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Country experiencing severe ammo shortage; Mississippi shooting range owner explains why

Jackson WLBT logo Jackson WLBT 2/5/2021 WLBT Digital
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TUPELO, Miss. (WTVA) - Gun ammunition is incredibly scarce. Shelves are mostly empty and factories are strained.

Greg Grissom is the owner of Trigger Time Indoor Shooting Range in Tupelo. He said ammunition is selling faster than ever.

“The demand right now is really, really, really great,” Grissom said. “Everything is hot right now. They’ll buy anything that you put out there for them.”

He explained that the range used to sell ammo to the general public but had to stop.

“Now it’s gotten so hard to get and so expensive that we have to keep all of our ammo here just so that people who come in that want to shoot will have ammo to shoot.”

He said there are several reasons why.

“Last year with COVID and panicking with all the riots and stuff, people got really scared.”

In addition, he said millions of new guns were sold to first-time buyers last year and each of those needs at least one box of ammo. “It’s just not available.”

He said Winchester over in Oxford is working 24 hours a day, 7 days a week but still can’t pump enough ammo out.

“I think right now, you’ve got hoarding going on,” Grissom said. “People started buying it up as much as they could get as often as they could get.”

Ammo, such as .380, is hard to come by right now. In fact, one worker said if they get any, they don’t even sell it to the public for shooting. They keep it exclusively for private lessons. However, 9 mm is a much more common caliber. Demand is still high for it, but a person will likely be able to find it before finding .380.

“I’ve got 6, 7, 8 different distributors and I’ve got no ammo through any of them,” Grissom said.

And it’s not just bullets, it’s also gunpowder and primers, too. They’re just scarce right now. He said companies produced more ammo last year (2020) than in 2017 and 2018 combined.

He added the shortage has nothing to do with the government.

“-yet. With this administration, you never know, but, right now, it’s just the demand is greater than the production.”

One customer said he loves coming to Trigger Time, and added ammo shortages won’t keep him from what he loves.

Grissom added he heard it could take companies such as Hornady over a year to fully restock their supply after the demand settles down.

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