In the past several years, firearm enthusiasts and Second Amendment supporters have been under attack with the passage of what they consider to be unconstitutional legislation.
Here, it was the New York Safe Act. This and other anti-gun attitudes in states like Colorado and Connecticut have had dramatic effects on the gun owners and firearms/ammo companies.
In New York, the pressure of the Safe Act was a major reason the Remington Arms plant in Illion was shut down. They said they were moving to the more firearms–rights friendly state of Alabama. This is a company that had its roots in Illion since 1816. Twelve hundred jobs were lost.
Additionally, the continuous attack on the so-called Black Gun/Assault Weapons, along with other gun control proposals, a tremendous demand to buy firearms was created. I remember walking into local gun shops filled with buyers and seeing clerks that were constantly on the phone doing National Instant Criminal Background Checks System for the gun purchases.
In 2012, NICS set two records, a monthly and an annual. In December, there were 2,783,765 NICS checks. The record for the year was 19,592,303. At the Shot Show, I heard a number of gun manufacturers and dealers saying that their best salesman was President Obama.
Following closely was another rush — ammunition. The proposed ban of certain .223 ammo caused a rush on that caliber, but the one most talked about is the current .22-caliber shortage.
For quite a while, this rimfire cartridge has been hard to get. It’s believed the shortage was just a ploy by the ammunition manufacturers to raise their prices.
I don’t believe that’s true. Remember, the recent gun regulations have caused a number of gun owners to stockpile.
So why don’t manufacturers increase their ammo production? The truth is that most of them have been running at almost full capacity. I know that Federal Premium ammunition is running ammunition manufacturing 24/7. Why don’t they expand? Expansion requires a substantial monetary investment, and this “run on ammo” could stop anytime.
The NRA’s “American Rifleman” magazine said the shortage was a spike in demand. I’m sure many have heard the government is buying all the ammo, but that’s not true.
In fact, the National Shooting Sports Foundation reports the government’s consumption has gone down.
Local ammunition dealers are also faced with limited supplies. I spoke to a number of them about .22 ammo purchases and sales. The big national stores like Walmart and Dick’s Sporting Goods are buying direct from manufacturers, but the timing of delivery isn’t consistent.
Dick’s told me when it comes in, to be fair, they sell only one box of ammo per person per day. Smaller gun shops are buying from distributors, and they’re also limited.
I found Serra Bullets, an American bullet manufacturer, posted on the internet about why there is a .22 ammo shortage that made some sense. The manufacturers running 24/7 are making 25 million to 30 million rounds per day. It’s estimated there are 70 million to 80 million firearms owners in the U.S.
How many of them own at least one .22?
Let’s assume that half of the gun owners (35 million) bought just one 500 pack of
.22 ammo a year. Now multiply 35 million times 500, which equal 17.5 billion rounds. At 25 million rounds per day, it would take 1.92 years.