Gun owners across the nation are finding ammunition in short supply, and it’s a shortage fueled by several factors.
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Manufacturers can’t keep up with demand
by Randy Parks
When Barack Obama was re-elected, people began expecting more anti-gun laws from the administration and started stocking up on firearms and ammo.
The run on ammo intensified with the gun-violence debate after the December mass killing of 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook School in Newtown, Conn.
As people believed there was more anti-gun legislation coming, they began purchasing guns and ammo before any new bills could be passed.
Coupled with the fact that government entities and NATO continue to purchase large amounts of ammo, the shortage has grown to the point that several calibers are almost “non-existent” to customers.
Denny Thomas, owner of B&B Sporting Goods in Hines, noted that he gets about 30 calls a day from all over the nation from people looking for ammo.
“Right now there’s a real shortage on rimfire ammo,” Thomas said. “People out here use it to shoot sage rats, and it’s hard to get .22 long-rifle, .22 magnum and .17 HMR ammo. But we’re pretty well-stocked with other ammo compared to some stores in bigger cities.”
Thomas said that people are purchasing ammo as soon as it gets to stores from distributors, just to have it.
As the demand for ammo rises, the supply dwindles. Manufacturers have increased production, but they still can’t keep up. Thomas added that it’s not just the finished product that’s in short supply either.
“There’s not enough components available. From primer to brass to powder, there’s a shortage. They can’t even keep up with making the cardboard boxes to put the ammo in,” Thomas said. “But the American people aren’t the problem. They’re the victims.”
The shortage has also driven the price of ammo up. As stores sell their supplies off the shelves, it costs them more to replace it, and that added cost is passed on to the consumer.
Thomas said the shortage on some ammo is as bad as it’s ever been, and from what he’s hearing, it will probably be next year before the supply is steady once again.
As one example of how wide-spread the shortage is, Thomas said he ordered a complete rifle package from Nosler in Bend, and when it arrived, everything was there except for the ammo.
While ammo and select firearms are in short supply, Thomas remains optimistic about the future.
“Things will get better,” he said.