Ammunition Shortage - KXNet.com - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

Ammunition Shortage

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It's something that most sportsman, hunters and gun enthusiasts say they've never seen.

Not only are many types of guns unavailable to purchase because of a buying frenzy late last year, but now bullets are become even more scarce.

Shaun Sipma has more on the local perspective.

First it was the guns, the modern sportsmans rifles and pistols and now it's the ammunition.

Shelves that were once stocked with nearly every kind of caliber are bare.

(Eric Lehner, Sportsmans Loft) "There's a big demand on ammunition and it comes from a whole bunch of different avenues."

Dealers say those avenues include stockpiling, many people buying up bulk ammunition for a variety of reasons but mostly based on the uncertainty for proposed gun legislation in Washington.

Then there's Federal Government Agencies like the Department of Homeland Security reportedly buying 1.6 billion rounds of ammunition

And new gun owners coming into the market.

(Eric Lehner, Sportsmans Loft) "Where the gun industry six or seven years ago was growing by five or six percent per year, new administration comes in and bam it goes to 18 to 20 percent"

(Monte Warta, Glenburn Firearms) Just new gun purchasers has gone up almost twice fold, 50 percent or more. So you add that into the mix of the ammo shortage more people buying ammo, more people shooting you have less ammo on the market.

And it's all types and calibers from handguns to rifles.

On the side of business, not having inventory makes for leaner times.

(Monte Warta, Glenburn Firearms) "It hurts a little bit because I try to have a good stock of ammo in here for every fire arm that I sell. If they come in here to buy a firearm and turn around and look at my ammo shelf and I ain't got it."

 

Local Law Enforcement agencies are also making adjustments.

(Michael Nason, Captain - Ward County Sheriff's Department) "Our deputies are afforded X-amount of ammunition for practice each month and in light of the artificial shortage we've had to scale that back a little bit."

Some manufacturers say it could be six to nine months before they catch up on current orders for ammunition.

One interesting fact in all of this, the Federal Government has been cashing in with the excise tax as shelves emptied and inventories depleted.

(Eric Lehner, Sportsmans Loft) "The government gets 11% off of every firearm sold, they get 9% off each box of ammo, 6% off of reloading equipment and 6% off of archery."

Since December that equates to billions of tax dollars tied to the run on guns and ammunition.

Dealers and retailers expect supplies to be replenished, but when it all gets back to business as usual is still anyone's guess.

In Minot, Shaun Sipma KX News.

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