The ammo shortage is as bad as you’ve likely suspected. In fact, for me, it feels like things are actually getting worse at this point. My local range hasn’t sold ammo for anything other than range use in a year, and now they don’t even have it to sell for range use. As I showed in the members’ newsletter a few weeks ago, it seems to be keeping people from going shooting at all since the range is something of a ghost town.
So, how long are things going to be like this? Well, I asked some of the nation’s leading ammo manufacturers and retailers, and gun owners looking to stock up probably won’t like the picture they painted.
I also spoke with dissident board member Phillip Journey about his plan to appeal the NRA’s bankruptcy dismissal in an attempt to oust CEO Wayne LaPierre and other members of leadership. I covered a new ruling from the Supreme Court on a warrantless gun seizure. And I spoke to the head of a new political project from a major gun carry group.
America is more than a year into the latest ammunition shortage, and it appears supply will not catch up with demand anytime soon.
As store shelves lie barren and prices for the most popular ammunition hover at two, three, or even five times their pre-pandemic levels, manufacturers said they are still scrambling to bring enough product to market. They said they are still working through several years’ worth of orders that have already been placed.
“On certain products, we are certainly seeing backlogs that stretch out two years and beyond,” Brett Flaugher, president of Winchester Ammunition, told The Reload. “For those who shoot 9mm and 5.56 ammunition, which are both in high demand, it’s very uncertain how long it will be before people will consistently have ammunition readily available.”
“I’m looking at two and a half years’ worth of demand already on order,” Jason Hornady, vice president of Hornady Manufacturing Company, told The Reload. “So, I’m not seeing a slowdown for two and a half years.”
The shortage has become bad enough that many gun owners have simply stopped shooting for months on end. Some ranges have even run out of ammo to sell not just to customers who want to take it home but also those who want to use it on the range.
“Nobody wants just a box. They want a case.”
That’s what Jason Hornady, vice president of the ammo company by the same name, told me was part of what’s driving the ammo shortages. I talked more with him and Brandon Wexler of Wex Gunworks about the growing phenomenon of ammo hoarding and how a vicious cycle is helping to keep shelves bare.
Phillip Journey has spent his entire adult life advocating for gun rights. He has been a judge, a legislator, and an activist. He’s served as the president of the Kansas State Rifle Association. Now he’s a member of the NRA board, and he’s taking on one of the gun-rights movement’s highest-profile leaders: NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre.
And he’s appealing directly to NRA members for help.
He said members need to choose between two paths. Either stick with LaPierre’s leadership and try to fight the NRA’s dissolution in New York court or go with his plan to get a court-appointed NRA members’ committee to oversee leadership changes and reform the group.
“It’s a pretty easy choice,” Journey told The Reload. “The bottom line is the consequences have such a steep downside that we have to fix things. The future of the Second Amendment and the Republic itself is at stake.”
He is currently trying to raise $100,000 from NRA members by next Tuesday to appeal a federal judge’s decision last week to dismiss the gun group’s bankruptcy case. He’s joined by NRA board members Owen “Buz” Mills and Rocky Marshall. The board members want a judge to appoint a trustee to take over NRA operations and a committee of NRA members to decide on the group’s future.
The Supreme Court unanimously ruled on Monday police violated the Fourth Amendment when they entered a Rhode Island man’s home and seized his guns without a warrant.
The Court ruled police in Cranston, Rhode Island, violated Edward Caniglia’s rights when they took his guns and ammunition in 2015 after an argument with his wife caused her to become concerned about his mental health. Caniglia was taken for a psychiatric evaluation but not held after telling his wife to shoot him to end their fighting. He claimed in court he only agreed to do the evaluation if the police did not seize his guns, but police entered his home and took them anyway despite not having a warrant to do so.
“The very core of the Fourth Amendment’s guarantee is the right of a person to retreat into his or her home and ‘there be free from unreasonable governmental intrusion,’” Justice Clarence Thomas wrote for the Court.
A new player is emerging in the American gun debate.
One of the largest concealed carry membership organizations has decided to dive into politics. The United States Concealed Carry Association (USCCA), which boasts nearly 600,000 members, formed a Super PAC in May to influence federal elections and legislation. The new group, headed by chairman of the board Mike Lowney, is green but ready to fight.
“We’re focused on three things: national concealed carry reciprocity, firearms training, and removing barriers that hinder responsibly-armed Americans’ ability to protect themselves,” Lowney told The Reload.
The group’s dive into politics comes as gun ownership has expanded at a record pace in the last year. It also comes as President Joe Biden and congressional Democrats push for more restrictive gun laws, and the National Rifle Association faces severe legal troubles.
Outside The Reload
The Reload in the Media
I wrote my first piece for The Dispatch this week. It focuses on the changing face of gun politics in America. I talk about what John Keys and Scott Kane, both guys I’ve profiled here at The Reload, mean for the future of the gun debate. I think you guys will enjoy it, so head over there and check it out.
That’s it for this week in guns.
I’ll see you all next week.