The New Normal – Ammo Will Remain in Demand: The days of tables stacked high with low-priced ammunition at the local gun show or shelves overflowing with boxes of ammunition in every caliber imaginable at the gun shop are likely a thing of the past. As long as President Joe Biden continues his calls for gun control that fact is unlikely to change.
Biden remains the best salesman the gun industry could hope to have, which explains why even as the sales of firearms have declined this year, they remain well above pre-pandemic levels.
2022 is on track to be the third strongest year on record, coming from the outsized years of 2020 and 2021, the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) – the firearms industry trade association – recently announced.
November was the 39th month in a row to see sales exceed one million units, with about 1.6 million guns being sold. That record of more than a million units sold isn’t likely to come to an end this month, as annual background check data indicated that firearm sales typically increase during the final month of the year coinciding with hunting seasons and holiday sales.
When gun sales remain strong, ammunition remains in high demand.
However, a number of firearms retailers across the country reported that stock of rifle ammunition was in greater supply this hunting season.
“We are in better shape this year, but still not wonderful. For instance, we have .30-06, but not in lead-free. We have a nice selection of .270 in stock. We have a lot of .308,” Pat Kukull, owner of Superior Shooters Supply in Duluth, Minnesota told the Duluth News Tribune earlier this fall.
The sentiment was echoed in neighboring Wisconsin.
“This year we’ve seen ammo start to come back, we have far more options on the shelves than we did the last two years,” Chief Operating Officer for Fireline Shooting and Training Center in Appleton Brandon Powers of Oshkosh explained to WFRV. “When they’re seeing things on the shelves the frustration of the last couple years of things not being there they’re picking it up and snagging it and having it in reserve ready to go.”
Beretta to Build New Ammunition Plant
The truly good news for shooters is that last month Beretta Holding Group, the parent company of Beretta USA, announced plans to invest $60 million in a state-of-the-art ammunition plant to be located in Savannah, Georgia.
Following its acquisition of Norma Precision, the Beretta Holding Group now employs over 1,000 people in the USA through Beretta USA, Benelli USA, Burris, and Steiner eOptics.
The new Norma Precision facility will offer a significant opportunity for Beretta to further increase its already extensive footprint in the U.S. adding ammunition to its U.S. operations. This could help address the ammunition shortages.
“I am delighted to announce our commitment to invest $60 million through our newly acquired US ammunition subsidiary, Norma Precision,” said Dott. Pietro Gussalli Beretta, president and CEO of Beretta Holding S.A.
“Together with my family and Beretta Holding, we are very proud to add ammunition manufacturing to our U.S. presence,” Beretta added. “That is a very special moment as we can now provide our loyal and dedicated U.S. customers with a full range of locally manufactured premium products spanning from firearms to ammunition and optics, all united under the same Group. We are also supporting the local economic network by creating hundreds of new jobs.”
The Empire State’s New Ammo Rules
Complicating matters is a push to ban online sales, and New York has become one of the latest states to put the curb on such ammunition transactions.
New York Attorney General Letitia James recently sent cease and desist orders to thirty-nine ammunition sellers that have been shipping directly to residents of the Empire State in violation of New York’s newly passed SAFE Act.
“Shipping bullets to New Yorkers’ doorsteps is illegal and ammunition sellers that ignore the law will face the full force of my office,” said Attorney General James. “Online sales of ammunition are dangerous and could end up in the wrong hands. We are taking action to protect communities and enforce our responsible gun laws. Ammunition sellers must stop illegally bringing ammo into New York. My office will continue to use every tool at our disposal to protect the safety of everyday New Yorkers.”
New York’s SAFE Act requires all ammunition sales to be conducted in person between a licensed firearms dealer or registered seller of ammunition, and the customer.
The law also requires ammunition sellers to create and maintain a record of every ammunition transaction in New York that includes the age, occupation, and residence of any person buying ammunition.
Even as supplies increase, buying ammunition could be a more difficult process for many Americans.
A Senior Editor for 19FortyFive, Peter Suciu is a Michigan-based writer. He has contributed to more than four dozen magazines, newspapers, and websites with over 3,000 published pieces over a twenty-year career in journalism. He regularly writes about military hardware, firearms history, cybersecurity, and international affairs. Peter is also a Contributing Writer for Forbes and Clearance Jobs. You can follow him on Twitter: @PeterSuciu.