Gun retailers: ammunition ‘flying off the shelf’

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SALT LAKE CITY – Some gun owners are having a hard time re-loading their guns as Political talk is sparking a run on ammunition.

“Scheels doesn’t have anything, Cabela’s doesn’t have anything,” gun owner Robert Triesch said. “Most of the shops don’t’ have anything.”

The biggest push in sales comes from worries over gun legislation that came in November following the presidential election. That was compounded after the school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut.

“A lot of political reasons,” said Discount Guns and Ammo store manager Colin Smith. “Currently we’ve got people buying up pretty much, anything they shoot they want to get a little extra of.”

“I definitely think that’s a realistic picture,” gun owner Jared Maxfield said. “You can see the increase in price in certain caliber of bullets.”

But Smith said it’s also a classic case of supply and demand. Gun sales have also increased, meaning there are more buyers than the industry is used to.

“[Manufacturers are] building as much as they ever used to and more,” Smith said. “Demand is just going up and up and up. They’re delivering quite a bit a lot of times, but it’s just not anywhere near what we need.”

Smith said the shortage is mostly in smaller rounds. .22 caliber and 9 mm bullets are the most popular. Big box stores like Wal-Mart have been limiting customers to three boxes per day.

Smith said he expects the shortage to even out after manufacturers have a chance to catch up with the demand.