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Some sporting-goods store owners concerned of shortage during peak fall season

Last updated: September 22. 2013 12:49AM - 1399 Views
The Associated Press



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ERIE — A national shortage of firearms ammunition is starting to be felt at some sporting-goods stores in Pennsylvania as hunters begin loading up for deer and other fall hunting seasons.


Certain retailers are worrying about whether their supplies of ammunition will hold up, The Erie Times-News reported Saturday.


Salesman Joel Stafford of Edinboro Outdoors says its supply isn’t too bad for the moment, but he predicts that it’s going to be tight.


Owner Dan Seaman of Elk Creek Sports Store in Lake City says he’s having a hard time finding a reasonable amount of ammunition that hunters would normally use, and customers eventually could be forced to pay higher prices for whatever remains.


“People don’t realize there isn’t going to be much hunting ammo out there,” Seaman said.


Dave Wurst, the owner of Presque Isle Gun Shop, said customers likely will be forced to buy different brands or varieties in their quest to find the right caliber.


Deer season starts Dec. 2.


A few store owners say the ammunition shortage is caught in a vicious cycle as people scramble to stock up.


The shortages hit earlier this year when ammunition for smaller .22-caliber, 9 mm and .380-caliber firearms started to become scarce. As a result, manufacturers shifted away from the then-well-stocked hunting rifle ammunition, including rounds like .30-06, .30-30 or .308, Seaman said.


Rich Weber, president of the Erie Sport Store, said .22-caliber rounds are in such short supply that he limits customers in how much they can buy at one time and he doesn’t know yet whether he will impose the same limits on purchases of hunting ammunition.


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