What a relief: Yearlong ammo shortage begins to ease

David Foster of Bedford has had a hard time all year finding ammunition for his guns.

After finding mostly empty shelves at gun stores, he finally went to a gun show a few months ago to stock up.

"I couldn't find it anywhere except the gun show, and even there I had a hard time," said Foster, 31. "And it cost a lot."

But workers in the weapons industry point to signs that a nearly yearlong nationwide ammunition shortage may be winding down. More ammo is making it to store shelves now, and the price is slowly coming down.

"We're seeing the light at the end of the tunnel," said DeWayne Irwin, owner of Cheaper Than Dirt, a Fort Worth store and online retailer. "I’ve been doing this business since 1988, and I’ve never seen something like this happen with ammunition. But it’s not going to be like this forever."

Demand for guns and ammo began growing last year before the November presidential election. It continued partly because many gun owners were concerned that President Barack Obama and Democrats in Congress would reinstate an assault weapons ban or drastically hike taxes on ammunition, guns and firearms materials, analysts have said.

While there hasn’t been such action in Washington, apprehension remains and is likely playing a role in prompting people nationwide to not just buy guns and ammunition, but to stock up on them as well, some gun enthusiasts say.

"It was the new politics and the fear of the unknown," said Robert Parks, store manager at the Alpine Shooting Range in Fort Worth. "That’s what triggered this. It was the not knowing if they were going to be able to purchase handguns or be taxed more."


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