on a run-down stretch of Toronto’s central artery between the Eaton Centre shopping mall and Bloor Street, will start by catering to sport-shooters seeking a narrow range of products in store or that can be ordered.
“We’ll show them what we have in stock,” Margettas said.
The shop won’t carry the wide selection of guns and gear available across town at Al Flaherty’s, one of the largest independent gunshops in Canada. It also won’t have the same counter space for shoppers to handle a variety of handguns, rifles and shotguns under the supervision of staff.
Margettas said he has been going to Al Flaherty’s for years.
“We are competing businesses, but we have the same interests,” Margettas said.
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