Amicus lector
Will a nationwide ammo shortage hit the SFPD?

A friend of mine called last night to inform me of a gun-related quandary facing his father.

Apparently, the guy’s dad bought a 9 mm handgun at a gun show a while back. The problem wasn’t finding a gun to buy, but finding the bullets to put in it.

Apparently, 9 mm shells are in such short supply in Sioux Falls that his father can’t find any, and the father is understandably frustrated.

Duane Plucker, a manager at Gary’s Gun Shop in Sioux Falls, said his is the only shop in town with 9 mm ammo in stock. He only sells it, on a limited basis, to customers who buy a gun or rent the range.

If you just walk into the store and ask for a box of ammo, you won’t get it, he said. The rationing is a business decision.

“It’s kind of hard to make money on rentals if you can’t sell any ammo,” Plucker said.

This is a nationwide issue, reported on in USA Today on Feb. 18 by South Dakota native Chuck Raasch.

The father’s frustration led my pal to ask this locally-pertinent question: What do the police do when there’s an ammunition shortage?

They get in line like everyone else.

Police spokesman Sam Clemens said this morning that the SFPD orders its ammo (their service weapons use .40 caliber bullets) from manufacturers about a year in advance. The guy who does the ordering told him that the wait is about six months at this point.

The PD is in no danger of running out, he said, but supply is an issue that most police departments are thinking about as they plan purchases.

“Law enforcement everywhere is dealing with it,” he said.

Why is the ammo running low? Because there’s a Democrat in the White House, more or less.

“Everybody’s hoarding it,” Plucker said.

Some gun owners are fearful that the Obama administration will levy new taxes, push for weapons bans or background checks and otherwise restrict gun rights.

Clemens recalls similar issues popping up during the Clinton Administration.

“Everyone seems to think there’s going to be some sort of ban,” he said.

Raasch wrote about that, noting that the run on ammo picked up steam around election season, before the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. that lead to the current discussion on gun control.

The gun used in that shooting was the AR-15. The .223 rounds used for that weapon disappeared from shelves quickly after the shooting, perhaps not surprisingly.

The gun control debate rages in South Dakota, too. There’s a story on the school sentinels bill in today’s Argus, and education reporter Mr. Josh Verges has some interesting insight on guns in schools here.

In any event, it appears that Democrats are unintentionally fantastic salespeople for the weapons industry.

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