Ammo Shortage Still Hitting Sioux Falls Stores
by Tom Hanson, Anchor
April 29, 2013 9:31 PM
The threat of increased regulation by the Federal Government created a surge in gun buying.
Profits at Cabala's are up 73-percent this quarter, and the company sites gun and ammunition sales as the reason
Those who sell ammo say it is without a doubt the worst shortage they've ever seen, and at this point there is no end in sight.
The demand for ammo peaked shortly after the December shootings at Sandyhook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. Stores like Gary's Gun Shop in Sioux Falls were overrun. Owner Steve Naatjes says sales were driven by fear of government regulation.
"I've had people come in here and buy up to $8,000 worth of ammo at a time, doesn't take very long and you run out at that rate." said Naatjes.
The workers in his shop experienced the biggest run on guns and ammo they'd ever seen.
"At one time I was down to 4 handguns in this whole store", said Naatjes
Five months later, Naatjes says handguns are harder to get than they used to be, but he's able to keep enough in stock to fill his customers needs. That's not always the case with certain kinds of ammo. Some shelves are looking a little bare, especially those that used to hold boxes of .22, 9MM, 308 and 223 shells. Naatjes says his fellow shop owners are in the same situation.
"I've been pretty much from here to Nevada stopping at gun stores everywhere, it's the same deal, the shelves are bare.
You won't have much luck going on line to buy ammo either, page after page from national retailers show they are out of stock, especially when it comes to .22 bullets. According to Guns and Ammo Magazine Americans love their .22's, mainly because both guns and ammo are less expensive.
With an in-house shooting range Naatjes reserves ammo for paying customers, a business decision.
People who rent time on the range, get first dibs on buying ammo.
Naatjes doesn't see the shortage ending anytime soon. In fact he believes it will be more than a year before the manufacturers can catch up with demand and that's if everything goes right.
"I've seen it bad, but nothing like this, this is above and beyond what has gone on in the past."
Naatjes says there has been some price gouging, but most retail stores are keeping prices reasonable, despite the low supply and high demand. He says he has to look his customers in the eye the next time they come in