Map(s) of the Week: Gun ownership, week 2
This week, our series on gun ownership in the GTA continues with three more maps:
This is a map showing which GTA neighbourhoods have had their gun licence rates rise, fall or stay stable over the last four years.
The firearms licence rate has generally fallen or remained stable through most of the GTA over the last four years. Across the area, the gun license rate fell from 16.1 per 1,000 to 14.5 per 1,000 over the period.
The licence rate rose by more than 5% in 18 FSAs, with L4L (Woodbridge) L4J (Thornhill) L4S (northeast Richmond Hill) and L3Y (Newmarket) topping the list.
There are some odd cases. L4H (Kleinburg) and L5W (the Derry Rd. W. and Mavis Rd. area of Mississauga) are under 30% of their gun licence rate in 2004. What seems to have happened in Kleinburg (where population increased from 7,710 to 49,799 over the four-year period) was that the gun licence rate has moved from a rural level of 67 per 1,000 to a suburban level of 16 per 1,000. The actual number of licence holders in L4H has increased.
L6C (Unionville) and L7A (northwest Brampton) show similar patterns.
One question about firearms ownership is what, if anything, the weapons are used for, and how that might vary by neighbourhood.
The question is hard to answer from public records, but one point of comparison is Ontario hunting permits.
This map shows the percentage of firearms licence holders who took out Ontario hunting permits in 2007, making the assumption that they fall into the same group. I realize that that creates problems with bow hunters, who need hunting permits but may not also be firearms owners.
Several patterns emerge. The proportion of hunters is highest at 73% in L4H (Kleinburg), followed by L4L (Woodbridge), M6E (the area off Dufferin between Eglinton Ave. W. and St. Clair Ave. W.) and M6M (Keele St. and Eglinton Ave. W.) and L6A (Maple).
At the other end of the scale, we see a string of high-income neighbourhoods in the central city where gun owners seem to seldom hunt. In Toronto, the map strongly resembles the income map of the city - perhaps wealthy people are more willing to keep a valuable firearm even though it isn't being regularly used.
At the bottom of the list we have M4Y, centred on Jarvis St. and Wellesley St. E., where as few as 14% of registered gun owners seem to have hunted last year.
L4H (Woodbridge) leads the map of 2007 provincial hunting permits, with 24.2 residents per 1,000 having bought one last year.
The fishing and camping maps showed that Oshawa and nearby towns lead the region in outdoor recreation, and the hunting map shows the same pattern. Three of the top six FSAs for hunting permits are in Oshawa (L1H, L1G, L1J), and north Pickering (L1Y) is also in the top six.