Following another historic spike in the purchasing of firearms in the United States, there is now an ammunition shortage that is primarily impacting the law enforcement community, the New York Post reports.
In the first seven months of 2021, the FBI has reported a record number of background checks for the purchasing of firearms, at 39.7 million. In 2010, there were just 14.4 million, and the number of background checks does not account for other gun purchases, including the same individual purchasing multiple firearms.
The rise in firearms purchases has been attributed to both the pandemic and subsequent lockdowns, as well as the race riots that burned numerous cities across the country last year. The pandemic saw ammunition become one of the highest-purchased items in the nation, similar to the panic-buying of toilet paper last year, and the race riots led to a higher demand for stronger means of self-defense against arsonists, looters, and far-left domestic terrorists.
The shortage of ammunition is most impacting local gun stores and gun ranges, as well as police departments. Jason Wuestenberg, executive director of the National Law Enforcement Firearms Instructors Association, said that he has seen “a number of firearms instructors cancel their registration to our courses because their agency was short on ammo or they were unable to find ammo to purchase.”
In Washington state, Doug Tangen of the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission, said that “a few months ago, we were at a point where our shelves were nearly empty of 9mm ammunition.”
In addition to the impact on small businesses and local police departments, Wuestenberg warned that the rise of individuals purchasing firearms and ammunition who had previously never used a gun could also lead to them harming themselves due to a lack of proper training. “Some have the misconception of, ‘I shot this target 5 yards away and did just fine, so I’m OK if someone breaks into my house,’” Wuestenberg explained. “You’ve got to go out and practice with it.”
Ammunition companies have been working as fast as possible to meet the rising demand, which has led to a rise in imports of foreign ammunition to close the gap. Over the last two years, there has been a 225 percent increase in ammunition imports from Russia, South Korea, and the European Union. Other countries that have been exporting ammunition to the United States include Belgium, Australia, and Israel.