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IN – RETAILERS – Yearlong run on ammo persists

Ammunition — when it can be found — is flying off the shelves across the United States, including in Terre Haute. For example, in mid-January Top Guns in Terre Haute had available the popular 5.56mm rifle ammunition. Videos detailing how and when customers could buy the ammo, pre-loaded in magazines and placed in range bags, posted to the store’s Facebook page garnered tens of thousands of views. The day the ammo was released for sale, hundreds of people lined up outside Top Guns, all hoping they’d gotten there early enough to snag one of the packages. The run on guns and ammo appears to have been initially set off in the spring by the COVID-19 pandemic and related restrictions and at first appeared similar to runs on other consumer goods, such as toilet paper and paper towels. The run on guns and ammo appears to have been initially set off in the spring by the COVID-19 pandemic and related restrictions and at first appeared similar to runs on other consumer goods, such as toilet paper and paper towels. But the unease caused by those events was followed by a summer of social unrest, which was followed by a presidential election season, which was in turn followed by the tumultuous events of Jan. 6 at the Capitol in Washington, D.C.  Steve Ellis, owner of Top Guns, said the ammo rush started at his shop in February 2020 when news reports started projecting the severity of the COVID-19 pandemic. Rumored shutdowns and then stay-at-home orders kicked off a firestorm of buying, Ellis said. At his shop, some 4.5 million rounds went out the door in just 10 days. “I think some were concerned that there might be a lack of availability of food, and people wanted to be able to hunt if they wanted and [also] be able to defend what they had if it came to that,” Ellis said.  [full article]

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