Keeping Ammo on Shelves Tough Work through Shortage

The ammo shortage took a turn Monday with the Department of Homeland Security buying up hundreds of thousand of rounds.
Sherwood, AR - The ammo shortage took a turn Monday with the Department of Homeland Security buying up hundreds of thousand of rounds.

The same shooting ranges though say that's not contributing to the shortage problem. They say it may be as simple as demand creating demand; if that makes sense. Simply, it may be the thing to do. People buy as much ammo as they can and sit on it.

While it may be hard for people like you and I to find certain ammo on the shelves, it's just as difficult for the shop to find it from the distributor.

Gun owners are pulling back on squeezing the trigger.

Burning off rounds at the range is becoming more of a chore for some as it might as well be money falling to the floor.

For the 5 month old business in Sherwood, Arkansas Armory, less ammo on the shelves means less people in the range.

"If I can't sell low cost ammunition to folks, they're not going to shoot it," said General Manager, Nathan House. "It's just been hard to find."

House says they normally stock a lot more but they aren't immune to what they call an ammo shortage.

"It's very hard to find," he explained. "I've gone to multiple distributors just to try to find ammo. I'm on the phone every morning 'hey do you guys have ammo?'."

Once they do get some of the ammunition in, especially .22 and 9mm, it's not long before it's out of the storage, off the shelves and straight to the cash register ready to go home with it's new owner.

House says all it takes is one post on Facebook for his store to be like a retail giant the day after Thanksgiving.

"By the time we opened up at ten there was line stretching around the building," House explained. "It was like Black Friday."

So he's forced to prioritize how the use the product. Shoppers have to wait for what's left of the ammo after classes and range use.

"Oh it would have been a lot easier if there wasn't such a shortage," said one shooter inside the range. "I make my rounds in the morning after I get off of work."

This man buys as many rounds as possible every morning. It's something the store sees every day and doesn't see stopping any time soon.

House remarked, "I don't think that it's gonna stop until everybody's got at least 1000 rounds of whatever caliber that they have sitting in their closet somewhere."

The Department of Homeland Security is set to buy 1.6 billion rounds of ammunition over the next five years.

Critics say that's enough bullets to supply the equivalent of the Iraq War for 24 years.

Conspiracy theorists say the DHS is buying up the bullets to keep Americans from buying more ammo while more critics say this is a poor use of government money.

DHS says it needs the ammo for its staff in training and for those on duty.
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