The shortage is impacting smaller stores like The Firing Pin in Bergen, NY more so than big-name corporate stores that can afford larger supply orders. The Firing Pin is currently waiting on back-ordered products worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.
“When normally we might get 20 or 30 cases [of ammo] a week, we’ll get 2 maybe,” said Brandon Lewis, owner of The Firing Pin.
In some cases, buyers are stocking up on whatever ammo they can get their hands on, even if they don’t have the gun to match.
“There are people buying calibers they don’t even have a gun for,” said Lewis. “That ammo’s available, I’m gonna buy it, then maybe down the road I’ll worry about getting a firearm, so it’s a huge problem.”
In a statement to News10NBC, Runnings – a home, farm, and outdoor store – said it’s experiencing “extremely high demand for guns and ammunition – resulting in shortages in each of our 55 retail locations. We’re in constant contact with our suppliers to replenish inventory as soon as it becomes available… Ammo and Guns across the category are experiencing unprecedented demand.”
A major reason for the shortage is changes in the manufacturing process due to the pandemic. Some suppliers have been operating at reduced capacity while others shut down completely.
“When a lot of the shutdowns happened, there was that supply chain interruption. The factories were shut down, or the factories for the raw materials, they can’t get it fast enough,” said Lewis.
Another reason could be an increase in interest in hunting this year. This year marked record sales of big-game hunting licenses and record participation in virtual hunter education. The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation anticipates this hunting season will be busier than normal, and recently issued a reminder for hunters to put safety first.