Gun ammunition suddenly in short supply

Hunters and hobbyists have depleted shop shelves since the Connecticut school shooting in December. It's 'a Black Friday atmosphere,' one store manager says.

By Bruce Kennedy Feb 1, 2013 9:18AM
Credit: Scott Olson/Getty Images
Caption: A box of .45 cal. ammunition is offered for saleAmmunition is getting scarce for gun owners, and some people suspect the recent school massacre in Connecticut is one reason behind the run.

The largest seller of guns in the U.S., Wal-Mart (WMT), is limiting sales of ammunition at its stores to three boxes per customer a day.

And it's not only Wal-Mart. Over the weekend, gun owners in Myrtle Beach, S.C., lined up outside the local Bass Pro Shops store.

The store's operations manager, Brad Andrews, told WBTW-TV there's been "a bit of a Black Friday atmosphere" at the shop for several weeks now as hunters and gun hobbyists try to stock up from any new shipments of ammunition.

Sales of guns and ammunition have reportedly risen sharply across the country since the Dec. 14 elementary school shooting.

"It probably has something to do with the recent event in Newtown, Connecticut, the shooting out there," said would-be ammunition buyer Richard Harney. "People just went out and bought it all out. The demand is there, we just saw it, a lot of ammo was off the shelves in two minutes."

Another gun owner at the Myrtle Beach Bass Pro Shops, George Schultz, believes the run on ammunition is due to fears of an impending government crackdown on weapons. "People are scared," he said. "I guess they’re just loading up on whatever they can, and it’s just a shortage."

The website for Ammunition to Go, based in Texas, alerts potential customers to shipping delays of 24 to 26 days due to the high volume of orders.

Law enforcement is also feeling the ammunition pinch. The Metropolis, Ill., Police Department can't find ammo for its .40 caliber semiautomatic pistols.

"We've been told from our supplier that pistol ammunition is almost become nonexistent," Metropolis police chief Harry Masse told KFVS-TV. He notes the ammunition shortage is also driving up costs.

"I used to complain when they cost us 7 to 8 cents a round," he said. "Now they're costing us 30 cents a shot. And there's 50 rounds per box. So it adds up quickly."

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Feb 1, 2013 12:29PM
it's not just ammo that's getting scares. It's also reloading components. Is it "Doomsday Prepping" or "Pre-2nd Civil War Prepping"? Either way, it's not a good sign.
Feb 1, 2013 12:29PM

Lets see


2000 rounds of 9mm Check

2000 Rounds 40cal Check

2000 Rounds 45cal Check

2500 Rounds of .223 Check

2500 Rounds of 5.56  Check

2000 shot gun shells Check

4000 Rounds  of .22 Cal ChecK

150 50 cal ChecK


Nope I'm good...

Feb 1, 2013 12:27PM

To Limo Pat,  you're right about a lot of people having guns because they fear the government,  but you should learn some history if you really want to understand why.  First off, People don't fear the 'Secular' government.  For your historic truth edification, This country was founded on 'Secularism'  contrary to what the Islamofascist Christian copycats would like you to believe.  Having a secular Constitution is the reason why all the different and widespread  Relgionists can thrive and prosper in this country. Otherwise you would have a non-secular regime like in Egypt right now.  Would you like that, instead?

Only here it probably wouldn't be Islamist.  Maybe it would be an absolute 'infalllible Papacy',  in bed with King Obama, (who says he's a Christian, by the way), like it was back in the old days in England, which is why the founders 'Escaped' to America and formed a 'Secular' country, which means an attempt at true egalitarian fairness.  Not censure, tyranny, and more crimes against humanity than any other cause on the planet, like Religionism provided.

In case you didn't know, apparantly more people feared a 'Religionist regime, with Romney and Ryan and 'god' becoming the unholy trinity and calling all the shots 'in private',  especially the abortion issue, and a women's right to privacy and control over her own body, as opposed to the church controlling it.  That's the real secret reason Romney lost that no one wants to admit.


If you don't understand what 'secular' means, you probably also believe intentionally specious notion that the 'Country was founded on so-called 'Judeo-Christian' principles, (since redacted by O'Reilly to become 'founded on 'philosophy' of JEEsus!),  which is also a lie. 


when you finally get it on 'secular', let me know, and I'll explain the real reason people are 'arming-up', and what it really means.

Feb 1, 2013 12:21PM
Ironically, its the Chinese who are buying it up and re-selling it to the gun nuts at triple the price.  These gun lovers are total fools- they think that 10,000 rounds of ammo and 20 guns will protect them from some imaginary threat- when in reality they usually end up like the kidnapper in his home made bunker- 4 rounds to kill the innocent bus driver and one more to end his own cowardly life.
Feb 1, 2013 12:16PM
With Connecticut proposing to tax ammunition at a rate of 50%, any gun owner would be an idiot not to stock up. I guess that would mean I am an idiot, because when I did try to buy some to go to the range, they were sold out at every store I went to or called or checked on line for 9mm ammunition.
Feb 1, 2013 12:09PM
Really?  Where have these people been for a month?  Under a rock?  The ammo issue is about our government attempting to limit what kind of guns we are able to keep, discussing an "ammo" tax (some places talk about a per bullet tax).  What do you expect people to do?  For goodness sake, try to keep at least semi current!!
Feb 1, 2013 12:05PM
Anyone remember DURING 9-11 how the gas prices jumped up 50 cents a gallon in four hours time?. HUM think maybe the ammo sellers are doing the same thing. No of course not, folks just want to have their my butt.. Have yet to read any feel good stories of semi-automatics or any other assault guns protecting an individual. 
Feb 1, 2013 12:04PM

Just how much ammunition has been bought by the USG. I read recently that the SSA purchase millions of rounds of 40 cal ammo as did DHS, IRS and other alphabetic soup agencies. Did the SSA purchase this ammo to protect themselves when they deal with the irate public, or the limit its liability by limiting the number of old folks in the system. OH, Gosh, OBAMA care is setting that up for them. It's all a mess.

Feb 1, 2013 12:03PM

Wow, people are so paranoid. Lucky for me I do NOT own a gun. With the extra money I am actually enjoying my life. I’ve taken trips to the Rocky Mountains, invested in my 401k and bought a new car.


Seriously, I have a friend who lost his job and became so paranoid he was spending his money on guns and ammo. He lost his house, his car was repossessed and his wife left him.


He has now moved into his parents basement … But as far as I know he still owns all 6 of his guns.

Feb 1, 2013 12:03PM
the sounds of revolution are in the air.
Feb 1, 2013 12:03PM
i don't fear crime as much as I'm starting to feel our government, That not a good thing.
Feb 1, 2013 11:56AM
Truth be known the government has depleted the ammo supply.  FEMA, DHS and the IRS have bought millions of rounds.  Mmm, wonder what their plans are/were!

Limo pat:


Everyone has firearms now. The folks have fear this Secular progress fed gov't is doing things which are forcing them to protect themselves.

The laws coming out of Washington like Fema able to confiscate food and other goods from homes during emergencies is frightful to many.

When Homeland Security is purchasing 7,000 Full Auto M16s and calling them a Personnel Protection Device, but the AR-15 which is semi-auto for civilian use is being called an assault weapon, people fear the Fed is gearing up for something.

When the leaders of the Federal Armed forces (Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, Coast Guard) are being asked if they would order their troops to fire on American civilians before they will be allowed to lead troops, that is making the average American citizen very disturbed and cautious.

When Black Ops Helicopters are being used in "training exercises" in our cities without most citizens even knowing about them ahead of time, it gives pause to people thinking is this for real?

The Fed Gov't under this Administration is giving out some dangerous signals.    

When people are wlling to spend their money on firearms and ammo thus reducing their spending on consumer goods like cars, their actions should make the Democrats shut up and leave people's right to bear arms alone.   Then we can have consumers spending their money on what our factories are manufacturing.
Feb 1, 2013 11:11AM
When everybody has guns we`ll have civil war and then comes marshal law and then a dictatorship.
Feb 1, 2013 11:09AM
Anything or any reason to gouge the consumer.   Bullets to butter....
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