East TN gun shops see more demand for ammo

11:25 PM, Feb 4, 2013   |    comments
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Some East Tennessee gun shops say they are seeing more customers interested in buying ammunition.

Bass Pro Shops in Sevierville said its ammo sales are 200 percent higher this month than they were this time the previous year. Eric Matson, the owner of Coal Creek Armory in West Knoxville, said he has also seen an increase in customers buying ammo at his store.

"Ammo sales has increased exponentially, as well as gun sales,' he said. "And, it's some of the odd calibers you wouldn't expect to sell much of. For example, 22 Long Rifle."

And, he said prices for certain types of ammunition are also skyrocketing. He said at one time his shop was selling 100 rounds of CCI Long Rifle ammunition for $8.99, now it's selling in other shops for around $20 to $25.

Gun owner Eva Irwin said she has been buying a lot of ammunition as of late because she is concerned about the push for gun control in Washington D.C.

"I think it has everybody a little bit scared," she said.

Brant Williams, owner of Frontier Firearms in Kingston, said that concern is part of the reason ammunition is in short supply across the country. He said more customers are buying it to preempt any new federal legislation.

Williams also said gun shops are having to compete with the federal government more than they did in the past as it buys ammunition for departments like Homeland Security.

"Few days after Christmas, ammo has been very hard to obtain and the only reason we still have some is because of what I ordered on Christmas Day," he said.

Frontier Firearms has even had to ration some of its supply. Williams said the store only has enough 9 millimeter ammo to sell one or two boxes a day for self-defense classes. He said his store has also rationed "2-2-3" ammo, so customers can only buy six boxes per purchase.

Stores across the country have also started to limit the amount of ammo gun owners can buy. Some Walmart locations are only letting their customers buy three boxes of ammo a day.

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