Gun shops running out of ammo; owner blames panic over world events

Updated: Oct. 9, 2020 at 2:58 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Gun shop owners say they are running out of ammunition to sell to customers. One gun shop owner said he had to put limits on purchases to two or three boxes to keep ammo on the shelves.

“Basically the nation’s in panic. It started with COVID, then the riots and the nation started panicking and guns and bullets started flying off the shelves,” ATP Gun Shop owner Arlyn Pendergast said Friday. “Two weeks ago you would have seen a lot of white spots on the shelves.”

Pendergast said the problem is that the manufacturers can’t keep up with the demand.

“Even manufacturers can only make so much,” Pendergast said. “Most distributors and the manufacturers are maxed out, so you have to find them in other places.”

Regular customer Scott McHenry was happy to find ammo on the shelves.

“The last several times I’ve been in here the shelves were bare. It’s sad. Coming in here once a week I’m lucky if I can find one box of shells. People are like fighting over it,” McHenry said.

Pendergast says with the demand outweighing the supply for ammo, the people he buys from had to raise their prices. He in turn had to raise his prices.

The gun shop owner said he will continue to get his ammunition wherever he can find it because his customers need it and will buy it.

“Because as soon as you run out of ammo you no longer have a gun,” Pendergast said.

Pendergast said the future of the ammo shortage may depend on the outcome of the presidential election.

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