Since the school shootings in Newtown, Conn., there has been a lot of talk about banning or restricting the sale of firearms. Such debate has sparked a sharp upswing in gun sales, along with a shortage of available ammunition.
Curtis Dodson, owner of the Armory Gun Shop, said since Newtown, things have changed at his business.
"Over the past two months, everything seems to have happened at one time," he said, adding the situation is "multifaceted."
He said since discussions about banning the sale of guns and ammo have taken the national stage, gun buyers and owners are increasingly concerned.
"People are really scared there will be some civil unrest in America," Dodson said. "The shortage is not limited to one caliber. Before, a person would come in and buy a firearm and buy two or three boxes of ammo for it. Now, the buyer will buy all the ammo in that caliber. I've had people buy 25 boxes. They're scared they won't be able to get it."
He said .233-caliber ammo for rifles is hard to get while ammo for pistols, including .9 mm, .40, .45, and .38 calibers, is in short supply as well.
"Ammo for .22 caliber is the most popular ammo for both pistols and rifles. It's almost impossible to get now," Dodson said.
He explained the current climate of uncertainty has lead to ammunition manufacturers selling large quantities of ammo to new online dealers at much higher prices than they can sell it to traditional gun stores.
"They sell it to distributors for $9 a box, but they can get $14 a box or more from the online brokers," Dodson said."You can't blame them – that's capitalism. They know it's trendy, and they get it while it is."
Fears proposed bans might be passed at the federal level have gun and ammo buyers getting them while the getting is still good.
“Most of the buying is panic driven,” Dodson said. “People have 50,000 rounds at home and still want more.”
Dodson lays the shortage in both guns and ammo at the doorstep of politicians proposing the bans.
"This is done by the Democrats," he said. "If Barack Obama came out against red hats, there would be a run on red hats. That's just what it is."
He also said one proposed ban on assault weapons will not include the current loopholes for private sales and sales at gun shows, and that has buyers fired up to make more purchases quickly.
"Who's sold the most assault weapons? Barack Obama and Diane Fienstein," Dodson said.
He said rumors are circulating online to the effect that the government has ordered or bought 1 billion rounds of ammunition.
"Why? To create a shortage?" Dodson asked. "Some of these rounds have been bought by the forestry service and by agencies you'd never think of needing a gun, let alone ammo. When things like that happen, it drives insecurity and suspicion."
Dodson said the broadcast comments of politicians about banning guns and ammo are driving sales through the roof.
"If they would stop talking, supplies would catch up," he said.