Stacks of ammo, once piled high at gun shops across America, have dwindled. Prices paid by consumers for much sought-after Winchester .380-caliber handgun bullets (a common name for cartridges) have doubled. At weekend gun shows, trailers loaded with boxes of ammunition are drained within hours.
Budget-pressed police departments, which can’t be caught short, have increased their orders just to be safe, and the US military, fighting two wars, has seen its need for bullets quadruple in recent years.
Industry officials say the appetite for ammo in the United States is unprecedented.
The major ammo suppliers are working around the clock, seven days a week in an attempt to keep up with demand. There will be about 2 billion more American-made bullets produced this year over last year’s 7.5 billion.
US military demand for small arms ammunition has almost quadrupled this decade, increasing from 462 million to 1.6 billion rounds. The order used to be filled exclusively by the military-owned Lake City Army Ammunition Plant in Independence, Mo. But as consumption grew, the military turned to private contractors to fill demand.
That would mean that out of the 9.5 billion bullets produced this year, the military will take a billion-and-a-half. I guess the police departments are good for a billion or so, which would leave 7 billion rounds of ammunition for the average joe.
And they say it's not enough.
What's your opinion? What's really going on here? Remember we're talking about "per year" with these incredible numbers. When next year rolls around there's another 7 billion bullets distributed among the gun owners, less the ones they used this year, of course. Do you think this means that each year the stockpiles of ammunition in private hands increase? Is that a good thing? What are the ramifications of it?
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