Terry Carter has been selling ammunition since 1973. He’s seen prices go up and shortages before.
There was Y2K, 9/11, Sandy Hook, and when President Barack Obama was first elected in 2008.
But he’s never seen anything like the current demand for ammunition and the skyrocketing prices for guns and ammunition.
A box of 9mm rounds that sold for $20 a box six months ago is now selling for upward of $50 a box. A brick of 500 .22 long rifle rounds that were once available to buy for $20 could cost as much as $100 now.
“It’s impossible to keep anything in stock,” Carter, a Hernando dealer said. “There are certain calibers I haven’t seen in months — .357, 38 Special, .380.”
Carter was at the Gun Show at the Landers Center in Southaven last weekend and sold close to 20,000 rounds of ammunition by Sunday.
Two weeks ago, at a gun show in Lebanon, Tennessee, a suburb of Nashville, he brought 150,000 rounds and sold out in one day.
“I went home that Saturday afternoon,” Carter said. “They bought me out.”
Carter said that he believed anxiety over the current political mood in the country with rioting and calls to defund the police coupled with the COVID-19 pandemic is the reason why prices have gone through the roof.
With the possibility that President Joe Biden may enact tighter gun restrictions and tax ammunition, more people are buying guns and stocking up on ammunition.
Over 20 million firearms were sold in 2020, breaking the previous record of 15.7 million in 2016, according to the National Shooting Sports Federation.
The National lnstant Criminal Background Check System reported that there were 39.7 million background checks. What more, 40% of gun buyers — or 8 million — were first time gun buyers.
“It’s all politically driven,” Carter said. “It’s the panic over everything that is going on in the country right now. People are afraid that they will attack our guns and ammo.”
Carter said it’s not only handgun ammo that is in short supply either. In the last few months, hunters have had a hard time getting .30-06 ammunition.
“I’ve seen simple hunting rounds like 30-30, 270s, .30-06 — soft points for hunting deer — nonexistent,” Carter said.
Carter said he doesn’t see the ammunition shortage getting any better any time soon. If anything, he believes prices will continue to go up.
“I deal with six different wholesalers and distributors,” Carter said. “I am on backorder everywhere. And the ones I can get, I have to hunt. It’s not easy.”