Arms dealers face ammunition shortage

MADISON, Wis. (AP) – Wisconsin arms dealers continue to struggle to keep shelves stocked with ammunition.

Supply chain disruptions from the coronavirus pandemic and increased demand for firearms and ammunition have left shelves empty in some cases. And when a shipment arrives at local arms stores, the ammunition is quickly retrieved.

Tony Blattler of Phillips watched workers recently unload a shipment of .270 Winchester shotgun shells at Fleet Farm in Marshfield. Shortly after, about two dozen people entered the store, grabbing the ammunition as fast as workers could unload it, Wisconsin Public Radio reported.

“Probably within an hour or two, they were sold of this ammunition just by word of mouth,” Blattler said.

Pat Kukull, owner of Superior Shooters Supply, said they ran out of snare shotgun ammo over the summer, with vendors sending in perhaps 2% of the usual 500 cases they could receive . She said there was “absolutely nothing” for those who hunt pheasant, grouse or waterfowl.

“Now we’re entering rifle season, and we haven’t had 0.30 to 30 shells in a year proper,” Kukull said.

The National Shooting Sports Foundation estimates that around 8.4 million people bought a firearm for the first time last year. One indicator of the surge in gun sales is that federal background checks for gun purchases rose 40% last year to a record 39.7 million, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

In Wisconsin, handgun background checks increased 174% last year from the previous year, according to the Wisconsin Department of Justice.

About Marc Womack

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