Kelowna gunsmith Chris Weber says he’s seen lots of changes in both the popularity of firearms and the types that are popular in the 25 years he’s owned Weber and Markin Gunsmiths.

Kelowna gunsmith has seen major change in firearms ownership

Chris Weber says half his sales today are handguns and many buyers aren't interested in hunting.

There’s been a distinct change in the types of people buying firearms since 9-11.

Traditionally, hunters bought firearms, as did target shooters, and people who were simply passionate about firearms.

While they still buy firearms, there’s a new breed of purchaser who say they just want to target practice.

However, according to Chris Weber, owner of Weber and Markin Gunsmiths in Kelowna, who has 34 years of experience in the industry here, today half his sales are of handguns.

Weber is one of only three gunsmiths in Canada with the level of qualifications he has as a gunmaker, and he is a member of the American Custom Gunmakers Guild.

He doesn’t just sell firearms, he lovingly creates and restores them from pieces of wood and iron, sometimes rusted iron and pitted and scratched wood, along with his gunsmith partner Steve Markin.

“A lot of today’s purchasers don’t even have a hunting licence,” he notes.

Until about five years ago, the 25-year-old Kelowna gunsmithing business mainly did specialty, custom gunsmithing work for customers from across the country.

Today, the retail sale of new and used firearms has out-paced that work, says Weber, with the biggest increase in the past couple of years in handguns.

“We’re very influenced by the buying habits of the U.S. and firearms sales in the U.S. have soared in recent years, to the point where it’s now very difficult to get powder and bullets and some ammo, even here,” noted Weber.

While hard-core firearms afficionados might have considerable sums of money tied up in their hobby, most hunters continue to purchase basic rifles that aren’t worth a lot of money, he added.

Just Posted

Rockets prepare for three-game series against Prince George

The Kelowna Rockets will be looking to Kyle Topping during the series

Okanagan rugby community raises funds for cancer services

The first ever fundraiser held on Sunday raised $14,000

Kelowna to be home of green self storage facility

The building will be the first of its kind in North America

One night raises more than $100,000 for Kelowna charity

Third Space Life Charity’s gala raised more than $120,000 for mental health programs in Kelowna

Dog control ramping up on Okanagan Rail Trail

RDNO taking extra precautions to ensure dogs remain on leash

VIDEO: Rare close encounter with whale pod spotted off B.C. waters

Pod of southern resident orca whales breach within arms length of whale watchers

Dead B.C. motorcyclist was member of group that raced down mountain road

Some group members record their rides on Strathcona Parkway and post times to page

Indigenous athletes in spotlight at BC Sports Hall of Fame

New gallery to feature Carey Price, Kaila Mussel and Richard Peter

Okanagan College student population climbs

Enrolment up nearly 14 per cent

B.C. couple who went missing on flight from Edmonton named by family

Family released a statement Wednesday saying they’re still intent on finding the two-seater plane

Coldstream supports Okanagan College Campus residence project

Project would see a 100-bed residence on the Vernon campus in Coldstream

VIDEO: A close look at what you were breathing during the B.C. wildfire season

Electron microscope images show soot and tar particles generated by worst B.C. fire season

Okanagan show supports youth mental health, suicide prevention

Robb Nash will be performing Oct. 2 and 3 at the Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre

B.C. woman donates $250,000 to ovarian cancer research for friends

Two of Patty Pitts’s friends passed away from the disease within a year

Most Read