The magazine is running dryLaw enforcement officials concerned about ammunition shortages
Even though both the Washington Police Department and the Washington County Sheriff’s Office have a stockpile of ammunition for their sidearms and the rifles used by SWAT teams, recent shortages of ammunition are giving them cause for concern.
Throughout the nation, sporting goods stores are reporting their inventory of ammunition is running low. Coinciding with reports of possible coming gun control legislation, merchants are seeing certain guns and ammunition flying off the shelves. In Washington Craig Jones, co-owner of Ace-N-More, which keeps a selection of firearms and ammunition, said the business is seeing new guns and ammunition “trickle” in. Looking at the cases where the supplies of bullets are dwindling, he said that .22 Long Rifle ammunition was the first to go. He also said that handgun calibers and 5.56 mm ammunition, which is used in military rifles, are rare.
“Ammunition is running really short right now,” he said. “We’ve got some serious issues with some. We are getting small shipments in. I think they are trying to spread it out as much as they can. It could be a year before this gets better.”
Jones said that he is seeing some increase in the price of bullets as well. He said that sales in both guns and ammunition have increased since December. He said more recently people come in “daily” to purchase ammunition that the business has run out of and is unable to have restocked.
Area law enforcement orders ammunition a year at a time. Officials are concerned about being able to get ammunition for the next year. Washington Police Chief Greg Goodman said that some ammunition vendors give priority to law enforcement, so he hopes the department’s order for next year can be filled.
“We don’t know how far in advance we should order,” he said. “We do normally order ahead of time.”
He said that members of the police department use quite a bit of ammunition during training. He said officers normally have to qualify with their sidearms. Members of the SWAT team also frequently practice.
Area law enforcement uses .40-caliber Glock handguns. SWAT teams are armed with AR-15 and M-16 riles that use 5.56 mm ammunition.
Washington County Sheriff Jerry Dunbar said that there have been times in the past when resupply of ammunition took 15 months. He said this is when much of the ammunition was being used in Operation Enduring Freedom. Now, he said, resupply is expected to take about six months.
“We try to have a year’s supply on hand all the time,” he said. “We have never run short. We got pretty close that one time.”
He said that in cases where ammunition runs short, the department has to watch the amount of ammunition used in training. He said officers have to qualify twice a year with sidearms, which is a 50-round course. He also said officers trained to use special weapons have to qualify with them.
“It’s important as far as lawsuits to meet the standards,” he said. “It is also important to be able to be a good shot and be above standards to get your shots on target and not hurt innocent people.”
Officers are required to qualify with the same kind of ammunition that they carry on a daily basis. For practice, officers use less expensive ball rounds.