Firearms sales have skyrocketed since the pandemic began, leaving some gun shops short of supplies, or paying more for products.
The gun and ammo shortage is part of a national trend resulting from an estimated seven to eight million more Americans becoming gun owners since last year.
One Mandan gun shop is feeling the effects. Josette Severson owns Prairie Patriot, which sells guns, holds firearm training class, and has an indoor range.
While business has been booming with greater interest in firearm training classes, Severson says prices have gone up from distributors, making it more costly to bring in products.
“It’s been a fine balance for me, of trying to get product in, and not getting slammed so hard with the cost. On the cost side of it, I use about 15 different distributors, and sometimes I can score some really good prices on ammo and firearms, and other times, prices have tripled. And that’s what makes it hard for me and my staff because people come in, they’re upset with us. Well, it’s supply and demand,” Severson said.
To further look into the issue, North Dakota’s legislature Friday adopted a resolution to study the causes of the shortage. In a vote earlier this session, Rep. Dave Nehring said the right to bear arms is crucial for North Dakota, and a study is needed to find solutions.
“There were between seven million and 8.5 million new gun owners last year. While we can point to the demand of ammunition by new gun owners, a pandemic, gun legislation, lack of raw materials or the presidential election as potential reasons for a shortage, we need answers and solutions,” Nehring said.
The resolution calls on the Legislative Management to consider studying the causes of the shortage and the impact it’s had on the quality of life for North Dakotans.