Senators propose limiting government ammo sales - KAIT-Jonesboro, AR-News, weather, sports

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Senators propose limiting government ammo sales

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PARAGOULD, AR (KAIT) – Ammunition seems to be in short supply these days because many local stores can barely keep bullets on their shelves.

Some lawmakers are blaming an ammo shortage on the federal government, which could see new limits placed on its supplies.

Republican Sen. John Boozman of Arkansas has co-sponsored a bill recently called the Ammunition Management for More Obtainability, or AMMO, Act of 2013.

The AMMO Act was introduced in Congress following concerns that federal agencies like the Department of Homeland Security have stockpiled ammunition, affecting availability nationwide.

According to Sen. Boozman's Web site, the proposal "prohibits agencies covered by this legislation from purchasing or storing more ammunition than it retained on average between 2001 and 2009. The AMMO Act would require the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to audit federal agencies' purchases of ammunition."

The bill aims to limit how much ammo the federal government can ultimately buy so that there's more available to the American consumers, who have reportedly struggled to find or even buy ammo.

The Country Antique & Pawn Shop in Paragould has recently gotten the same question from its customers.

"Do you have any .22 ammo, .22 [magnum], .380 [handgun ammo], 9mm? I mean, it's not there," Owner Linda Wells said.

Wells and her family run the shop, which usually receives ammo shipments every two weeks.

"We've just got a little bit of everything right at the moment," said Christy Eason, who is Wells' daughter and one of the shop's salespeople.

For the past year, Eason says the store has only been able to keep ammo stocked on its shelves for a few days at a time.

"There's a shortage of ammo," Wells said. "Everybody's trying to buy what they can and put it back for the guns that they have."

Wells says she's noticed many out-of-town people coming to her store to try and find ammo, much like Jon Bischof of Paragould has done recently.

"I think most people are afraid that they won't be able to get ammo later on and so they're buying up all they can," Bischof said.

He has seen how short the supply is right now firsthand. The lifelong gun owner has gone from one store to the next searching for a certain type.

"This is the first time in my entire life that you couldn't walk into most stores that sell ammo and buy a box of .22 long rifle shells," he said. "I've never seen anything like this shortage before."

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