Gun shops dealing with ammo shortage this holiday season

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Posted at 3:21 PM, Dec 17, 2020

HAMPTON ROADS, Va. - The gun industry has been booming in 2020 but there is also a major ammo shortage, along with other accessories.

Jerry Freeman went to get in his truck after trying to find pellets at Bob’s Gun Shop in Norfolk. He said he had been to three places with no success.

Some of the shelves on the second floor of the shop were even bare.

Owner Steve Dowdy said they have been experiencing a major ammo shortage for months.

He said it first started when people were fearful that the state laws were going to change, making it more difficult to buy certain guns, then COVID-19 hit and then civil unrest in certain areas.

“When people felt threatened, they bought guns," said Dowdy. He said these different situations drove up gun sales along with demand on ammo and accessories.

“We’re going to have to have box limits for the foreseeable future,” said Dowdy.

Right now you can buy two boxes or one value box of ammo per family. Dowdy said major gun maker, Remington went bankrupt which also fueled the problem.

Experts say many made their first-time gun purchase in 2020.

Tamia Grissett is currently looking to buy gun. She said, “I’ve just been wanting a little handgun. I just feel like I need one this time.”

The ammo shortages are also impacting prices. A box of target ammo went for $13.99 back in April and is now $34.99.

“I think the longer people can’t get what they’re looking for, the more hoarding is going to go on after that it should start to get better. This kind of perpetuates the shortage a little longer than it should,” said Dowdy.

Freeman told News 3 he wasn’t going to waste any more gas today and said he would try to look for pellets after the start of the 2021.

By the second week in April, Dowdy said they made the same amount of sales as the previous year.

“The average dealer is going to be up two or three times versus last year and I think it would be way more if inventory shortages weren’t there. If we had the product people were looking for we could possibly see five, six, seven times what we did last year,” said Dowdy.

Dowdy renovated the shooting range on the third floor of the shop. They gutted it over the last few months.

“We’re excited. It’s state of the art, climate control and looking forward to it. Hopefully, we can have some ammo to feed it,” said Dowdy.