Mapping firearms licences by postal code


A large-scale Fusion Tables-based mapping project for Global News I produced came out today, covering firearms licence rates by about 1,600 postal codes.

Here is the map. It offers some clues to how the politics of guns and geography have intersected during this campaign.

The RCMP released firearms licence totals by the first three characters of the holder’s postal code (forward sortation area, or FSA) to me under access-to-information legislation. Of about 1,600 FSAs in the country, data for about 120 was withheld. Some of these, like Toronto’s Pearson airport, have no residents.

Firearms licence rates follow a consistent pattern across the country. Wilderness areas have the highest rates – in a postal area taking in southern Labrador and Newfoundland’s Great Northern Peninsula, over a quarter of the population of all ages has a gun licence.

Remote areas across the country follow this pattern, with very high rates in Newfoundland outside St. John’s, western New Brunswick, northern Quebec and Ontario, northwestern Alberta, the northern B.C. Interior and the Yukon.

Broadly speaking, agricultural areas and the BC coast have fewer licenced firearms. This band takes in rural areas of the Prairies, southern Ontario and Quebec, eastern New Brunswick, PEI and much of Nova Scotia.

Urban and suburban areas have the lowest rates, with the bottom 25 list mostly made up of neighbourhoods in Toronto and Montreal.

There’s a throw to it from 11:15:

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