For much of the pandemic era, there has been a shortage of ammunition in the United States, which is starting to be noticed by recreational shooters, police departments, and hunters. The shortage, which has been brought about by a sudden rise in demand that hasn’t been met even by increasing supply, could last far beyond this year.
“We have certainly experienced unprecedented demand for all categories of ammunition over the past year—rimfire, centerfire rifle, and pistol, as well as our shotshell products,” Brett Flaugher, president of Winchester Ammunition, told The Reload in May.
“Over the past year, we’ve seen more than 21 million firearms sold, with over 9 million to first-time gun buyers. This is an incredible number. Overall, more than 52 million people in the U.S. participate in the shooting sports, which is actually 2.5 times higher than the number of people who golf.”
Now, a local police chief-turned-gun range manager in Kansas has weighed in as well.
Gary Myers, the former police chief of Pratt, Kansas, and now manager of Shooter’s Corner, told the Pratt Tribune his thoughts on the shortages and what may be causing them.
“I don’t know what the deal is now,” Myers said. “We used to be able to order a case lot of ammo before COVID hit in 2020. We are having a very hard time stocking 30-06, .308, and .243 ammo types. Even 30-30 cartridges used primarily for hunting-type weapons is getting harder to supply to customers.”
Myers echoed many who have attributed the rise in gun ownership to the election of a Democratic administration, and fears about possible new gun restrictions, as well as reports about rising crime in cities around the country.
“There is no way the [government] will ever be able to eliminate gun ownership in this country,” Myers added. He then implied, per the article’s narration, that “someone in the United States has made a conscious decision to just take the ammunition away from gun owners by not allowing the ammunition makers to make enough ammunition for the resupply of market demand.”
There has not been any reporting substantiating that the ammunition shortage was brought about intentionally by the government or any other actor, nor is it clear who exactly would have the power or the ability to do that. Every indication from prior reporting is that the manufacturers are doing all they can to ramp up production of ammunition in order to meet the demand.
“Our right to bear arms is not infringed, rather just the ability to stock your cabinet with much-need ammunition supply,” Myers told the publication.
Stephen Silver 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.