Bullet Prices Shoot Through The Roof - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

9/05/07-Tyler

Bullet Prices Shoot Through The Roof

Over the past few months, the number of people visiting Lock-N-Load, an indoor shooting range in Tyler, has tapered off.  

"With the prices going up like it has, people aren't shooting quite as much as they have before, so it has hit us a little bit," said Steven Prater, facilities manager at Lock-N-Load.

Part of the reason is the on-going war in Iraq, which is causing the price of bullets here at home to skyrocket.

"I'd like to see the prices come down, but I don't think they're going to," said Prater

According to the New York Stock Exchange, in 2004, lead--a key ingredient in making bullets--cost around forty cents per pound.  

That price has nearly tripled to $1.30 per pound in just three years.

Barry Clark is the firearms manager at Gander Mountain, a sporting goods store in South Tyler.

He said he's not only worried about price, but supply.  

"If you're looking for something in the military type caliber, again, that used to be cheap and plentiful, those are getting scarce and harder to come by," he said.  "We work very hard trying to keep ammunition in stock.  Sometimes we don't make it.  If the supply's not there, it's just not there."

The dwindling supply has prompted even police officers to be a little more frugal. 

Tyler Police Chief Gary Swindle said the department has noticed about a twenty percent increase in the price of ammunition they buy.

"We would just have to try to look at finding cheaper supplies, cheaper sources, maybe buy in larger bulk," he said. 

Chief Swindle said the department has not changed its training or policing strategies, and doesn't plan to do so anytime soon, but adjustments are being made in the police department's budget to allow for the increased bullet prices.

Layron Livingston, KLTV 7 News. llivingston@kltv.com 

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