Gun store owners say they have never experienced anything like the demand for firearms and ammunition that they are currently witnessing in the wake of a renewed government push for gun control.
Owners at Blue Steel Guns & Ammunition in Raytown, Miami told The Miami Herald that customers were so hungry for ammo that they couldn’t even stack shelves with fresh supplies before they had all been bought.
“They never even made it to the shelves,” said owner Steve Brackeen. “We just had enough time to slap a price on them and sell. And we ran out before everybody in line got some.”
Brackeen noted that customers knew shipments arrived on Fridays and that a crowd had formed in anticipation of the delivery truck arriving.
The shop sold 60 boxes of .22-caliber and 9 mm ammunition, totaling thousands of rounds, in just 18 minutes. Brackeen added that while customers are waiting for the ammo to arrive, “they are buying up everything” in his shop.
Other gun store owners quoted in the report noted that individual customers are calling up asking to buy all the ammunition that the stores can procure.
“We haven’t got any .22 calibers — we’re out,” one store owner told reporters. “I don’t know who has any. Anytime anyone gets some, customers buy ’em up within a day.” The store owner also noted that a brick of 500 .22s have increased in price from $18 to $70 in just three months.
The report states that one ammunition manufacturer representative with a plant in Ozark, Mo. noted that he has never seen such a spike in demand in his lifetime.
“…it has never happened to this degree,” said David Shaw of Fiocchi. “Industry-wide, we are not able to keep up.”
Shaw added that despite adding extra shifts to increase production, the plant is “sold out for 2013,” and cannot catch up with demand.
Larry Swickard, a spokesman for the Western Missouri Shooters Alliance told the Herald that he believes the mass ammo buys on behalf of the DHS are one factor in the shortages.
“My understanding is these are standing, not necessarily take-delivery, orders,” Swickard said. “But the fact that Homeland Security, and the government in general, has offered no reasonable explanation for such huge purchases would be more than enough to fuel the fears of those inclined to see conspiracies behind every change in a routine.”
“…it seems to be having a ripple effect in that when people see a significant number of people buying up all the ammo they can find, they follow suit for fear of being left out with none for themselves,” Swickard added.
Kevin Jamison, also of Western Missouri Shooters Alliance, said “Panic buying seems to account for some of the shortage, but I don’t believe it can be all of it.”
As we reported yesterday, gun stores across the nation are beginning to resort to bullet rationing in an attempt to satisfy as many customers as they can, while some police departments being forced to barter between themselves to meet demand.