Ammunition Shortage Hurts Law Enforcement Budgets, Store Owners

Burnie Stokes, Panhandle Gunslingers.
Burnie Stokes, Panhandle Gunslingers.

More and more taxpayer dollars are going toward buying law enforcement agencies ammunition.

But gun shop owners may be the hardest hit by the drop in supply.

One officer told NewsChannel 10 today he's seen the price of a single box of bullets double over the past few years.

And that increase is acting as a double edged sword.

These shelves at Panhandle Gunslingers are normally stocked.

But ammunition manufacturers can not produce enough to meet the demand.

When sales spiked in the fall, the owner of this store says the rush to buy was nice, but now it's hurting him.

"When you're turning down two or three thousand, four thousand dollars a day in sales because you just can't get the product, that's significant," said Burnie Stokes from Panhandle Gunslingers.

And as prices continue to skyrocket, local law enforcement says they are contributing more and more of their budgets to ammunition.

And even though orders have been placed, the bullets still have not arrived.

"They ordered some over a year ago. I mean it's been a while back, but it almost took a year to get here as well," said Sheriff Brian Thomas. "There's a little bit of a delay trying to get these things in."

We spoke with the Amarillo Police Department and they said two years ago, there was a 10 percent increase in the budget for ammunition.

This year, there is a 20 percent increase on the table.

Next month, when the city's budget is finalized, we'll see exactly how much the ammunition shortage will cost the city.