Ammo shortage, price hikes persist as hunting season approaches in Virginia

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) – As hunting season approaches in Virginia, there are fears that an already tight market for ammunition could become even more so, putting a burden on local gun stores, as well than on residents looking to buy.

In 2020, gun sales across the Commonwealth have skyrocketed, breaking a record set in 2016 in just nine months. About a year later, 8News spoke again with Southern Gun World owner Karen Ballengee, who said ammunition shortages persist, which could worsen as hunters seek to prepare for the season.

“I racked my brains trying to get ammunition for the hunt,” she said. “We couldn’t get a .410. We found .270, .243, no .30-06. These are very, very popular calibers that they hunt with. “

With careful planning and in business for nearly 50 years, Ballengee said it has a relatively stable handful in the market and where to get the ammunition its customers are looking for. But she’s had to limit shopping in some cases to make sure every customer can get at least one box of ammo when they buy a gun.

“Personally my stock is very good,” Ballengee said. “I haven’t been able to get a box – let alone a crate – a box of ammunition from my big companies in six months.”

Ballengee said when she is able to restock ammunition boxes cost her up to 30% more than before the coronavirus pandemic, and she expects prices to continue to rise. .

“The ammunition itself, I think, as far as some of your larger companies go, of course, they get ammunition. So that being said, they get the ammunition today, the ammunition is gone tomorrow, ”she said. “It’s a burden on small stores because of the ammunition breaking down so quickly. It also places a burden on stores like mine because I don’t have the bodily power to make $ 1 million from 9mm and sell it for $ 25 a box, when our cost is $ 40 a box.

Ballengee said the ammunition shortage has turned into a crisis, straining local businesses, gun owners and law enforcement. In addition to increasing demand and supply chain issues, she said a lead shortage contributed to the problem in 2020.

“If it’s over there, we’ll have it.” If it’s there, other people are going to get it, ”she said. “I think the most important thing people try to know is, you know, not to get mad when someone sells you a box, instead of a case. There is a reason for this.

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