"It probably has a higher street value right now than crack does"

By Courtney Lane - bio | email
Posted by Ellen Krafve - email

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - For several months now Americans have been hoarding ammo, and we're told distributors just can't catch up to the high demand.

"It probably has a higher street value right now than crack does," said Mack Woods.

Everyone is hunting for ammo - including gun store owners like Woods who is scrounging to keep his store stocked.

"[I] contact old customers that I think maybe overbought at one time and maybe might have some spare that they want to sell," said Woods. "Even people that have passed away, as awful as that is."

Gun collector Emmit Folsom says even handgun ammo is now a rare commodity.

"If you go to Walmart and try to buy 9-mm ammunition you can't do it," said Folsom. "They can't get it. Every place from Florida to California is having problems getting ammunition."

"I am selling police agencies little batches of ammunition in plastic bags like dope because they can't buy it," said Woods. "It's gone."

We talked to local law enforcement officials, and they say they do get first priority through distributors but they're concerned too and are even buying in bulk, but, get ready to "shell out" double the price.

"Basically, these are about a buck and a quarter per bullet," said Woods.

"I have some shells that are five and 10 dollars a piece, it's ridiculous," said Folsom.

Woods says it's not because of a lack in production.

"The manufacturers are busting their hinies trying to get as much product out as they can but they can't even scratch the demand," said Woods.

That demand shot-up after President Obama took office. Many gun owners are fearful of future bans or increased taxes under the Obama administration. Woods says there's also a record number of first-time gun owners, but like everything else, Folsom is optimistic supply and demand will even out.

"It'll crest, it'll come to a peak somewhere, I'm sure it will," said Folsom.

ABC reports show that the war in Iraq and Afghanistan has also contributed to the shortage; as the military gets top priority.

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