Gun Violence Prompting Sales Spike, Ammo Shortage

Posted at: 01/15/2013 7:30 PM
Updated at: 01/15/2013 7:42 PM
By: Dan Conradt

(ABC 6 NEWS) -- It's been just over a month since a man walked into an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut and gunned down 27 people, including 20 children.

Now, law enforcement agencies around the country are feeling another of the ripple-effects of that day.

"We've seen a sharp increase in permits to purchase," said Austin police chief Brian Krueger.

And now, law enforcement is feeling the impact of "supply and demand".

"The general public obviously has gone out and purchased a large volume off the shelves of ammunition," Krueger explained.

For the range master of the shooting range Austin police and Mower County sheriff deputies use, things have changed since Sandy Hook.

"Two months ago he was doing some checking and everything was fine, orders were there, the rounds were there, the ammunition was available. and since this tragic event they're approximately eight to ten months behind now," said Austin Police Chief Brian Krueger.

"It could be a culmination of things,” said Mower County Sheriff’s Department Chief Deputy Mark May, “thinking that there could be legislation coming down to ban these certain kinds of weapons or the magazines and stuff and people might just think you know I want to be prepared, so I'm going to get ammunition."

There was a similar shortage a couple of years ago.

"With the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan it was taking six to eight months, even close to  a year to get ammunition," Austin police chief Brian Krueger explained.

"The manufacturers ... they cater to the military and everybody else," added chief deputy Mark May.

And demand for ammunition often goes up in the wake of mass shootings like the one at Sandy Hook elementary school.

"We are sitting fine …. the police department, for ammunition, as is the county," police chief Brian Krueger told us.

“We usually do order it ahead of time," added chief deputy Mark May. “We're just like anybody else, we need to compete with everyone for ammunition."

The state requires law enforcement officers in Minnesota to go through weapons qualifications twice a year.

The Austin police department requires quarterly qualifications, and plans to stick with that schedule