HOLBROOK, Arizona – Recent events and the coronavirus pandemic continue to fuel a gun and ammunition shortage as people find nearly empty shelves in gun stores.
Some ammunition and gun store owners say demand started around the same time as COVID-19 and around the same time the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) made nearly $ 40 million. firearms background checks – ten million more than the number of background checks in 2019.
“Yes. I would say there is a definite shortage of ammunition,” said Liz Nichols of Nichols Sportsman in Holbrook, Ariz. “The shortage isn’t just here. It’s everywhere and it’s all kinds. ammunition. I think at first people got scared and started buying to store. And politics was there too.
Persistent supply chain issues from manufacturer to distributor have become a major concern as the holidays and the deer and bear hunting season approach. But they are not new. Throughout the pandemic, a sales boom has resulted in a shortage of firearms and ammunition.
“It just became a point where I struggled to find what I wanted, whether it was guns or ammunition,” said Bill Samuels, a resident of Joseph City. “There are times when I think about starting my own firearms and ammunition business, because lately I just haven’t been able to find enough of what I need.
Rationing in place
According to some, the problem can be attributed to several factors – the COVID-19 pandemic, civic unrest and fear of stricter gun control laws.
Each sparked panic buying, with gun owners flooding stores, leaving shelves virtually empty, according to some gun owners.
“We started rationing (the ammunition) because we want to give everyone the opportunity to have something,” said Nichols – who runs the store with his father, Ron.
Nichols pointed out that the store is located off of Interstate 40 and that a lot of people are coming from the freeway.
“Due to COVID-19, suppliers of primers, powder, cartridge cases and things like that, there was a backlog of that stuff. So that’s the ideal situation as to why where the ammunition shortage started, “she said.
According to the National Shooting Sports Foundation, there were 8 million new gun buyers last year.
A political angle
Ed McCombs said he recently saw workers unload a shipment of .270 Winchester shotgun shells at a reloading store in southern Utah.
McCombs is a retired Diné College Marketing Administrator from Washington State.
A Republican and gun enthusiast, McCombs believes liberal politicians want to take away second amendment rights from the people of the United States Constitution. The amendment sets out the right to own and bear arms.
“I really think this ammunition story relates directly to politics,” McCombs said. “First, they’re going to take all the ammunition. Then they will come and get our weapons. We will no longer have any freedom in the long term.
An avid hunter, McCombs said he knew friends who stopped by gun shops or outdoor stores when they traveled to check ammunition.
“It’s supply on one side and demand on the other,” he said. “You have to throw that COVID-19 thing in there too. ”