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Gun sellers facing supply problems

By Rosa Duarte, Reporter, RDuarte@wfmz.com
Published On: Jan 31 2013 06:00:00 PM CST
Updated On: Feb 01 2013 04:40:14 AM CST

Gun sellers facing supply problems

WHITEHALL TWP., Pa. -

With guns and gun control at the forefront of debate both in our homes and in Washington, many gun owners are stocking up on ammunition.

Nationally, gun stores have reported a surge in sales since the mass shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, and now many suppliers -- including here in our area --are facing a shortage.

According to gun store owners, the high demand is what's driving the problem but manufacturers too are having trouble getting supplies to even make the bullets, making it difficult to keep up with such a strong demand.

"It started in November with some of our rifle ammo right after the election. We kind of expected that, but really in December is when the handgun ammunition, your .22 caliber and everything else started just selling off,” said David Green, salesman at Army Navy in Whitehall Township and member of the political action committee Firearms Owners Against Crime FOAC.

Green says it's hard to keep any calibers for recreational shooting stocked, meanwhile ammunition for hunting and for self defense is plentiful.

"We're still going to be able to get product; it's just in smaller quantities and more time in between shipments,” said Green.

However it's not just the bullets that are hard to find. Gun owners like Ben Hertzler who prefer to reload or "hand load" their own ammunition are also having a hard time finding supplies.

"Guys like me who load their own, we're kind of low person on the totem pole so we don't get the priority as far as what goes out there in the market,” said Hertzler.

Nonetheless Hertzler said he has faith things will go back to normal. "I think once all the hysteria winds down a little bit, people just can't keep on buying ammo forever. It's expensive."

The high demand for ammo has also caused larger retail stores like Walmart to ration its sales to three boxes per customer, per day.