The Unprecedented Gun and Ammo Shortage by Larry C Johnson

Gun Stores

There is a quiet revolution underway across the United States that signals how the average American is reacting to the Democrat campaign of supporting rioting and chaos in major cities. American citizens are arming themselves to the teeth and this includes many who previously supported gun control measures.

If you doubt me, go on-line and try to buy a box of 9mm, 380, 45 or 300 blackout ammunition. If you can find it you will be paying a premium that is without precedent. Around the first of July, you could buy a box of 9mm cartridges for about $12 a box. That works out to .24 cents a cartridge. Today, you are going to pay around a $1 a bullet if you can find it.

I was describing the shortage in Florida the other day to a great friend who lives in Iowa. He thought I was crazy and assured me he could get me 9mm ammo. I egged him on and asked him to buy everything he could and ship it to me. He was certain he could get the .24 cents a bullet price. One hour later he texted me that the local gun stores were sold out. That’s Iowa. Same applies across the country. Ammunition is scarce.

How about buying a gun? Here is a screenshot from Shoot-Straight, which is a pretty large retail seller of firearms and ammunition. Hardly anything is in stock. Same applies to rifles and shotguns. They are not widely nor easily available.

Image 8-14-20 at 1.15 PM

What about reloading ammo? For those unfamiliar with this term, I am talking about shooters who collect empty brass shell casings and put primers, gun powder and bullets into the casing and create their own bullets. Primers in the United States, as of today, are virtually unobtainable. Gone. Bought out.

Selena Zito recently did a great story on a Pittsburgh gun store, SmokeNGuns. She reports:

Things changed dramatically in gun shops across the country in February, when the first concentrated COVID-19 cases in one town were reported out of New Rochelle, New York. “We made more here in … March and April than we did in the last three years,” he says. “It was crazy.”

This is not an isolated case. The same phenomena is taking place in gun stores across the country. The upsurge in gun and ammunition purchase is so dramatic that I have begun to wonder if Black Lives Matter and Antifa were part of some deep dark conspiracy to promote national gun ownership.

The biggest driver in the rush on guns and bullets is first time gun owners. At the start of the Covid panic and the accompanying George Floyd riots, I was standing in line to sell a gun at a local gun store. The store was only allowing a certain number of people inside at one time. As I waited my turn, a middle aged woman came pulled up in her car, jumped out and approached me with frantic questions, “do we have to wait in line and do they have any guns.”

“Yes and yes” I explained. She calmed down and we chatted. Turns out she is a critical care nurse and had never owned a gun in her life. But in light of the chaos she had seen on TV, she was going to get a gun. Her heart was set on buying an AR-15. Here is a representative example:

Family of AR-15 Inventor Eugene Stoner: Gun Wasn't Meant ...

She had no idea how to load it or shoot it. She had never held one. But by God she wanted one and, as I discovered as I left the store, she bought one. This is not an isolated example. I volunteer as a Range Safety Officer at a local gun range. Every time I have worked the firing line in the last six weeks I have had at least two new shooters show up. This means we have to spend some time showing them how to use their new purchase safely. Last Sunday, for example, I spent 20 minutes with a 74 year old woman who barely weighed 95 pounds, learn how to load and shoot her brand new AR-15.

Shame on the gun store that sold this to the nice lady. It is more gun than she could handle. Unfortunately, not all gun retailers are taking time to ensure that clients get a gun they can actually handle. I can understand that some are reluctant to interfere with people who are keen on buying something they are incapable of using. The reason is that many are panicked. People are buying guns because they believe they cannot depend on local governments and cowardly politicians to protect them and their property. This mood is setting in across the country.

The mainstream media and the Democrats can bury their heads in the sand and pretend that the rioting and looting are isolated phenomena and do not affect the average American. WRONG. People are paying attention and what they see is frightening many to take the first step in protecting themselves. They are buying up guns.

If Democrats genuinely believe that there is a mood in America to take away guns or limit sales of AR-15s and other long guns wrongly perceived as “assault rifles”, they are in for a rude awakening come November. The new gun buys, who have shelled out at least $1000 to buy themselves some peace of mind are not going to willingly surrender what they see as an essential tool for protecting themselves and their families.

There is another metric the shows the intense interest in firearms–a record number of people are signing up to get trained to use their new guns and to obtain a conceal carry permit.

If you are one of the tsunami of new gun buyers but are still uncertain on how to safely hold, load, fire and clean their new purchase, please take the time to get trained. A firearm (I like to call it a “Bullet Firing Device”, BFD for short) is not a toy and is designed to kill. There is no room for faith or belief in the realm of firearms and ammunition. If you “believe” your gun is unloaded you are a fool. You must know with 100% certainty whether a gun is loaded or unloaded. You must never put your finger on any trigger until you are ready to shoot your BFD. And you never point the gun at anyone unless you are intending to shoot that person or persons.

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29 Responses to The Unprecedented Gun and Ammo Shortage by Larry C Johnson

  1. Fred says:

    I have to disagree with you. After seeing multiple Antifa and BLM types marching in either Seattle, Portland, Minneapolis, or Atlanta with AR-15’s aplenty I can assure you the party no longer considers them “assault rifles”. I’ll concur on the ammunition shortage, 9mm inventory ran down here, with price hikes accordingly, about 3 weeks ago. Same story in Alachua county too.

  2. Hal says:

    The last few weeks I have been educating myself about air rifles. I last shot one 40 years ago, a 22 caliber pellet rifle. Well…they now range from lower pressure/caliber for plinking/small game to rifles capable of killing bison. I was totally unaware of Pre-charged Pneumatic (PCP) rifles operating at 3500 psi at up to 50 caliber. As well as Pneumatic “cross bows”. Food for thought since availability is pretty good.

  3. RHT447 says:

    I graduated the U.S. Army Small Arms Repair School at Aberdeen Proving Grounds in ’74. There, I just dated myself.
    My wife and I live in the DFW area. Our neighbors across the cul-de-sac are our age and bought their house new about 1980. He shot and hunted as a kid, I don’t think she has ever fired a gun, but is now keen to learn. Fortunately, I am in a position to offer them the benefit of my experience, lend them a suitable .22, and donate a 50 round box of ammo to the cause.
    We moved here from Kalifornia in 2015. This ain’t my first rodeo. I am stocked in depth in ammo and components.

  4. Argos says:

    I hate it when grown men whine. Have you looked at the price and availability of pressure treated deck lumber?

  5. Arei says:

    Everyone should remember Jeff Cooper’s 4 Rules:
    1. All Guns Are Always Loaded
    2. Never Let the Muzzle Cover Anything You Are Not Willing To Destroy
    3. Keep Your Finger Off the Trigger Until Your Sights Are On Target
    4. Be Sure of Your Target and What is Behind It.
    A good write up Mr. Johnson, though an AR might be easier for some people to wield and accurately shoot than a pistol.

  6. Ishmael Zechariah says:

    re: “And you never point the gun at anyone unless you are intending to shoot that person or persons.
    You might have added that one never shoots at a person or persons except to kill.
    Truth be told I would be scared with that many “trained” new shooters around. IMO a weekly trip to the range with a dozen or so bullets sent downrange is required to be familiar w/ your favorite BFD.
    Ishmael Zechariah

  7. Oilman2 says:

    I didn’t know what would drive this push, but every time the gun grabbers made noise and we had a Dem or a Rino in as POTUS, I stocked. Last summer I stocked on reloading raw materials, even buying spent rounds from the local range.
    TBH, my kids thought I was nuts, and SWMBO raised hell every time she saw a delivery from anywhere she didn’t order. But I shoot .3006 for range, and off-the-shelf those are $2 each unless you go with crap powder. 7.62 is better pricewise to the point it wasn’t worth reloading until February. .44? .50? Well, let’s just say those rounds were much pricier before and scary now.
    I have my formerly anti-gun kids (2 of 4) freshly outfitted with 9mm ‘ladyguns’ after one was accosted in the parking lot leaving work. My boys are to the teeth as well, and we intend to stay this way – just in case things get nutty at the end of the year, or degrade further in terms of civility.
    I am seeing adults literally throw fits and have meltdowns over the masking issue. I have seen women gang up on old men and boys gang up on women – all over a mask that is useless in preventing the spread of infection. There is a LOT of choked back rage, and it has been erupting on the road where I live. Fortunately, our gun laws are not restrictive, and it only takes “I am armed, Sir…” and the incident de-escalates quickly in most cases. But these are the signs of declining civility, and nobody knows how far it will go yet.
    I am extremely happy to help anyone with their safety and learning to handle things right. It’s long overdue for those who are NOT conservative to exercise their weak 2nd amendment muscles. If this craziness does nothing else for us in America, it has surely dealt the gun grabbers one helluva blow.
    Our founders were very correct in the 2nd Amendment. No other country is as well armed as ours, and if it doesn’t do anything else, it serves as a tremendous deterrent to invasion, along with our 3 coasts…

  8. J says:

    When individuals in conversations bring up their stash of stuff, I ask them one simple question — do you have re-load capability on every caliber of weapon you own, and if you don’t then your firearm is nothing more than an expensive paperweight, when there is no more ammo on the market.
    Most seem to be deer-in-the-headlights in never having thought of it from that angle before.
    A large percentage of ammo on the U.S. market is produced in China.
    If you have firearms, make sure you have your own re-load capability on ever caliber in your inventory.
    There is one piece that has been produced in the past 20 years or so I find neat, is the ‘cleaning round’. It’s almost like a drive-thru MacDonald’s for the weapon in question.
    A former neighbor of mine used to play with his 50cal, his face lit up like a Christmas tree every time a round went off. I found it highly amusing.

  9. scott s. says:

    Haven’t tried to buy anything lately, but that’s what I hear. We’ve had primer hoarding / shortages in the past. For a while I was shooting a lot of 9. Had a friend with a progressive reloader and it wasn’t too hard to pull off a couple hundred rounds.
    For a nice little self-defense gun / round I kind of like my S’G’ M-1 carbine (Saginaw Steering Gear Div of GM). Now thanks to 9th Circuit (and DJT) no problem with standard 15 rnd mags.

  10. Bob of Bonsall says:

    From my side of the Big Pond, it seems wise precautions being taken.
    I have a fear of two scenarios playing out.
    1: Trump wins in November and the Democrat supported terrorists of BLM/AntiFa push over into full and open rebellion.
    2: Biden wins and is very quickly removed from the White House, if he ever gets to his inauguration in the first place, allowing Harris to become POTUS. But what of his manner of removal?
    Perhaps “extreme prejudice” in a false flag incident that will give Harris the excuse for some swinging reforms to US Law & even the Constitution?

  11. j. casey says:

    Can anyone explain why the Pres is not hammering every day on the ugly situations in so-called DNC sanctuary cities? I don;t understand why he is not tweeting the daily Chicago body count and people shitting on the sidewalks of SF.

  12. akaPatience says:

    I truly appreciate this informative topic as well as the interesting comments. As someone absolutely ignorant about guns, I never realized how expensive they can be. I just hope all of the increased sales are by good guys and not bad guys.
    It’s worrisome that BLM (especially since it’s teamed up with Antifa) with its unabashed advocacy of criminal measures like attacks on law enforcement, vandalism, looting, other property appropriation, etc., is receiving MANY millions of dollars in donations from wealthy leftists and even [misguided] mainstream corporations.

  13. Peter Hodges says:

    9mm is twice as expensive as 308! Funny thing is I recently bought a 9mm just so I would have something in a normal caliber…now I can’t get ammo for it.

  14. blue peacock says:

    American-made plates and barbells from Rogue Fitness are also unavailable.
    I guess more people weight-training at home.

  15. Fred says:

    Blue Peacock,
    Sun and Steel.

  16. steve says:

    I always send people to the NRA training courses. The guys at our range do an excellent job of teaching. Very patient with new gun owners. Usually pretty easy to find available spots. Wonder if that is still true?

  17. AK says:

    Peter Hodges
    Try It’s the ebay for firearms. Lots of 9mm available. Usually at high prices but occasionally you can find a “buy now” lot of JHP that comes in at less than $1 a round. That’s still very pricey but at least it’s there to be had.

  18. J says:

    Friday August 14th saw California’s 9th Circuit Federal Court of Appeals reject the State of California’s trampling on the 2nd Amendment, in particular the Appeals Court rejected California’s ban on so-called large capacity magazines (LCMs) that hold more than 10 rounds of ammo. California’s ban was Unconstitutional.
    Circuit Judge Kenneth K. Lee explains the breadth of the ban:
    California’s law imposes a substantial burden on this right to self-defense. The ban makes it criminal for Californians to own magazines that come standard in Glocks, Berettas, and other handguns that are staples of self- defense. Its scope is so sweeping that half of all magazines in America are now unlawful to own in California. Even law-abiding citizens, regardless of their training and track record, must alter or turn over to the state any LCMs that they may have legally owned for years — or face up to a year in jail.

  19. RoyM4 says:

    try to see what is available by mail order and the prices. Per round prices for about everything, when it is available, is now about twice what it was just a few months ago.

  20. Den lille abe says:

    I dont care much really. I live in Europe. I have plenty of 9 mm round and .308 rounds stocked up.
    5.56 is a puxxy caliber, made for puxxy guns lie the AR-15, real men use German or Belgian semi autos, or if you are a good shot German or Austrian hunting rifles.
    I own a German built riffle with a Zeiss scope on and I can easily hit anything at 800 meters within a smaller plate.
    Even the old G3 is a highly effective weapon, can even go full auto, takes practice and mass, but a very reliable and simple gun.
    (WWII 9 mm and 308 is widely available here, ahem, ahem, you know what I mean, eh? you know what I mean ?)

  21. Keith Harbaugh says:

    On a subject Larry has extensively covered in the past: (2020-08-17)
    This is quite a long and important piece which lays out and connects a lot of dots.
    Here is an outline (which omits Sundance’s review of the various FBI/Strzok/CIA/Mifsud/Halper/UK connections):
    “In this outline we will explain where corrupt U.S. and U.K. interests merge.

    [C]ongressman Dana Rohrabacher talked to Julian Assange in August of 2017:
    ‘Assange told a U.S. congressman … he can prove the leaked Democratic Party documents … did not come from Russia.’

    It doesn’t take a deep researcher to see the aligned Deep State motive to control Julian Assange because the Mueller report was dependent on Russia cybercrimes, and that narrative is contingent on the Russia DNC hack story which Julian Assange disputes.
    This is critical. The Weissmann/Mueller report contains claims that Russia hacked the DNC servers as the central element to the Russia interference narrative in the U.S. election. This claim is directly disputed by WikiLeaks and Julian Assange, as outlined during the Dana Rohrabacher interview, and by Julian Assange on-the-record statements.

    The CIA holds a massive conflict of self-interest in upholding the Russian hacking claim.
    The FBI holds a massive interest in maintaining that claim.
    All of those foreign countries whose intelligence apparatus participated with Brennan and Strzok also have a vested self-interest in maintaining that Russia hacking and interference narrative.
    Julian Assange is the only person with direct knowledge of how Wikileaks gained custody of the DNC emails; and Assange has claimed he has evidence it was not from a hack.
    This Russian “hacking” claim is ultimately so important to the CIA, FBI, DOJ, ODNI and U.K intelligence apparatus…. Well, right there is the obvious motive to shut Assange down as soon intelligence officials knew the Mueller report was going to be public.
    Now, if we know this, and you know this; and everything is cited and factual… well, then certainly AG Bill Barr knows this.
    The $64,000 dollar question is: will they say so publicly?”

  22. Keith Harbaugh says:

    With regard to Rohrbacher’s claim about what he was told by Assange,
    there is one development worth noting:
    the claim, strongly denied by the WH and Rohrbacher, that that was prompted by the promise of a Presidential pardon:

  23. Fred says:

    Thanks so much for yet another comment having nothing to do with the thread and for the pronouncement of collective guilt of all CIA and FBI employees. Please go shoot up Sundance’s place with your insights.

  24. Dale says:

    Thanks Keith for the update. I was just about to move along from the Guns/Ammo freak-out when I saw your comment….

  25. c1ue says:

    Nice writeup.
    It is amusing, though, just how deluded people are thinking that owning a gun is going to help against a true mob.
    Only a 50 cal machine gun would do that, or a reasonably large group of armed, trained people.

  26. John Minnerath says:

    You evidently don’t have a clue of the effect of a gun barrel pointed in your direction. People in a mob are gutless and will melt away at the sight of someone standing up against them with just about any fire arm. The clatter of a pump shotgun chambering a round brings fear to everyone in a mob, even if they’re not out in front.

  27. rattlemullet says:

    What do guns and kids have in common?
    Let me just point out that most people who have guns for self defense, which is not an assault rifle, are cowards to the core. The fact that you own an AR 15 or other assault rife is not for self defense but it is for you to feel like your are more of a man or woman because you own one. Much like six beers in a bar makes a small man feel taller. Just like the man and woman who will speak at the republican conventions are nothing more than cowards. Their behavior exemplified cowardliness. The government and industry suckered you into buying gun to drain dollars out of your pockets. Who are you going to attack BLM, proud boys a government facility? But of course ammo is in short supply because you cowards are afraid. They will drive the price up to pull more money out of your pocket. You rubes, the second amendment, your gospel, says nothing about self defense. The government doesn’t give a shit about you having guns. They can wipe you out from hundreds of miles away. They don’t give one iota about your AR 15 cap pistol that make you feel big and free to talk big about killing fellow human in self defense. You think it is democrats, when in fact the cornered rat is sending unmark federal troops into your cities on the pretense of protecting federal property. I thought you rubes believe the local sherif was the law of the land much like shit for brains Amon Bundy God you all make me puke.
    The answer to the question above is neither.
    I am sure most you probably are hoarding guns and having kids that will grow up to emulate the cornered rat who epitomizes all that is wrong with the human race. Cheats on all his wives, lies everyday, with whores he pays for sex, filed over 4,000 lawsuits, fat, out of shape, wears lifts, wears make up like a girl and worries about hair and TV ratings. But I don’t think he owns a gun. He pretends he does. But he can go golfing.

  28. turcopolier says:

    Pathetic castrating feminism.

  29. Mike Kaas says:

    My drill instructor in basic training used to say “You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink. You can however, make him wish he had.” I agree that an individual under attack from a large group will be lucky to make it to the point he runs out of ammo and doomed once he does run out. One can only hope to make the opponent realize overpowering you will come with some cost and they may move on to an easier target. The recent riots seem to have rioters who assume nobody, including the police, will stand up to them and then they will come before District Attorneys who will not prosecute. This leaves them with very little skin in the game. Once they run into some firm opposition, my guess is they will have to re-evaluate the risk/reward of the situation. I personally believe these mayors who fail to take action to address public safety are adding fuel to the fire. Once the violence and destruction start, it is too late to deescalate. At that point overwhelming power deescalates. I keep reading that there is a lead shortage in the US because we have no smelters anymore. Every round fired in the US is sitting there waiting to be recycled. Fear of violence and fear of stricter gun control put more guns in American homes that target shooting and hunting ever would. I also agree with one other post that a small quantity of rounds fired every week is the best way to stay familiar with handling your firearm. It keeps safety, muscle memory and thought process current. As much as possible, most of the shooting process should become second nature constants so your mind can be thinking about the variables that arise.

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