Customers are purchasing AR-15 ammo in volumes up to 20 times the normal rate in some gun stores across the country in reaction to the ATF’s plan to ban 5.56 mm steel-tipped bullets.
Earlier this week, the ATF announced its intention to ban sales of the ammunition, typically used by sports shooters, in the name of protecting law enforcement officers from “the threat posed by ammunition capable of penetrating a protective vest.”
The news prompted panic buying, with numerous gun stores reporting a rush of demand for the ammunition.
According to Travis Brunson, owner of Guns on 41 in Ft. Myers, Florida, he is getting calls from customers asking, “whether this ammunition is gonna be banned, how much can I get and what’s happening to the price.”
“We probably sold 2,000 rounds today, where normally we might sell 100, 200,” Brunson told Fox 4. The price of the bullets is also starting to rise.
It’s a similar story at Fowler Firearms, where manager Jon Dezendorf said he began receiving calls about the ammunition shortly after the ATF made its announcement.
Steve Ellis, owner of Top Guns in Terre Haute, Indiana, told WTHI that supplies were dwindling.
“Everyone is selling out of ammunition, distributors are out, manufacturers are out, most dealers are out,” said Ellis.
It was also reported that a Walmart in Anchorage, AK went from having plentiful supplies of the bullets to none whatsoever.
Meanwhile, Ryan Cook, manager of Eagle Armory in Springfield, said that suppliers were telling him “there was none available to order”.
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte asserts that the proposed ban is a violation of the Administrative Procedures Act and has vowed to fight the measure in court.
Congressman Tom Rooney has also introduced a bill which will shoot down the ban, with Rooney charging that the measure infringes upon the second amendment.