While corporate America might be reluctant to share why their ammunition shelves are so poorly stocked these days South Mill Service owner Gary Wahl is not.
Wahl has been a Fergus Falls gun dealer for decades. He is a leading light in the Fergus Falls Rifle and Pistol Club. He is also a man that local law enforcement turns to when they have questions.
So what is going on in the world of rifle, pistol and shotgun ammunition? The good news for gun owners, according to Wahl, is that ammunition companies are still making it. The bad news is the demand is exceeding the current supply.
“First of all, the government has scared the people,” Wahl said. “Everyone is real afraid they won’t be able to find it so they are stocking up. They walk into stores and buy everything they can see. You’ll find it on the Internet at about four times the normal price.”
Wahl believes President Joe Biden is also a factor.
“We don’t know what Mr. Biden’s plans are for our future. We don’t know what regulations he is going to put on ammunition,” Wahl said.
Going hand-in-hand with the fear Wahl feels the government has spread is the proliferation of new gun owners it has generated.
“Because of the scare there has been millions and millions of new gun owners in the last year,” Wahl said. “If each of them was to buy three to four boxes to practice with their new gun there wouldn’t be any ammunition to buy. The manufacturers are producing as fast as they can. They are running seven days a week, 24 hours a day.”
Wahl said he hopes the problem will be a temporary one and in time will heal – but not real soon.
“I don’t have any good words about it,” Wahl said.
What about the organizations that need ammunition now?
As a member of the Fergus Falls Rifle and Pistol Club Wahl has had a front row seat in procuring ammunition in bulk. “This year we were given a chance by Federal in January to order ammunition and we got it. If they didn’t order in January it’s too late. It’s a fulfillment thing, they will actually put the clubs in as a priority.”
Fergus Falls has one of the 329 teams in the Minnesota State High School Clay Target League looking for target rounds in order to practice and compete.
“It seems our trap club didn’t get in time to get their order here,” Wahl said. “We’re trying to find what we can for them. There are a lot of people who are buying what they can find and actually donating it to the club.”
What about the professions like law enforcement and the military where ammunition is a must?
“Military always has a priority,” Wahl said. “The ammunition companies will work with the police contracts. I don’t think we have to worry too much about that.”
Wahl said that in the spring larger ammunition dealers like Scheels and Fleet Farm have pre-orders in with ammunition companies – orders that have been placed in December.
“Normally all of the pre-orders are done in May and we start seeing a little more coming in to the small dealers like myself,” Wahl said.