Government Purchases Did Contribute to Ammo ‘Buying Panic’

By AWR Hawkins

Empty Ammuntion Shelves
Empty Ammuntion Shelves
AmmoLand Gun News
AmmoLand Gun News

Washington DC – -(  On October 9, 2014 TIME’s Joe Klein published a column lumping Breitbart News reports in with “conspiracy theories” surrounding federal agency ammunition purchases and suggesting those reports are causal in confusing voters as the 2014 mid-term elections approach.

To push this template, Klein had to miss an April 8, 2013, Breitbart News column showing that government ammunition purchases were a component in the creation of a “politically-induced buying panic” that left store shelves barren of ammo. In turn, the scarcity of ammunition–combined with the frenzied demand for it–drove prices through the roof.

When the April 8, 2013 column ran, the U.S. Senate was nine days away from a vote on Senator Joe Manchin’s (D-WV) gun control bill. The attack on Sandy Hook Elementary had taken place just four months earlier, and Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) was still pushing for an “assault weapons ban” that would eliminate approximately 150 different guns–among which were shotguns and numerous other weapons that had nothing to do with Sandy Hook.

The American people felt angst as the Democrats targeted Second Amendment rights.

This angst, combined with news of massive government ammunition purchases, led to what Hornady ammunition described as a “politically-induced buying panic.” Ammo could not be found–gun owners faced a perfect storm.

This run on ammo forced producers like Hornady, Black Hills, and Remington, among others, to run at “full capacity”–which meant keeping production lines running 24/7 in some instances.

Hornady tried to calm the panic by telling consumers that the government purchases weren’t directly causing the ammunition shortage, but their words fell on deaf ears as consumers saw news of government purchases for huge quantities of ammunition or read about the DHS’s 156 million round stockpile.

It didn’t matter why these huge purchases were happening or why DHS had 156 million rounds. What mattered is that it was happening at a time when Democrats were also trying their best to take guns out of Americans’ hands; a time when gun owners watched the delivery truck fill a Wal-Mart shelf with ammunition at 7 a.m. on a given Tuesday and then saw that shelf emptied by 7:30 a.m that same morning.

These points aren’t part of “conspiracy theories” Mr. Klein, they are part of reality.

Follow AWR Hawkins on Twitter @AWRHawkins

AWR Hawkins writes for all the BIG sites, for Pajamas Media, for, for and now AmmoLand Shooting Sports News.

His southern drawl is frequently heard discussing his take on current events on radio shows like America’s Morning News, the G. Gordon Liddy Show, the Ken Pittman Show, and the NRA’s Cam & Company, among others. He was a Visiting Fellow at the Russell Kirk Center for Cultural Renewal (summer 2010), and he holds a PhD in military history from Texas Tech University.

If you have questions or comments, email him at [email protected] You can find him on facebook at

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I think keeping ammunition on hand is a good idea. Shooting and then replacing what you shot with double that amount is a good way to gradually increase your ammunition supply. The more you shoot the more you will have on hand.


You would select a new or used firearm to purchase then buy the ammo. Now you make your next purchase decision based on the ammo that you can buy at the time.

Instead of using one or two boxes at the range, you shoot one or two full magazines and call it quits to make the ammo last longer until it gets restocked at reasonable prices.


If government affects prices and availability – things like ammo once again showing up on store shelves or gasoline prices falling – is it because of supply and demand, or manipulation prior to the coming midterm elections?

Scott M

Reloading is fun and I do it myself. But powder and primers were hard to get as well. So don’t be so smug because you reload.Once you run out of components you will be in the same boat.

D. Murphy

I have been reloading what I shoot for years. The ammo shortage had no effect on me. I saw it for what it was, a backdoor democratic attempt at gun control.


A man just can’t ever have too much ammo. Ain’t no such thing as having too much ammo. In the last 19 mo’s I’ve bought over $4800 in ammo, 45ACP,308,5.56 !, in bulk ! When I go to the range,deer lease I always double what I shot immediately.When I’m at at place that sells ammo, if they got some in them 3 calibers,my brand and grain,I buy a few boxes. I’ve got several 1000’s of rds each in them 3 calibers and still keep adding to it. Shelf life on modern ammo is indefinite,and right now its a great investment… Read more »