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8 Million New Guns Owners: A Big Reason for the Great Ammo Shortage?

8 Million New Guns Owners

The U.S. has been suffering a shortage of ammunition, for close to a year, one of many unusual shortages brought about by the pandemic.

The shortage has been attributed to more people than usual purchasing ammo throughout the last year, for a few reasons, including boredom during the pandemic, fears about new gun control regulations, as well as concerns about social unrest in 2020. There were some supply chain issues as well, but even with production at full capacity since the early days of the pandemic, the shortages have endured.

“On certain products, we are certainly seeing backlogs that stretch out two years and beyond,” Brett Flaugher, president of Winchester Ammunition, told the website The Reload earlier this spring. “For those who shoot 9mm and 5.56 ammunition, which are both in high demand, it’s very uncertain how long it will be before people will consistently have ammunition readily available.”

There have been reports that in some parts of the country, the ammo shortage has left police unable to engage in shooting drills. Now, a report says it could affect hunters.

According to KUTV in Utah, a local gun shop is warning that hunters may have trouble coming up with ammo this fall.

“Everything is difficult right now,” said Dave Larsen, manager of Doug’s Shoot’n Sports told the TV station. “There’s not a single round of ammo really available at any of the wholesalers.” He added that while it’s easier to find handgun ammo, specialty ammunition has been harder to come by.

Larsen also said that supply could take as long as a year to get back to normal levels.

Back in April, the website Deer and Deer Hunting looked at the ammo shortage problem and its potential impact on hunters.

“Since the COVID-19 crisis fully enveloped this country almost exactly one year ago, the U.S. has added 8 million new gun owners,” the site said. “That’s no typo! Want some perspective? That’s the equivalent of selling one new gun to every man, woman and child currently living in Los Angeles, Chicago and Houston. That’s a lot of new gun owners (duh), and a lot of new demand for ammo.”

That site also cited the civil unrest as a reason for the demand for guns, as well as the likelihood that some form of speculation is going on as well.

“People are so paranoid that they won’t have enough .22 shells to get through the 2052 squirrel season that they are buying boxes, bricks and cases of ammo whenever and however they can get their hands on it,” the post said of the rush to beat the ammo shortage.

 Stephen Silver, a technology writer for The National Interest, is a journalist, essayist and film critic, who is also a contributor to The Philadelphia Inquirer, Philly Voice, Philadelphia Weekly, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Living Life Fearless, Backstage magazine, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.

Written By

Stephen Silver is a journalist, essayist, and film critic, who is also a contributor to Philly Voice, Philadelphia Weekly, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Living Life Fearless, Backstage magazine, Broad Street Review, and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.



  1. Roy Davis

    July 8, 2021 at 8:44 am

    NO. The reason is because people expect a shooting war and they want to have ammo for it.

  2. Gene

    July 8, 2021 at 11:12 am

    Here in ftworth tx we have to line up at 5am and get a number to purchase ammo. I target practice with my .22 because .9 mm is so scares or way to high. I believe social unrest is the main reason. New Texas gun laws and gun expunged laws leave us with ltc licence worried

  3. John Steele

    July 8, 2021 at 11:46 am

    I agree with Roy. With the democrats running wild like feral animals, folks are afraid of a collapse of society in their areas and are stocking up on ammo and guns..

  4. TrustbutVerify

    July 8, 2021 at 1:31 pm

  5. FlyR

    July 8, 2021 at 1:47 pm

    It’s like people stocking up on plywood, gasoline and whiskey when there’s a hurricane approaching and the government is talking about Prohibition.

  6. Sam

    July 8, 2021 at 2:22 pm

    Most of the comments are spot on, however, 380 ammo is impossible to buy anywhere unless you want to buy frangible, not lead tips. I am 90 years old and have lots of guns but with arthritis in both hands I need a smaller gun to rack a cartridge into the chamber and the new Smith & Wesson 380 EZ slide works best.

  7. RJ

    July 8, 2021 at 2:33 pm

    I have been shooting more than ever…but I reload and stocked up on primers, powder and bullets before the shortage hit.

  8. Clifra Jones

    July 8, 2021 at 3:14 pm

    I find these report amusing. Yeah, if you want to go down to your local gun store and buy ammo expect to see shortages. If you go online, you can usually find what you need. Sites like will help you find the best price. I was able to buy anything I needed during the pandemic and even now ad good prices.

  9. Bruce G Vick

    July 8, 2021 at 4:17 pm

    I agree with TrustbutVerify. The government for several years have been buying up 5.56,223 hollow point ammo by the millions. Even the social security admin, has bought hundreds of thousands rounds. Home land security is the biggest buyer of all. Trainloads of plastic coffins have been steadily shipped to a northern HLS camp. Unsettling right!? This has been going on for a few years now.

  10. MuleSkinner

    July 8, 2021 at 5:14 pm

    That’s only one part of the equation. 8 million new gun owners is a drop in the bucket compared to the already 120 to 150 million gun owners many of which are buying as much ammunition as they can possibly get their hands on because society is in freefall. Violent crime has gone up exponentially since the Democrats stole the election. The morale in almost every law enforcement agency in the country is at rock bottom because offices are afraid they’re going to lose their careers and their pensions when the left wing governments of their cities and towns decide to pull the plug on their funding. We also see a lot of gun control saber rattling coming out of the Biden administration. Joe Biden put forth the most anti second amendment candidate for ATF director they have ever had. A man who has professed to want to ban the most popular rifle in the country. Not to mention withdrawal the atf’s guidelines on bump stocks and pistol braces making millions of Americans instant felons. Keep your powder dry folks the shit is going to hit the fan. And I don’t care what Joe Biden says it doesn’t take f-15s and nuclear weapons to take down the federal government. The easiest way to kill a snake is to cut off the head. Guess who the head of the federal government is?

  11. MLK

    July 8, 2021 at 7:52 pm

    Yupl time is coming that “We the people” will have to take this country back because our representatives do not have the courage to do as our reps! Most people I know have enough guns and ammo to start WWIII, so Biden when you and your thugs come and try to take them, expect resistance! Lots of it….

  12. David

    July 8, 2021 at 8:53 pm

    There is no speculation. Tyranny is the new norm in the USA. No question about it, unless you account for redefined words and a propagandist narrative. But that’s redundant, since that’s part of said tyranny. Conservationists, militia, conservatives, moderate democrats, independents… 40% of the 1st gun buyers in 2021 are women and minorities. That should tell us all we need to know about polls and voting blocks.
    Yes, America is anticipating a Venezuela-esque or Eastern block decline/collapse. It is well founded and intellectually terrifying.
    We are arming for a coming collapse. Yes, we have the ammo. The We that I’m referring to is growing and awakening.

  13. Jack carter

    July 9, 2021 at 1:37 am

    We need to get it on and get it over with … that way my gkids won’t have to deal with loons in the future

  14. Elliott

    July 9, 2021 at 3:12 am

    shortage? I’m tumbling 100 30-06 cases right now. I just helped my buddy make 100 rounds of 9mm using hornady 115 grain self defense loads.
    I seem to be able to feed every one of my tools.
    and I keep finding ammo in cans that I squirreled away. found 350 rounds of 5.56mm the other day and a speed loader for a 38 that I sold years ago. I need a 38 to go with that speed loader now.
    I just made 50 rounds of 38 special too. 158 grain bullets made by ranier. they’re out of business now but they made good bullets.
    I will make another 100 rounds of .380 for my wife’s pistol too.
    I’ll split those 38’s with my Mother in law because I love her even if she’s a democrat.

    as for 22 ammo? I’m down to around 2000 rounds of 22 mag and 5k of 22 long rifle.
    but that’s mainly for my 7 year old that’s already transitioning to a 5.56 ar platform (collapsible stock really helps his length of pull..his arms are short).
    we’re good at my house. Then again,
    we’re shooters. Not just hunters.

  15. Tex Hooper

    August 26, 2021 at 6:14 pm

    I like your gun tips. I need to defend myself. I’ll have to get a pistol.

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