David LaPell, weighs the pros and cons of continued Ammunition Hoarding and why your smart to keep buying ammo.
USA – -(Ammoland.com)- I recently had a discussion with a gun owner the other day about the availability and cost of particular ammunition that was only a couple of years ago not only very scarce but expensive when you could find it.
We were talking about if he thought that the availability of conventional ammunition could ever get bad again? He laughed stating that with Donald Trump in office, gun control laws at the federal level were likely to be impossible and that there was plenty of ammo out there. So what was there to worry about and why bother with ammunition hoarding.
So is ammunition hoarding crisis over? Have we nothing to fear, or are we just lulling ourselves into a false sense of security?
With the start of a new year, we have new ammunition laws in parts of the country, and if you live in California, that means new bans on ammunition buying. Starting on the first of the year, residents of that state will now have to get their ammunition from a licensed dealer, no more buying ammunition and having it shipped to your place of residence. You will have to hope your dealer has what you need in stock or you will have to pay him for a fee to get ammunition for you.
This of course is only phase one, phase two of the plan is that starting on January 1st, 2019 there will be a background check to be completed when you buy your ammunition which will include a processing fee, which you can bet will drive up the price of that box of shells for your gun.
We here in New York are also not immune to this sort of liberal chicanery as Democrat Governor Andrew Cuomo put something similar into his landmark Safe Act. We too cannot order ammunition online and have it delivered to our homes anymore. We must be treated like children and have it sent to a dealer to be picked up. Or hope the local gun shop has what we need, and if you live in a rural area where your gun shop is a long drive away, well that’s just too bad, it’s for the good of the people we have been told.
Governor Cuomo also put in a background check condition with ammunition purchases with the Safe Act, but as of yet that hasn’t been implemented, but not because there was a change of heart, but because so far there has been no successful way to make it work.
Ammunition Price Gouging
Up until the last year or so, the availability of ammunition in many places was scarce, especially for popular calibers like .22 Long Rifle and .22 Magnum, and the cost, to put it mildly, skyrocketed for a single box of either. Ammunition purchases were rationed, there were stories, some proven true, of big box store employees hiding some for their friends, while many people tried to hunt down what they could just to have on hand. I remember seeing a single fifty round box of Federal .22 Long Rifle ammunition with a price tag of $22 on it. I recall another shop taking five hundred round bricks of .22 LR and the owner splitting them up and putting a hundred rounds in a ziplock bag and asking $15 for each bag. There was a lot of hoarding going on, and there was a lot of price gouging to go with it.
So now we seem to be in a time of ammunition plenty. Even here in New York, I can get as much .22 LR ammo or anything else I want for very cheap prices. You can find .22 Magnum ammunition again when a little more than a year and a half ago, I didn’t see a box of it on a shelf anywhere for over six months. No one is rushing out to line up at the local big box store waiting to see when the truck delivers the ammunition so they can get their three boxes, but we should be very mindful that those times can very quickly come back again.
To Horde Ammo or Not?
The truth is, no one should wait until a disaster or when you need it at that moment to go out and buy that ammunition. I also don’t mean you should be panicking and running out and grabbing every box off the shelves either, panic buying is part of what got us into the mess of high prices and no ammunition in the first place, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have something on hand. If you have a .22 Long Rifle, I can’t tell you how much ammunition you should have at all times, but I would indeed have more than a couple of hundred rounds, the same with .22 Magnum. When you go to the gun shop, and you have a few extra dollars in your pocket, grab a box of one or the other while you’re there.
Paying a few dollars here and now is better than paying three or four times that much if you really need it and there are ten guys after the same box. It is like investing in your IRA, a little at at time pay off big.
One thing you can be sure of and I hope this isn’t prophetic, if there is another ammunition shortage, another hoarding spree, you can bet it will be worse than the last one. If in only a couple of years we endure another change in power in Washington you can bet the repercussions for gun owners could be disastrous, the same in individual states if power swings one way or another [IE: New Jersey in 2018]. Not to mention localized disasters like hurricanes, flooding, or something man-made could cause people to run to their local gun shops in hopes that they can find something, anything to defend their homes and families. What at one time might have been far-fetched, is now getting more like a probability, eventually, somewhere at some time in this country, there will be another ammunition shortage.
So to those who say that ammunition right now is plentiful and cheap, that’s true, but that doesn’t mean it will always be the case.
You make an emergency kit with food and water stored in case of a disaster, you put snow tires on your car when winter comes, and you put smoke detectors in your house in case of a fire, why wouldn’t you at least keep some ammunition aside? You don’t wait until you’re in an emergency before you try to get the means to deal with it. I say ammunition hoarding is a good thing and I plan to keep stocking up.
About David LaPell
David LaPell has been a Corrections Officer with the local Sheriff's Department for thirteen years. A collector of antique and vintage firearms for over twenty years and an avid hunter. David has been writing articles about firearms, hunting and western history for ten years. In addition to having a passion for vintage guns, he is also a fan of old trucks and has written articles on those as well.