Cumberland Times-News

May 13, 2013

Ammunition in short supply across nation

Shelves empty at local sporting goods stores and gun shops as manufacturers try to meet America’s current demand

Michael A. Sawyers
Cumberland Times-News

— CUMBERLAND — At Bassin’ Box in LaVale, it’s pretty easy for owner Jim Wiegand to inventory his supply of rifle ammunition. He doesn’t even have to get off his chair.

“We don’t have nothing. We can’t get nothing. We don’t expect to get nothing,” Wiegand said Monday morning.

“Pretty much everything has been gone for two months now,” Wiegand said. “The manufacturers are saying it will be a year to a year and a half before supplies are back.”

The bare ammo cupboard at Bassin’ Box reflects a national dearth that began with the November re-election of President Barack Obama that caused shooters and hunters to anticipate restrictions on guns and ammunition, according to an article on CNN Money.

That concern became frantic following the mass-murder of school children in Connecticut and gun control legislation that followed on the national level and in some states, according to the article.

“We sold 3,000 boxes of .22 (caliber) ammo in 2 1/2 days,” Wiegand said, referring to the run on shells following the introduction of gun control bills in the Maryland General Assembly.

Wiegand said he has orders into manufacturers, but is not optimistic they will be filled any time soon.

The websites of large online ammunition vendors, such as Cabelas, indicate that the popular rifle calibers such as .308 would be backordered with an estimated shipping date of 10 to 11 weeks.

Some sites are restricting the number of boxes that may be bought per customer per day. Cabelas limits buyers to five boxes of Federal .243 caliber, for example.

Dan McKenzie at Moore’s Gun Shop in Cresaptown said the store has no pistol ammo and no .22 ammunition, including .22 magnum shells.

“Customers are going everywhere and anywhere to find what they need,” McKenzie said. “Some of them are driving two or three hours away if they find a place that has their caliber.”

A Missouri vendor told CNN that a massive civilian arsenal buildup is taking place.

Not surprisingly, the cost of ammunition has increased dramatically.

“The places that sold out first were the ones with the lowest prices,” said Wiegand at the Bassin’ Box.

The manager at Dunham’s in LaVale referred the Times-News to corporate offices in Michigan, but the newspaper’s call was not returned.

Contact Michael A. Sawyers at msawyers@times-news.com.