Loading Up: Gun Sales Lead to Ammo Shortages

Gun sales have surged in 2020, already matching last year's total through the end of July. But Americans who purchased all of these new firearms may have some difficulty loading them. Ammunition sales have also shot through the roof, leading to shortages and some stores placing limits on ammo purchases. "We've seen various shortages, particularly in 9mm ammunition, Sub 45 caliber ammunition, and 12-gauge buckshot ammunition," says Mike Clark with Collectors Firearms in Houston.

Clark tells KTRH his store has limited ammunition purchases to five boxes per customer, but they have mostly replenished their stock now thanks to a change in supplier.

Edwin Walker, attorney with U.S. Law Shield, says it makes sense that rising gun sales would also lead to a run on ammunition. "A gun is just a paperweight without any ammunition...it can't be used at all...and so with new people buying guns, they're always going to buy ammunition," he says. "For gun owners, it's a trait---we're taught to stock up on ammo because, unfortunately that is the sort of thing that is absolutely necessary for self defense."

While skyrocketing guns and ammo sales have been great for business, gun sellers have struggled at times to keep up with the demand in recent months. "I can order 500 of a particular gun, and I might get like three the next week...not 300, but three guns," says Clark. "So it's a wacky thing going on...it's not just the ammunition, guns are hard to get."

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