Ammo shortage limits some gun shops' sales - FOX Carolina 21

Ammo shortage limits some gun shops' sales

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Partially empty shelves at Trader's Gun Shop. (Jan. 31, 2013/FOX Carolina) Partially empty shelves at Trader's Gun Shop. (Jan. 31, 2013/FOX Carolina)

The recent gun debate has many gun enthusiasts worried and flocking to gun shops to stock up on ammunition, leaving many shops' shelves empty of certain types of ammo.

The shelves may appear empty at Trader's Gun Shop in Greenville County, but owner Jim Frazier said they're managing to get deliveries in weekly, with some limitations.

"One box per caliber for each customer, per day, and that way everybody can get a little bit of ammunition," he said.

Even though some gun shops are limiting the amount of ammunition purchased, others like Allen Arms in Greenville aren't seeing a problem right now.

"We've invested heavily in ammunition, so we manage to keep things in stock that a lot of other ranges and shops in the area might be struggling with," said Allen Arms spokesman John Vanswearingen.

Vanswearingen said it also seems like the limitations are going beyond local gun shops, including national retail chains and ammunition distributors.

"Distributors that actually sell the ammunition are going so far as putting limits on how many cases individual dealers can buy," said Vanswearingen.

It's a move gun shop owners tell FOX Carolina will go on as long as Congress debates gun legislation. Even some national stores have new ammunition restrictions in place.

Wal-Mart recently released this statement: "In order to take care of as many customers as possible, starting Thursday, Jan. 24, all ammunition sales were limited to three boxes per customer, per day as supply is limited at this time."

"Right now there is probably a lot of panic buying," Frazier said. "I think once that is over, the industry will start to catch up."

And that's what many gun owners are hoping for while they search for ammunition. The restrained ammunition sales have also affected law enforcement agencies.

Cherokee County Sheriff Steve Mueller said his office has seen a shortage for more than a year. He said last year, it was attributed to wars overseas, but this year, he said the recent gun debates have made it even harder.

"So we are already ordering ammunition now for our next budget year, which doesn't go into effect until July, in hopes that we can have it here on time," Mueller said.

Mueller said with the recent issues finding ammunition, his office is considering cutting down on some training to conserve, though they have plenty of ammunition for the coming months.

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