East Tenn. gun stores face ammo shortage, gun owners struggle to

East Tenn. gun stores face ammo shortage, gun owners struggle to stock up

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"Semi-automatic for my 380. I can't find none for it. And .45 shells are getting hard to find," said gun owner Terry Webb. "Semi-automatic for my 380. I can't find none for it. And .45 shells are getting hard to find," said gun owner Terry Webb.
People are buying more guns and accessories with the prospect of more gun control legislation on the horizon. People are buying more guns and accessories with the prospect of more gun control legislation on the horizon.

By HAYLEY HARMON
6 News Anchor/Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - East Tennessee gun owners are having more and more trouble these days finding ammunition, and dealers say it's become increasingly difficult to keep it in stock.

The recent trend was sparked by the tragic shooting at Sandy Hook.

People are buying more guns and accessories with the prospect of more gun control legislation on the horizon.

Pretty much immediately after the recent gun control debate began, Knoxville stores saw a rush of people buying guns and ammo.

Now, manufacturers are having a hard time keeping up with the demand.

That means smaller shipments of ammo for Knoxville gun shops like WD Sporting Goods at the exact same time gun owners are wanting to stock up.

The South Knoxville store has been selling firearms and ammunition for nearly 15 years.

But in the last few weeks, their stock has dwindled significantly, especially when it comes to ammo.

Owner Robert White says this is the worst ammo shortage he's ever seen.

Their daily shipments are smaller than ever, and what does come in gets bought up within hours of arrival.

"Right now I get 2 to 3,000 rounds a week, but most of it is going right back out," said White.

He thinks fear over gun control is driving up demand.

"People are trying to buy what they're afraid they might not be able to get later," said White.

The shortage is forcing gun owners like Terry Webb to make a daily check of stores all over East Tennessee.

He drove from Townsend to Knoxville to find ammo, rifling through the little amount that's left.

"Just repeating it over and over and I've found one box of 380 shells in the last month. They're low on them," said Webb.

He says he wants to ammo so he can be sure his handgun for personal protection will actually be useful to keep him safe.

"Semi-automatic for my 380. I can't find none for it. And .45 shells are getting hard to find," said Webb.

Chains like Academy Sports and Walmart in Knoxville are having the same problem.

Employees tell us they're short on every kind of ammo, specifically for handguns.

Shoppers are leaving empty handed, with nothing to fill their clips.

"The availability of ammo is not like it was, so when they get a chance to buy what they need, they buy enough for several times," said White.

White has been keeping a list of customers names who are looking for certain types of ammo. He calls them once any comes in.

White says a lot of other stores do that too, so he recommends any gun owners out there in need of ammo get their names on a waiting list.

WD Sporting Goods is also limiting the amount of ammo to one box per customer right now to prevent anyone from buying up what little stock they have left.

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