Ammo shortage causes problem for police, gun owners

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Gun owners know it all too well. Getting your hands on certain types of ammunition isn't easy right now.

The shortage, being dubbed by some as the "Great Ammo Shortage of 2013," is affecting more than just avid shooters.

"People started buying a lot of guns, well they also started buying a lot of ammunition," owner of Blackiron Shooting Range, Aaron Coleman told Region 8 News.

Coleman said the ammo industry is being hit doubly hard with both the military and general public buying up ammo left and right. He said it's making orders hard to fill.

"They've not caught up yet," Coleman said. "Because of that, I've seen a spike in people coming out shooting who will pick up their brass and have me reload their ammunition for them."

Coleman, who is also a licensed bullet manufacturer, is working now to fill orders.

"I had a gentleman bring this thousand rounds of .45 long Colt brass to me for me to reload it for him," he explained.

The shortage, however, is extending farther than the general public. Something that's atypical for some local police departments.

"Pistol ammunition is hard to get. I spoke with the training officer this morning, he said that he's made an order but he's not been told when to expect the order," Sgt. Lyle Waterworth with the Jonesboro Police Department told Region 8 News.

Waterworth said because of that, they're working to be more aware of what's in their inventory.

"Training officer does a good job of keeping a round count, knowing how much is available to train with," Waterworth explained.

But it's not just training and staying proficient the PD has to worry about. Waterworth explained that the state mandated "50 Round Speed and Accuracy Test" is something each officer at the department has to qualify on yearly.

"For some agencies, if you have two guys it's bad because ammunition is hard to get but when you have upwards of 200 people going through that course of fire, it makes the ammunition harder to get," Waterworth said.

Coleman told Region 8 News the hardest ammo to come by right now is for 9mm and .380 caliber rounds.

Waterworth said their ammo distributor does try to ensure the department gets the ammunition they need.

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