Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Jittery Americans clean out ammo stores

Legally mandated background checks for first-time gun buyers have been at record-setting levels for eight straight months.

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Guns are useless without ammunition, and plenty of it in an emergency.

An ammo shortage is being witnessed across the US as Americans react to civil unrest and Covid-19 lockdowns and resulting stresses by buying up millions of firearms and the ammunition needed to use them for self-defence.

Gun store shelves throughout the nation, long covered with box upon box of bullets for sale, now display just a few, and at much higher prices because of the scarcity.

The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports the shortage is evident throughout Minnesota.

Oakdale gun store owner David Bean said, “Manufacturers can’t keep up with the demand anymore. The industry’s never been hit this hard before.”

Stock & Barrel Gun Club executive vice-president Kevin Vick observed, “People have seen first-hand that law enforcement is not always going to be there to protect them.”

Distances in the US are so vast that concerned citizens now realise that in the current climate of unrest, being hours from police help means they had better be ready to look after themselves.

West Texans are witnessing the same run on ammunition. Davo Rittenberry, owner of Amarillo’s Riverfields gun store, said ammunition comes in and is gone almost immediately. Customers are waiting for it to hit the shelves.

The shortage in ammunition comes as legally mandated background checks for first-time gun buyers have been at record-setting levels for eight straight months. In other words, a record for monthly background checks was set every month January through August by new owners.

And that growing surge in weapons sales nationwide is leading to the huge demand for ammunition.

National Shooting Sports Foundation’s (NSSF) public affairs director Mark Olivia said:

“The NSSF estimates there are nearly five million first-time gun buyers in 2020. That means there are five million new ammunition buyers who are learning to use their firearms, and preparing to defend themselves and their families.”

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