CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — As we approach almost a year of dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States, things haven’t gotten much better for gun shops and gun owners. An ammunition shortage continues, limiting businesses in those stores.
“We get three deliveries a day,” Jeff Massengill said, owner of Americana Arms. “Not all of them necessarily are entirely ammunition ,but sometimes one load in is sold before the next one comes in.
“Because things have gotten so hard to find, if a person has difficulty finding ammunition, when they see it on the shelf, they’re going to buy it,” said Daniel Garcia, general manager of The Sharp Shooter. “And they’re going to buy probably more than they need, more than they should or as much as they can, if the dealer is limiting them.”
Both The Sharp Shooter in Corpus Christi and Americana Arms in Beeville say ammo doesn’t stay long on their shelves. Their reasoning? An increased number of new gun owners. Both said with everything that happened in 2020, more people felt the need to become a gun owner.
“Everything from a grandfather wanting to go shoot a .22 with his grandson to someone who want to make sure they’ve got enough ammunition to defend their family, all of that has coalesced into this wave of demand,” Massengill said. “And the manufacturers simply can’t keep up.”
That’s not the only issue, a representative from American Firearms, an ammunition manufacturer said they have some issues on their end. There is a shortage on some components needed to make the ammo.
So, while people are scraping the bottom of the barrel for gun ammo, many aren’t quick to part ways with it at a shooting range.
“When we have ammunition available they buy it from us, but many times people are coming in with their own ammunition,” said Garcia. “For the most part people don’t want to shoot up their ammunition because it’s so hard to find and it’s getting so much more expensive.”
And some places like Americana Arms have decided to restrict the number of boxes you can buy, on certain calibers.
Neither can say when this will end. The ironic thing is new gun owners are also a positive for business. Both offer classes for new gun owners and they are booked up weeks and months in advance.