The COVID-19 pandemic stimulated the United States guns and ammo market. As gun sales continue to soar, ammo is becoming more scarce. This ordeal is impacting law enforcement agencies, recreational shooters, personal protection seekers, and hunters.
Weapon manufacturers say they are trying to produce ammunition as quickly as possible to keep up with demand. However, many gun stores’ ammo storages are empty, and prices keep rising.
Due to the pandemic, there has been a rise in social turmoil and violent crime, inspiring millions to buy guns for protection. Also to take up shooting for sport.
“We have had a number of firearms instructors cancel their registration to our courses because their agency was short on ammo or they were unable to find ammo to purchase,” said Jason Wuestenberg, executive director of the National Law Enforcement Firearms Instructors Association.
Doug Tangen, a firearms instructor at the police academy Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission, said the academy is having trouble obtaining ammo.
“A few months ago, we were at a point where our shelves were nearly empty of 9mm ammunition,” he said. In response, instructors took steps to conserve ammo. They started reducing the number of shots fired in each drill, which got them through several months until fresh supplies arrived, Doug Tangen said.
The industry trade group National Shooting Sports Foundation says over 50 million people participate in shooting sports in the US. They sold an estimate of nearly 20 million guns in 2020. Eight million of them were first-time buyers.
“When you talk about all these people buying guns, it really has an impact on people buying ammunition… If you look at 8.4 million gun buyers, and they all want to buy one box with 50 rounds. That’s going to be 420 million rounds,” said spokesman Mark Oliva.
“Where there is an increased sense of instability, fear, and insecurity, more people will purchase guns,” said Ari Freilich of the Gifford Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence.
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