Selling bullets may be the most secure job in Florida as long as supplies last.
After months of heavy buying, gun dealers across the state are experiencing shortages.
Some say it began with the election of President Barack Obama. Others say it’s about the economic downturn or fear of crime. Whatever the reasons, ammunition has been selling like plywood and bottled water in the days before a hurricane.
“The survivalist in all of us comes out,” said John Ritz, manager of East Orange Shooting Sports in Winter Park. “It’s more about protecting what you have.”
Demand for bullets is so strong that suppliers are restricting deliveries.
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“Where we used to get 20 to 30 cases [in a shipment], we may get two to three cases now,” said Vic Grechniw of Florida Ammo Traders in Tampa. “The supply just isn’t there. . . . Everybody is pretty much rushing out to get their hands on whatever they can.”
Most in demand is handgun ammunition, including 9 mm and .45-caliber for semiautomatic pistols and .38-caliber for revolvers. Clerks at local Walmart stores, including Apopka and Kissimmee, say those sizes, along with .22-caliber, are on back order at the chain’s warehouses.
American gun owners buy about 7 billion rounds of ammunition yearly, according to the National Rifle Association. It has been warning its several million members that Obama favors raising taxes on bullets to make them prohibitively expensive.