The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

April 4, 2013

Going great guns: Bullets in short supply, local retailers say

Patrick Buchnowski
pbuchnowski@tribdem.com

JOHNSTOWN — Some people hoard household goods. Others hoard bullets.

That is causing problems for Johnstown-area gun dealers who say manufacturers are running out of ammunition.

“Everybody is hoarding,” lamented Dennis Salem, owner of Sporting Goods Discounters in Richland Township.

He said the government is hoarding ammo and now gun owners are hoarding bullets out of fear that there will be a shortage.

As a result, ammunition manufacturers are reporting a backlog in orders of up to four years.

“Every drop of ammo they can possibly make is sold for the next four years,” Salem said.

Gander Mountain, a hunting, fishing and camping store located near The Galleria in Richland, also is having trouble supplying ammo for its customers.

Customers who call for hunting supplies are greeted by a recorded message:

“Due to the high consumer demand for ammunition, in-stock levels of handgun, centerfire rifle and rimfire ammunition are below our typical in-stock levels.”

Callers then are directed to the Gander Mountain Internet site.

Fewer bullets means higher prices.

Instead of a brick of .22-caliber ammunition selling for $19.95, on the Internet a purchaser might pay more than $100, Salem said.

Salem said he’s forced to ration bullets, limiting customers to one box each.

That’s because manufacturers are shipping less.

“Instead of 500 boxes, we get 10 measly boxes,” he said.

Salem said he doesn’t expect the situation to change anytime soon.

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