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.And, of course, a certain percentage of all this extra firepower is going to wind up on the streets. Some will get there by being stolen from law abiding citizens and some will get there more directly from less-than-law-abiding citizens. More guns! More ammo! Woo-hoo!
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.
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.
Thursday, September 24, 2009
This country is so fucked up: