Ongoing ammo shortage due to several factors, gun sellers say

Gun stores say shortage began during pandemic, never recovered

San Antonio gun dealers say there are several factors contributing to an ammunition shortage.

SAN ANTONIO – Where’s the ammo? That’s what gun owners nationwide and in San Antonio are asking as the demand for ammunition is far outweighing the supply these days.

Gun sellers say there is a list of factors contributing to the shortage in what’s being called a “snowball effect.”

Wolf Laughlin, the manager of the Gun Shack in Helotes, said the ammo shortage first started at the beginning of the pandemic this year when mines and factories were forced to close or reduce operations.

“All of the mines being closed means that you had less raw materials, less raw materials mean less components. Less components means less ammunition. And, again, as your supply goes down, your demand goes up,” Laughlin said.

Some say, like the demand in 2008 when President Barack Obama took office, a Democratic president and vice president being elected to the White House this year is the latest the factor in the current rush to stock up on ammunition.

“There might be some demand coming from the elections, but the supply was already gone,” Laughlin said.

This current shortage comes at a time when a long list of legislative bills have been pre-filed for next year’s Texas legislative session. The bills include House Bill 52 and House Bill 245, which involve banning private firearms sales at gun shows.

Whether those bills will become laws remains to be seen, but in the meantime, gun owners are feeling the frustrations of not being able to find ammo.

“It’s almost to the point where it’s kind of tedious to have to (find) it. When you find it, you’ve got to stock up. Then, there’s limits to it. So it just makes things hard,” said Paul Broniszewski, a gun owner.

At the Gun Shack, staff members say they have tens of thousands of dollars' worth of ammo on backorder, but like other gun stores in our area, when they’ll be able to stock up on their supply is unclear.

About the Authors:

Misael started at KSAT-TV as a photojournalist in 1987.