National ammunition shortage continues; police departments also feeling the squeeze

Long waits and reduced training exercises due to ammo scarcity.
Shelves of gun ammunition empty

Even police departments are feeling the squeeze of the U.S.’s historic ammo shortage, a crunch that began last year amid the COVID-19 pandemic, ratcheted up during the Black Lives Matter-led demonstrations last summer, and has not let up since.

Police from Detroit to Florida to Illinois have all reported struggling to acquire ammunition for basic police work like range-training exercises. 

Chief John Blair of the Taylor Police Department in Michigan recently said his officer’s firearm proficiency is tested three times a year, but one test had to be canceled because of the ammunition shortage. The COVID pandemic also cut down on officer’s range practice.

"The officers don’t have enough trigger time and we are always concerned where those rounds go if we do have to fire that weapon," Blair told local TV station WDIV Channel 4

Prices have also spiked amid the record demand, with officials and citizens lucky enough to find ammo paying top dollar. 

The spike was last year initially driven by fears of the COVID-19 crisis before being spiked higher as the demonstrations last summer sparked spawned violence and property damage. 

The shortage has also spilled over into businesses that rely on guns – and ammunition – to keep up a cash flow. One firearms training company owner in Alaska told a local news outlet: "If we don’t have ammo, we don’t have students. So it’s pretty serious for us."