Shelves bare as gun shops can't keep up with ammo demand
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CHARLOTTE - Making the hour-long drive from Rutherford County to west Charlotte on his day off, Ethan Haulk hoped Monday's visit to Hyatt Gun Shop was worth it.
"The smaller caliber, like the 9 mm you would use for rifles are flying off the shelves," he said.
It's a common theme in shops across the country. Customers are stockpiling ammunition, worried about possible gun control legislation in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary shootings.
"We've seen a few spot shortages but never anything like this,” said gun shop owner Larry Hyatt. "We're in uncharted territory.”
Hyatt says his staff is doing their best to meet demand but the numbers are overwhelming.
"We're running out of .22s, 9 mms, all the popular ammunition. Even the police departments are having trouble getting ammunition for their training," said Hyatt.
Whether big cities or small towns, campus security or private guards, Hyatt says trainees are seeing shortages across the board.
"Police trainees have driven from Lexington and Monroe to get it for their classes. This affects their job and it's not the officers' fault, it's not the department's fault. It's this big massive run on ammunition nobody could foresee," said Hyatt.
In response, Hyatt's gun shop is limiting the amounts of ammo a customer can buy.
"If it's for practice, two boxes. If you need to qualify for a job, we're going to give you the minimum that you need for your job qualification," he said.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg police say they get ammunition from a private contractor and haven't had any issues.
New York legislators recently passed a law that requires a background check to purchase ammunition. Lawmakers in California are proposing a new tax on ammunition.