[7] In 1976, the Solicitor General of Canada estimated there were 6 million gun owners in Canada with 18 million firearms. Testimony by Justice Department officials at the Committee hearings on Bill C-17 indicated that the long-term average net importation (imports minus exports) of firearms into Canada is approximately 190,000 per year. The net importation rate indicates that firearms ownership has increased by over 3.4 million between 1976 and 1994. Estimating 420,000 for destroyed firearms, that brings the total to 21 million; an increase of 117% over the 1976 figure.

The figure of 420,000 for destroyed firearms appears reasonable. Firearms are very durable goods and can remain in service for over a century with minimal maintenance.