Tags: gun | ammo | shortages | firearms

Gun Retailers Face Massive Ammunition Shortages

Wednesday, 13 Mar 2013 12:40 PM

By Sandy Fitzgerald

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Ammunition is in short supply around the country, brought on by the increase in firearms sales as the debate over new gun control legislation heats up on Capitol Hill.

The shortages are hitting small retailers and large stores, such as Wal-Mart and Cabela's, according to CNN.

Wal-Mart, for example, has been rationing ammunition since January, limiting sales to three boxes per customer per day. And Cabela's reports that it can't keep ammunition for AR-15 rifles on the shelves.

As a result of the shortage, the prices for some ammunition has more than doubled. Brian Rafn, a research director at Morgan Dempsey Capital Management, said a 50-round box for an assault rifle has risen from $12 in some places to $25.

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Ammunition manufacturers have so far declined to comment on the shortages. But Rafn said he believes they're scrambling to keep up production.

"They're probably [working] three shifts, seven days a week, plus overtime. They're probably scrambling to build new plants like they haven't done in eons," he said.

Summing it all up, from the initial jump in gun sales and now ammunition, Rafn ventured: "You're talking about a massive civilian arsenal build up."

But despite the vigorous activity of late on the gun front, a University of Chicago survey last week found that gun ownership has fallen over the past 40 years based on population.

According to its survey, 34 percent of adults owned guns last year, compared to 49 percent in 1973.

But that ownership percentage could go up this year, given the fact that the FBI is reporting that seven of its 10 biggest weeks ever for conducting gun sale background checks have occurred in just the first two months of 2013.

Shares of gun manufacturers like Smith & Wesson and Sturm Ruger, who make assault rifles, are also climbing as people stock up on their guns. CNN reports that there is also a two-year waiting period to buy an AR-15.

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