Ammunition Sales Surge As Gun Control Debate Looms

In the wake of the Newtown, Conn., shooting, an ammo scramble is taking place across the country: lawmakers in Washington are preparing for an extended debate over new gun-related legislation, and gun owners are stocking up on goods they fear could be banned.

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Jamie Cotten / POLARIS

Rifles hang on a near empty display wall at Centennial Gun Store in Centennial, Colo., Dec. 20, 2012.

With about a week to go before the Obama White House proposes new nationwide gun restrictions, U.S. retailers are noticing a dramatic run on ammunition. At Bass Pro Shops in Independence, Kan., customers would typically find at least 1,000 boxes of handgun ammunition in stock: today, says one sales associate, the sporting goods superstore has about 10. In the wake of the Newtown, Conn., shooting, an ammo scramble is taking place across the country: lawmakers in Washington are preparing for an extended debate over new gun-related legislation, and gun owners are stocking up on goods they fear could be banned.

The cycle is well-established: a deadly shooting leads to calls for more gun control, which in turn leads to hoarding. “We can’t even keep the ammunition on our shelf,” says Doug Leeper, the Bass Pro Shops employee. “It seems like it’s going just as fast as we get it.” He says that while they’d usually expect a post-Christmas bump of about 20%, in recent days sales have surged up to 90% over the previous year’s. At a Wal-Mart in Billings, Mont., sales associate David VonRohr says the store can’t even get certain calibers from their normal suppliers. “It’s been nuts,” VonRohr says. “The phone’s been ringing off the hook.” At a Cabela’s in Gonzales, La., nearly all the ammunition is backordered, one employee says.

(MORE: Viewpoint: If We Want Gun Control, We’ll Need to Compromise)

Online ammo shops are struggling to meet demand, too. Visit the website for Brownell’s, which claims to be “the world’s largest supplier of firearm accessories,” and shoppers will find row after row of products labeled “Out of Stock.” Especially barren is their supply of rifle magazines, the 20 or 30-round holders used for semi-automatic rifles like the AR-15—a weapon used by alleged Newtown shooter Adam Lanza. In a Dec. 20 statement attributed to Brownell’s President in an online forum, Pete Brownell apologizes for the delay on orders and says the company had sold the equivalent of 3 1/2 years of magazines in 72 hours.

Legislators such as California Sen. Dianne Feinstein, who authored a ban assault weapons like the AR-15 in 1994, have made calls to outlaw the weapons again. Vice President Joe Biden is meanwhile heading a task force to present the White House proposals for curbing gun violence. The December shooting that left 20 children and six adults dead may provide gun-control advocates with enough political capital to get new legislation passed, a feat that’s been thwarted by lobbying outfits such as the National Rifle Association for years.

Meanwhile, those people working the counters at sporting good stores are going to have busy days. “We’ve being trying to keep up, and it’s been a challenge,” Leeper says. “Let’s just say I’ve got a lot less hair.”

PHOTOS: Connecticut Community Copes After School Shooting

117 comments
EdwardsGreg
EdwardsGreg

It's not worth paying the ridiculously inflated current prices just to shoot for fun. That makes it NOT FUN. I'm not going to contribute to the frenzy that's being fueled by price gouging retailers and stockpiling hoarders. There are plenty of other things I can do for recreation that are much better for me than shooting guns. If it returns to normal, then I may be back. But for the time being, shooting has lost my attention when there are so many other options.

LukeEaster
LukeEaster

2nd Amendment Right To Bear Arms Or Not

There is a move in this country to keep guns out of schools,

And yet our Founding Fathers found it to be a rightful tool,

The Pledge of Allegiance is removed which instilled pride,

We banned the bible but sexuality, students need not hide?

It is true guns are not for the irresponsible as people claim,

But, banning them will not stop the criminals or the insane,

The word of God was forced out & violence replaced grace,

School districts put metal detectors in the good book’s place.

If gun control is implemented it will make easier every crime,

Good citizens unarmed then evil is more apt to get out of line,

When the bad guys know the good guys don’t have or cannot,

Be armed with like firepower or resistance, what have we got?

Chaos! Much greater than any thing now present in the U.S.A.,

Every time crime abounds safety will be to look the other way,

And even then, knowing that no one can lend a hand or assist,

The ability to stand around & do nothing is a much greater risk.

Every mass killing in our safe schools suffered irreparable harm,

Isn’t because the kids had guns but our educators weren’t armed,

No murders are sneaking in police stations or on a military base,

As they know darn well the likelihood of return fire in their face.

More background checks, no buy it now & take it home with ammo,

The minimum? “Complete Criminal History” why take the gamble?

Along with a medical investigation re: an applicant’s mental history,

When buying a gun gone is the right to doctor-patient confidentiality.     

The banning of weapons because they kill would be like banning cars,

Just because people get drunk and get behind the wheel leaving bars,

The motor vehicle is not the problem so therefore, neither is the gun,

But, it is in the hands of the unstable when the most damage is done.

2nd Amendment protects the right of the people to keep & bear arms,

Now it’s as necessary as livestock, tractors and grain feed on a farm,

Are not air marshals and airplane pilots trained and armed in flight?

 Don’t let a rash to judgment implement the wrong in place of a right.

Remember the gangster days of Al Capone, the Mafia & the Mob?

Our streets would be no safer and it would be easier to get robbed,    

A good defense stops a good offence, teams will play another day,

However, there will be no tomorrow for the unarmed blown away.

ZacharyMorris
ZacharyMorris

Everybody needs to quit say we will fight and kill for our guns explain to people they are givin up freedom its not the fact of having a gun its the fact its our freedom to have a gun if you give up one freedom expect to give up more we did not fight to give up freedom we fought to gain freedom

johntokalenko1947
johntokalenko1947

WE WILL NOT DISARM. Do you understand that? If you try, you will need
body bags. Lots of them. Freedom is not free, and we are not afraid to
die in its defense. Are you afraid to die for your agenda?

ralph.bowersjr1954
ralph.bowersjr1954

A run on propellants, primers and brass is also happening. Pretty soon the reloading supplies manufactures such as Dillon Precission will become overloaded with purchase requests for their products.

Now I ask you.....DO WE REALLY TRUST OUR GOVERNMENT. 

gordyb102
gordyb102

I had to sleep with my M-14 at Paris island, didn't make me sleep any better. I hope these paranoid nut bags are happy sitting at home looking at the cold steel they bought in panic. It will protect them from themselves and nothing else. It is a shame for the sane gun owners to witness this craziness. Now these paranoid gun owners have the responsibility that these weapons don't fall into the hands of criminals, children, insane relatives etc and are used someday to kill innocent americans. We need stiffer laws to hold those responsible for owning guns in the future with stiff penalties for failure to keep these weapons secure.

homosapiens
homosapiens

Prohibition failed but fueled crime, war on drugs failed but fueled crime, spending and debt are out of control and now it looks like Feinstein, Obama and Co discovered the short way into a full blown civil war! - No folks, let's focus on fixing the underlying problems of violence: 1. tell people that we got to work  2. Invest in proper education so our people learn how to work   3. Create the jobs our people need to work   4. Stop deficit spending and fix your budgets  5. Split up "too big to fail"   

RoadrunnerNY
RoadrunnerNY

The idea of screening people for mental illness to gain a gun is a dangerous road.  Most of the people with mental health issues that would have record of their mental illness would be those who are seeking help.  By causing those with mental illness to become "registered" you would essentially penalize people with mental illness who are seeking to improve themselves and their quality of life.  And if the screening wasn't based on record, but instead on a form then we have to look at the accuracy of written screening of mental health issues.  No psychologist would ever diagnose a patient based on a bubble sheet.  

RoadrunnerNY
RoadrunnerNY

How about this for an answer to this whole gun control debacle:  if someone is killed with any gun registered under your name - you are accessory to murder.  Would certainly make you think real hard about what you use for storage, but at least you would be able to protect yourself from a potentially tyrannical governing body (or the cartels), if that time should come.

Good luck with making the case for effectively ensuring that those with mental illness do not get their hands on guns.  I would ask the question about what you would use for screening processes and how you would propose paying for them... but I sincerely doubt anyone would have a realistic answer.  I certainly don't.

avanti54
avanti54

I receently bought 3 guns: .45 ACP Wilson Combat 1911 Professional, .Smih and Wesson .44 Magnum 629 Classic, and  a Magnum Research Desert Eagle .50 Caliber - polished chrome.  I will pick them up in about a week from my local FFL dealer!!  The ammo situation is real sad, that our government has incitied such a wave of fear and panic  among common citizens that people are stockpiling ammunition as if it is evaporating.  To the American people, YOU ELECTED OBAMA, SO YOU ARE PART OF THE PROBLEM TOO!

BryHirsh
BryHirsh

ted kennedy's car has killed more people than any full auto weapon in recent years.......

jeffjeffb
jeffjeffb

in cleveland the cops fired 137 rounds at two people...... mmmmmm

SoSueme
SoSueme

The remaining rifle in the center of the picture is a Ruger Ranch Rifle/Mini 14.  It spits out .223 rounds just as fast as an AR-15 and 30 round magazines are readily available for it.  It just doesn't look scary so I guess it's okay, huh, idiot gun-grabbers?

TimCurtis
TimCurtis

Better tracking of the nut cases...Adam's mom knew he was loosing it. So did Jared's.  But between the ACLU and Reagan they released all the nuts from the mental hospitals and removed the administrative means to keep people who are a danger to themselves or others safely locked up in mental institutions.  Put them on the "no buy" list so they are arrested for trying to buy.  I live in San Diego, 30 minutes away from Tijuana.  Mexico’s federal government reported 12,903 deaths related to disputes between criminal groups during the first nine months of 2011. The figures, released by the federal Attorney General’s Office, bring the official death toll of Mexico’s drug war to to 47,515 since President Felipe Calderon took office in Dec. 2006.  At least another 10,000 to 15,000 have been killed, just in the border region.  The Mexican drug gangs have been coming up here doing kidnappings, robbery, murder etc.  I need my M&P 15, my Mossberg .308, my .300 AAC Blackout and my Mini-14 in case a group of these clowns show up at my house for some reason...all it takes is a rumor at a bar about money or drugs or someone says you "dissed them" to send them to your house.  When seconds count, the police are only 20 or 30 or more minutes away.

at a barat a bar

kbrawn
kbrawn

The same thing happened in 2009 when Obama took office.  Rumors went out that he was going to impose a tax on ammo, and stores couldn't stock enough to meet the demand.  It ended up being nothing.  But the retailers and resellers sure liked it.

rjakiel
rjakiel

If anyone knows a supplier that has .223 ammo in stock and isn't price gouging it would be appreciated!

TimothyF.Bryant
TimothyF.Bryant

"IF" the President really wanted to lower the number of murders committed in the U.S. each year with guns, then he should get serious about stopping the flow of "Illegal" drugs coming into this Country...  The vast majority of deaths related to guns in the U.S. have some sort of link to Drugs and/or Alcohol...  He could possibly save 20,000 lives each year if he wanted to, but he is looking at the issues that are in the news and not the issues that are the underlying problem....

robinsage101
robinsage101

The president will hurry up and pass a gun laws while this tragedy is fresh in everyone's minds. It won't stop crimes are happing. they know that. It just control.

Joe-The-Guy
Joe-The-Guy

A lot of online retailed list their out of stock ammo, which has been a big complaint about them for sometime. Even before the shootings and debates, online retailers of ammo would have half their stock listed as out of stock. So it listing row after row as out of stock is not that much of a surprise.

La_Randy
La_Randy

" Finally, Id just close by pointing out that Obama has gotten 1000% MORE GUNS into circulation than he will ever confiscate or prevent being owned or manditorily modified."

This is a somewhat disingenuous statement. A better statement would be that the NRA and gun lobby in general has been the cause of getting more guns into circulation by feeding upon people's fears.

Nobody is coming for their guns and yet look at the run on ammunition and assault rifles that people did not 3 months ago feel they required.


AlecPetersen
AlecPetersen

Millions and millions and millions of guns, magazines, and rounds of all kinds already in the US. The inventory has already been proliferated. Its time for liberals to can the old "ban this and ban that" playbook. They are selling the idea that "if we just do SOMETHING, we can make everything okay." The social engineers are capitalizing on fear to advance their agenda, and the soccer moms and Obama voters are buying it up because they are scared. "Why can't we have it like Australia or the UK?" they throw out. Well, this is America. There are over 300 million guns here, they are not going to be rounded up. Period. Nobody wants that job. Finally, Id just close by pointing out that Obama has gotten 1000% MORE GUNS into circulation than he will ever confiscate or prevent being owned or manditorily modified. Think out of the box, liberals. Gun control is a hoax; you are being sold on a big fat lie.

bobcn
bobcn

@johntokalenko1947 Read this guy's post and then ask yourself whether you want this guy armed around your family.

Paladin_
Paladin_

 I'f I turn in my semi-autos, can I get one or two of those pump-action jobbies that the Men-In_Black use?

bobcn
bobcn

@ralph.bowersjr1954 Do we really trust our government?  

I trust it a lot more than I do the crackpots that threaten deadly force when they don't get their way.  Every time I hear someone make threats if the results of  the last election don't go his way I just become more firmly convinced than ever that gun reform necessary.

gordyb102
gordyb102

@avanti54 It is paranoia that created the stockpiling of ammo. Why has gun sales gone crazy when Obama was first elected? Paranoia...makes us normal people wonder about who owns guns.

Paladin_
Paladin_

@SoSueme they are banning the M1 carbine (Fensstein) so I would guess the Mini's will go too, I mean they want to :Dj 

ralph.bowersjr1954
ralph.bowersjr1954

@rjakiel Learn to reload your own also. 

The weak link in the ammunition part of it is propelant and primers. If the President makes an executive oder it could well cover the sale of propelants also. Buy while you can.  

Paladin_
Paladin_

@rjakiel just got a email from AIM, INC they had Wolf .223 in stock, yesterday


MichaelRichardson
MichaelRichardson

@TimothyF.Bryant The thing is, yes, we have higher gun deaths than other countries, but even if one looks at the U.K., with a fraction of our gun violence, their violent crime statistics are more than TRIPLE ours.  No correlation there at all...

shepherdwong
shepherdwong

@AlecPetersen I'm out of the box, Alec. I get it. The horse has already left the barn. The NRA won, the country is awash in weapons of mass-murder. The focus needs to be on expanded mental health services, vigilance for signs of anti-social behavior and gun-safekeeping, along with strict registration requirements of all guns sold.

Nevertheless, we should ban the sale of high-capacity magazines. There's no need for them, other than for mass murder (and laziness at the range) and no need for more them out on the market.

Tero
Tero

@AlecPetersen 

"Well, this is America."

Just keep telling yourself that the next time 20 children are slaughtered in cold blood. Gun control is not a hoax, and you, my simple friend, have been fed a "big fat lie".

JJRacaza
JJRacaza

@shepherdwong @AlecPetersen 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CAFxgQmxbGI
How fast can someone change a magazine? Less than 1 second. 

Columbine, 1999, during the AWB of 2004.
One of the murderers had THIRTEEN 10 round clips of which TEN were used in the massacre firing a total of 96 times. His partner on the other hand, had a 
handgun with one 52-, one 32-, and one 28-round magazine, however he only fired 55 times. 

AlecPetersen
AlecPetersen

I respect your opinion. My own is that we shouldnt abridge the rights of millions over the less than one percent of criminally insane. If I believed that reducing magazine capacity would seriously thwart killers intent on mayhem, I would say take them. But I see the fixation on magazines as a gun control fallacy. It only takes a second to reload a weapon with a magazine (literally). Three, four, or five ten round weapons and one doesn't need to reload much at all.

MikeCarter
MikeCarter

Sorry Shep, but banning high-capacity magazines won't make any difference. The military overcame that decades ago - they just tape multiple magazines together.

MichaelRichardson
MichaelRichardson

@shepherdwong @AlecPetersen It isn't laziness at a range you're being charged for by the time you're there.  Nobody wants to spend that time they're paying money for reloading clips because some scared libs were afraid of big clips.

Let's get rid of all the guns in America, then we can be like the U.K. and have violent crime at 3.5 times what it is now.

JJRacaza
JJRacaza

@Tero @AlecPetersen“And to your point, Mr. Baker, regarding the lack of prosecutions on lying on Form 4473s, WE SIMPLE DON'T HAVE THE TIME OR MANPOWER TO PROSECUTE everybody WHO LIES ON A FORM (i.e. background check), that checks a wrong box, that answers a question inaccurately.” - VP Joe Biden

Oh yeah, it works doesn't it?
Gun prosecutions in 2011 were down 35 percent from the previous administration’s peak in 2004, according to Justice Department data compiled by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse at Syracuse University.
http://dailycaller.com/2013/01/18/biden-to-nra-we-dont-have-the-time-to-prosecute-people-who-lie-on-background-checks/

MikeCarter
MikeCarter

Gun control has never, even once in American history, curbed gun-related crime. It does, in fact, lead to more gun-related crime. I know that's not something that you want to hear, but it's the truth nonetheless. Source: FBI Uniform Crime Report.

It seems that you, Tero, have been fed a "big fat lie".

MichaelRichardson
MichaelRichardson

@Tero @AlecPetersen Tero you're an idiot.  This IS America, and we're bordered at the South by a Mexico run by rampant drug cartels carrying automatic weapons.  The UK and Australia ARE ISLANDS, genius.  They can get rid of guns and not have TONS of criminals that are armed knocking people off without resistance.

Oh, 20 children died, and that's a tragedy, nobody's debating that; but what percentage of deaths are actually attributed to assault rifles?  First they'll chip away at the fringes of gun ownership, assault rifles, large clips...  Next they'll say we only need guns for hunting, and get rid of handguns, leaving bolt-action rifles and low-capacity shotguns; next, they'll say those weapons aren't necessary in the hands of the citizenry and that hunting is obsolete, taking those also, and when there's NO way for the populace to defend themselves, we'll see a tyrannical plan rear its ugly head that's decades in the making.

Naive people like Tero here are the reason harmful legislation gets passed.  They panic and get scared and want SOMETHING to be done, even when it's the wrong thing.

Paladin_
Paladin_

@Tero @AlecPetersen I honestly wish these mass shootings didn't happen... and I honestly wish there was an answer I could give...I do know what will not matter one whit....Gun Control...  also guns for teachers s too hard to swallow.. why do we not issue Tasers to the schools?

AlecPetersen
AlecPetersen

You don't own the corner of the market on moral outrage when children are slaughtered. Want to double down on your 'gun free (stupid) zones'? Go ahead- ban guns, regulate, confiscate, and prohibit them...and you will give rise to a thriving black market, violent crime, and a future that makes the wild west look like nap time. Rember prohibition? Pass some more laws and contract your own self defense out to the police and Jesus, and hope for the best, remembering to point the finger at good men and women who own guns whenever someone dies.

shepherdwong
shepherdwong

@AlecPetersen Your "rights" are already "abridged". You can't own a grenade launcher, or a, in most cases, a fully automatic firearm. There are reasons for that. Tell you what, let's test your belief. Like not being able to own hand grenades, it costs practically nothing to ban high-capacity magazines, except to the criminally insane.

Paladin_
Paladin_

@shepherdwong @MikeCarter mike is referring to taping them butt-to-butt, making reloads faster without having to fumble for a full mag 2 seconds max.

shepherdwong
shepherdwong

@MikeCarter Sorry, Mike. Only some magazines can be taped together. It's a regulation/engineering problem, not an act of god.

MichaelRichardson
MichaelRichardson

@shepherdwong @MichaelRichardson And obviously what happened was atrocious and a tragedy, but trying to deflect your anger at that toward me isn't the answer.  But neither is chipping away the rights of law-abiding Americans that had nothing to do with such a horrible incident.  

shepherdwong
shepherdwong

@MichaelRichardson 20 young children just were gunned down by assault weapons in their grade school in a tiny rural town. Take that stat and shove it up your @ss, moron.

shepherdwong
shepherdwong

@MichaelRichardson  Then bring more small, loaded clips. At least in the UK they don't have to listen to a bunch of whiny, paranoid gun nuts who lie with statistics.

dm00123
dm00123

@MikeCarter  

 Gun ban, will work as well as prohibition and the war on drugs. Easier to pick out the mental cases, how can you ban the unregistered that you do not know about?. I agree with background checks.

MichaelRichardson
MichaelRichardson

@ToeHead @AlecPetersen Yeah Toe, I'm sure you'd expect to be shot by your own son in your own home, eh?  Idiot.

That had bad parenting all over it.  But let's not focus on the problems of mental healthcare and parenting responsibility, and instead attack the tools that one guy used to perpetrate murder.  Maybe when the next Ed Gein comes about, we can ban knives, too.

ToeHead
ToeHead

@AlecPetersen Uh, you know who else was shooting at a young age? I think his name was Adam Lanza. That worked out real well. If only his mother had a gun in her home...wait....nevermind....

AlecPetersen
AlecPetersen

Guns for teachers is hard to swallow for really blue states. Cant very well have parents at work imagining gunfights in their kids' classrooms. But Texas, red states? Many of those kids are shooting by the time they are riding bikes. I think the community should decide. Im too tired to come up with taking a taser to a gunfight joke; if someone were rampaging with an assault rifle, I think I'd prefer a Bible to a taser, frankly.