Columbia gun stores facing ammunition shortage

Monday, January 28, 2013 | 5:24 p.m. CST; updated 9:57 p.m. CST, Monday, January 28, 2013
Bins that usually hold handgun ammunition sit mostly empty at Target Masters on Range Line Street on Monday. Columbia is experiencing a shortage of ammunition as sales have surged following December's mass shooting in Newtown, Conn., and increased talk about gun control.

COLUMBIA — The debate over gun control sparked by the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., has resulted in a shortage of ammunition in Columbia gun stores. 

“Every place you go (in Columbia), you'll have a problem,” said Barry McKenzie, manager of Target Masters at 4101 Range Line St. “We can't really get it."


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McKenzie said the shortage started about a month ago when people started “panic buying.”

Larry Wayland, manager at Black Rifle at 800 Vandiver Drive, said stores have been selling out of ammunition since November. He said customers are worried that the re-election of President Barack Obama might lead them to lose their rights to gun ownership.

“It’s an issue where people don’t want something taken from them, so they purchase on the front side of any legislative action,” Wayland said.

He said gun owners who are informed about the shortage tend to buy 10 or 15 boxes of ammunition — instead of the one or two they normally would — because of the scarcity.

Wayland said retailers have sold a six- to nine-month stock of ammunition in 30 days. He said one manufacturer he works with has an 18-month back order.

McKenzie and Wayland said ammunition for all types of guns have been selling out. 

Josh Keller, an employee at Family Pawn, 915 Business Loop 70 E., said the store has been able to get ammunition, but manufacturer’s prices have skyrocketed. He said some calibers are five times as expensive as normal. 

“The prices are outrageous, but we’ve stuck to our prices,” Keller said.

McKenzie said he is not expecting the shortage to be alleviated in the next month. Wayland agreed but said he sees an end in sight.

“We did it in '94, we did it in '08 – from the response to the election of Obama,” Wayland said. “It probably took four to eight months to get back in balance, and we’ll see the same thing this time.”

Supervising editor is Scott Swafford.

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Nathan Whitaker January 29, 2013 | 6:02 a.m.

To be fair, Target Masters has always had a limited selection of ammunition at prices that significantly exceeded the average local retail price.

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams January 29, 2013 | 7:45 a.m.

NathanW: Tis true about TargetMasters.

But, to be fair, the author did talk to 2 other vendors as well, Black Rifle and Family Pawn, and they reported the same run on ammunition.

For a more nationwide perspective, the reporter should have visited Midway Arms' webpage.

I'm reasonably certain Larry Potterfield loves this administration...from a financial POV.

(Report Comment)
hank ottinger January 29, 2013 | 9:25 a.m.

Behold the childish paranoia of the citizenry.

(Report Comment)
frank christian January 29, 2013 | 11:26 a.m.

Mayor Bloomberg was spoken to today, in NYC, in broad daylight approaching his limo with five (5) security guards surrounding him and he favors gun control. Citizen paranoia?

(Report Comment)
Jimmy Bearfield January 29, 2013 | 12:10 p.m.

Hank, the prowler on South Garth who threatened to shoot Saturday night is an example of why citizens shouldn't lose the right to bear arms. When seconds count, the police are minutes away.

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams January 29, 2013 | 12:30 p.m.

JimmyB: "...the prowler on South Garth who threatened to shoot Saturday night..."

Why would he do that? What's so special about Saturday night that he would want to shoot it? Why not Sunday or even Tuesday? Personally, I would think Monday would be a much better choice.

I don't understand....


(PS: I dangle participles in my spare time, but I have a full-time job splitting infinitives. Further, my love affair with semi-colons is legendary).

(Report Comment)
hank ottinger January 29, 2013 | 1:16 p.m.

My comment was not directed at any one who legitimately owns a gun; it was directed at those who are swept up in the delusion that the government is coming to take their guns away so they better stock up with more and more ammo to defend themselves.

Incidentally, the Garth incident did not confirm a gun; it was dark, and the person who reported it stated that the man could have been pointing his finger. Either way, it's troubling, of course.

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams January 29, 2013 | 2:03 p.m.

HankO: Define "legitimately".

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith January 29, 2013 | 3:03 p.m.

Michael Williams:

I assume you're aware that certain semi-colons have or are known to have had STDs.

I've been engaging in some foreign correspondence, and now I have a bunch of little umlauts running around the house.

(Report Comment)
frank christian January 29, 2013 | 3:06 p.m.

Hank O. - Have you forgotten your pills again?

"those who are swept up in the delusion that the government is coming to take their guns away so they better stock up with more and more ammo to defend themselves." are "any one who legitimately owns a gun". Who else cares? And if no one in government (Mayor R. Emanuel now entertains idea of putting our gun manufacturers out of business, because no one should be able to profit in this country from, gun violence!) wants to take our guns, why would the San Francisco Senator prepare a bill banning 157 different kinds of them etc., etc. and not mention the necessity of hospitalization of dangerously mentally ill, living among us, as a solution for random shooting?

(Report Comment)
Richard Saunders January 29, 2013 | 3:25 p.m.

"...the store has been able to get ammunition, but manufacturer’s prices have skyrocketed."

Guess what folks, that's the future for all THINGS. Once the inventory of items made back when costs were much cheaper is exhausted, any efforts to resupply require production with a much higher cost base.

As always, this is due to the debasement of the currency by the Not-Federal, Not-Reserve wealth transfer system. As long as Bernanke has a magic checkbook, prices can never go down. Instead, production becomes impossible, as the profit margin required has already been absorbed by those who get the new money first.

Just think, with an exception of getting a raise, each and every day of our lives, we go to work for LESS money (as measured by purchasing power) than we did the day before.

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams January 29, 2013 | 3:44 p.m.

Ellis: I discriminate against all forms of umlauts. I think they are uppity and will not tolerate them.

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams January 29, 2013 | 4:01 p.m.

Ellis: Besides, they should go back to the Bering Sea where they belong......

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams January 29, 2013 | 4:19 p.m.

Wow: Three months after Hurricane Sandy hit, its victims are still waiting for relief. I glad the main stream media finally got around to pilloring President George Bush for not DOING something.

I'm guessing the poster in this place who said "Maybe there is no criticism because there is nothing to criticize" was wrong.

Uh...wait...I mean Hurricane Sandy.

Never mind.

PS: Can you say media bias? Just like most locked out articles in this newspaper show only a few teaser lines...except a chosen few with liberal quotes and statements that the editors WANT everyone to see.

See? I told you there are some freebies left in this world.

(Report Comment)

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