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Historic bullet shortage in U.S.

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Historic bullet shortage in U.S. Empty Historic bullet shortage in U.S.

Post by Quiver on Thu Sep 24, 2009 10:58 am

NEW ORLEANS – Bullet-makers are working around the clock, seven days a
week, and still can't keep up with the nation's demand for ammunition.

Shooting ranges, gun dealers and bullet manufacturers say they have
never seen such shortages. Bullets, especially for handguns, have been
scarce for months because gun enthusiasts are stocking up on ammo, in
part because they fear President Barack Obama and the
Democratic-controlled Congress will pass antigun legislation — even
though nothing specific has been proposed and the president last month
signed a law allowing people to carry loaded guns in national parks.

Gun sales spiked when it became clear Obama would be elected a year ago
and purchases continued to rise in his first few months of office. The
FBI's National Instant Criminal Background Check System reported that
6.1 million background checks for gun sales were issued from January to
May, an increase of 25.6 percent from the same period the year before.

"That is going to cause an upswing in ammunition sales," said Larry
Keane, senior vice president of the National Shooting Sports
Foundation, a trade association representing about 5,000 members.
"Without bullets a gun is just a paper weight."

The shortage for sportsmen is different than the scarcity of ammo for
some police forces earlier this year, a dearth fueled by an increase in
ammo use by the military in Iraq and Afghanistan.

"We are working overtime and still can't keep up with the demand," said
Al Russo, spokesman for North Carolina-based Remington Arms Company,
which makes bullets for rifles, handguns and shotguns. "We've had to
add a fourth shift and go 24-7. It's a phenomenon that I have not seen
before in my 30 years in the business."

Americans usually buy about 7 billion rounds of ammunition a year,
according to the National Rifle Association. In the past year, that
figure has jumped to about 9 billion rounds, said NRA spokeswoman
Vickie Cieplak.

Jason Gregory, who manages Gretna Gun Works just outside of New
Orleans, has been building his personal supply of ammunition for
months. His goal is to have at least 1,000 rounds for each of his 25
weapons.

"I call it the Obama effect," said Gregory, 37, of Terrytown, La. "It
always happens when the Democrats get in office. It happened with
Clinton and Obama is even stronger for gun control. Ammunition will be
the first step, so I'm stocking up while I can."

So far, the new administration nor Congress has not been markedly
antigun. Obama has said he respects Second Amendment rights, but favors
"common sense" on gun laws. Still, worries about what could happen
persist.

Demand has been so heavy at some Walmarts, a limit was imposed on the
amount of ammo customers can buy. The cutoff varies according to
caliber and store location, but sometimes as little as one box — or 50
bullets — is allowed.

At Barnwood Arms in Ripon, Calif., sales manager Dallas Jett said some
of the shortages have leveled off, but 45-caliber rounds are still hard
to find.

"We've been in business for 32 years and I've been here for 10 and
we've never seen anything like it," Jett said. "Coming out of Christmas
everything started to dry up and it was that way all through the spring
and summer.

Nationwide, distributors are scrambling to fill orders from retailers.

"We used to be able to order 50 or 60 cases and get them in three or
four days easy, it was never an issue," said Vic Grechniw of Florida
Ammo Traders, a distributor in Tampa, Fla. "Now you are really lucky if
you can get one case a month. It just isn't there because the demand is
way up."

A case contains 500 or 1,000 bullets.

At Jefferson Gun Outlet and Range in Metairie just west of New Orleans,
owner Mike Mayer is worried individuals are going to start buying by
the case.

"If someone wants to shoot on the weekend you have to worry about
having the ammunition for them. And I know some people aren't buying to
use it at the range, they're taking it home and hoarding it."

With demand, prices have also risen.

"Used to be gold, but now lead is the most expensive metal," said
Donald Richards, 37, who was stocking up at the Jefferson store. "And
worth every penny."

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Post by Qwerty on Sun Dec 20, 2009 2:19 pm

Wow, that's interesting. I wonder what will happen.
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