Ammo Shortages Lead Some To Stockpile Bullets

SPOKANE – Many Inland Northwest residents are firearms owners but these days they’re finding that shooting them is becoming more difficult because gun stores aren’t able to keep up with the growing demand for ammunition. 

For a while now the country’s supply of ammunition has been running in short supply.  

Some types of ammunition, such as 5.56 mm, are in short supply because it’s being produced to support American forces in Iraq and Afghanistan. However there’s also a fear involved that the Obama administration might put either a ban on certain types of weapons and there might also be increased taxes placed on ammunition.

This has some people stockpiling ammo just in case.

Spokane resident Randy is one of those people. Randy didn’t want to disclose his full name because he doesn’t want to advertise his ammunition cache.

Down in his basement he has “a little over a thousand in the .223” rifle ammunition out of concerns of  “talks of a new weapons ban, talks of controlling ammunition.”

In the last year Randy’s bought five guns ranging from revolvers to semi-automatic pistols. He says he bought them for protection after confronting a thief empty handed a little over a year ago.. He also wants to make sure he’s got them if the government starts placing restrictions on guns and ammunition.   

“It’s very disturbing as a citizen we don’t control number of cars someone can buy or bags of rice you get at grocery store,” Randy said.

Randy’s is a fear that Robin Ball, owner of the Sharp Shooting Indoor Range and Gun Shop hears daily.

“We know that we have people stockpiling because they’re buying multiple cases at a time,” Ball said.

Robin Ball has never seen anything like the recent rush on ammunition in her 15 years of owning the store. 

“The shortage panic … for a while we were the only ones that had 9mm in Spokane,” she said.

In the back room of her gun shop there are far more empty case boxes than full ones and Ball says she worries about running out.

“Order I placed in September, should have received four pallets, still nothing,” Ball said.

She says manufacturers are kicking out as much ammo as they can and are running 24-7 but as more people stockpile ammo it’s still not enough to satisfy the growing need for ammunition.

Weapons sales shot up 42-percent after President Obama was elected. So far gun laws have not been changed by the Obama administration however Attorney General Eric Holder has already discussed the potential for reinstating an assault weapons ban and enacting tighter gun control measures.