Blount County authorities not affected by national ammunition shortage
By J.J. Kindred | (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Blount County law enforcement agencies have so far escaped the problem of ammunition shortages that have plagued some agencies across the country.
Ammunition makers are turning out materials as fast as they can, some running 24 hours a day, according to a report from http://AllOutdoor.com . More machines and personnel are being added to try meet demands.
But in ramping up capacity, companies are taking on more risk. When the panic dies down, demand could tank, and then the layoffs will start and all that new capacity will go idle.
If this happens, according to the report, then the ammunition makers will have wasted millions in buying machinery and training people to use it. The only way to recover that investment will be to raise the prices on ammunition, which companies do not want to do.
According to National Public Radio, sales of guns and ammunition rose after President Obama took office in 2008, and they rose even more starting late last year, when the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., led to a push for new gun control measures. That’s led to a prolonged ammunition shortage, even with manufacturers running at full capacity.
Although shortages on ammunition haven’t happened in Blount County, that’s not to say it will never occur, according to officials.
“We realized that ammunition is a little more difficult to obtain,” said Maryville Police Chief Tony Crisp. “We increased our normal supply a year or so ago, but we haven’t been experiencing any shortages. It takes longer and we have to keep that in mind as far as our orders.”
“The deputies have not experienced any shortages,” said Blount County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Marian O’Briant. “We have just had to plan ahead, and make sure we order the ammunition months ahead of time so that we do not experience a shortage.”
“We have not experienced a shortage per se, but we try to maintain a certain amount in reserve,” said Lt. Joe Thornhill of the Alcoa Police Department. “We’ve had a terrible time maintaining that. Orders filled within a week take months, and it is a problem. A real problem.
“When we put out bids for ammo orders now, in addition to the price, I request a delivery date and that has a bearing on who gets the order,” Thornhill continued. “Cops are not lacking for ammunition — we have maintained a certain level of inventory. We always did that because we never wanted our people to be short on the street. It takes months to get orders we would have within a week. It won’t do the public any good if officers aren’t adequately armed.”
Stores like USA Super Pawn in Maryville have not been affected by any potential shortages.
“We’re one of the lucky ones,” said Clyde Freed, manager of USA Super Pawn. “We’ve got plenty of it right now. There haven’t been any major concerns, really — our suppliers have done a real good job getting it to us. We’ve had it all along and helped a bunch of people. There was one concern about prices going up, but we’ve got tons of it right now.”