DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – At the start of the pandemic, essential items like food and toilet paper began disappearing from shelves, but one item that is still hard to come by is gun ammunition.
Owner of The Miami Armory in Dayton, David Becker, said since the start of the pandemic, he has seen an increased number of first-time gun buyers and previous gun owners who feel the need to stock up on ammunition. Both groups, he said, may have been influenced by panic surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, but he believes personal safety and security may have played a factor as well.
“When you look at the tensions of today, you have ANTIFA, you have COVID, which is government overreach and some conspiracy theories thinking, a little bit of the defunding the police type movement. You know, this is where you as a consumer are going to have to protect yourself, and it’s not going to be done with a baseball bat.”
Another reason for the increase in the ammunition purchases, Becker said, could be a reflection of uncertainty surrounding changes to gun regulations, a pattern often noticed by gun suppliers in election years. But he said the reason the supply hasn’t caught up to the demand may have to do with logistics as well.
“The supply chain is really stressed, because let’s go back to ammunition, and just primarily lead that’s at the top of a cartridge. Lead is not mined here in the United States. So think of the logistics with lead coming in from overseas, the fact that the ports are overwhelmed with the sheer number of ships trying to get in, and then if some of those ports are not secured, the trucking companies won’t come in to deliver it.”
As a result, he said, employees at his store are having to be more stringent with their distribution of materials, only selling bullets to customers who purchase new guns. Becker said the shortage, along with their new system of operation, has meant an increase in overall sales, but a significant drop in revenue from ammunition. But he added, the empty shelves in his business where popular ammo used to be on display, is still a problem for consumers looking to purchase rounds to protect their homes and their families.
“In the gun industry, it’s a good litmus to follow .22 ammo. It’s the most affordable, the most easily accessible. Largely, when you see that ammo start to deplete, that’s when you know you’re in a crisis.”
2 NEWS asked Becker if there’s a solution gun owners can look forward to in response to the shortage. He said right now there isn’t one, adding the best bet for potential buyers is to remain on the lookout for the types of the ammunition they’ll need, which will likely cost significantly more than before pandemic.
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