Gun sales continue to skyrocket in North Carolina amid ammo shortage

Michael Lozano Image
Saturday, August 8, 2020
Gun sales continue to skyrocket in North Carolina amid ammo shortage
A local gun store owner cited the lack of primer, the chemical or device responsible for making the bullet combust, as being a major factor in the ammunition shortage.

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WTVD) -- As gun sales continue to skyrocket in North Carolina, many gun shops are dealing with an ammo shortage.

Tony Jacobs, a Gun Range Manager at Jim's Gun Jobbery in Fayetteville, says they're seeing droves of people coming in and wanting to learn how to shoot a gun.

He's also a state-licensed concealed carry handgun instructor, "I have 50, 60 people every week in a class."

However, the double-edged sword is that they're running out of ammo. Jim's Gun Jobbery, along Yadkin Road, is having trouble finding immediate suppliers and distributors.

Jacobs tells ABC11 that his friends in the ammunition industry cite the shortage of primer as being a major factor. The primer is the chemical or device that is responsible for making the bullet combust, according to Jacobs. This key ingredient is manufactured in Italy, a country devastated by COVID-19 in recent months.

"That created this huge backlog in the need for primers," Jacobs said.

As a result, many shops are needing to raise ammo prices. Jim's Gun Jobbery has had to raise theirs by 100 percent.

"The manufacturer or distributor has, you know, increased the price, and so, we have to turn around and market up, in order to not lose money," Jacobs explained.

On top of the shortage, gun sales keep climbing statewide. The FBI released new data that shows more than 173,000 North Carolinians sought background checks for weapons in June and July, a significant increase to the previous year.

"People are coming in. They're wanting firearms training, they're wanting the one-on-one training," Jacobs said.

Jacobs attributes the rise in sales to a wide array of factors: the recent protests, the upcoming presidential election, and the recent lawsuits filed against the NRA. He says people are wanting to protect their property and also fear that gun laws may change.

In addition, companies are having to prioritize who gets new shipments of ammo, creating longer wait lists for businesses.

"There are certain manufactures that are only distributing to military and law enforcement. As far as the civilian market is concerned, that is only going to push the availability back," Jacobs said.

According to Jacobs, he's hearing through the grapevine that this ammo shortage may last several years. He encourages gun owners to become more frugal with their ammo.