Ever since the Sandy Hook tragedy in December, gun stores have experienced a run on ammunition so severe that they now have problems keeping any bullets on the shelf. According to CNNMoney on March 12, the shortages are pretty much nationwide, with both small mom-and-pop stores and the large retailers like Walmart left with no supply.
And demand is still booming. Even higher prices have not slowed purchases, as prices have essentially doubled; a $12 box of 50 rounds now costs $25.
Walmart has taken to rationing its supply, with a limit of three boxes of ammunition per customer per day. When sporting goods retailer Cabela’s receives its shipment of ammunition pallets, they are usually gone within the day.
All this, despite the fact that recent surveys show that household ownership of guns is dropping. What this may mean is that people who own guns, own a lot of them.
It’s a “massive civilian arsenal build up,” says Brian Rafn, research director at Morgan Dempsey Capital Management in Milwaukee, who analyses ammunition manufacturers.
When contacted by CNN, ammunition manufacturers declined to comment on whether they had ramped up production, but Rafn says there’s no doubt that they have. But supplies are still incredibly tight.
"We can't get any inventory within a 100-mile radius," said Mark Campbell, who owns of Mid America Arms in St. Louis.