A Government Stimulus That Works The Gun and Ammo Industry Is Booming

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FLORENCE – Every day, Darren Newsom’s three Bitterroot Valley Ammunition facilities
crank out 300,000 rounds of ammunition.

It’s not nearly

“I’m going
about 100,000 rounds in the wrong direction every day,” Newsom
said. “We probably have about six months of back orders right
now.” Newsom has been in the ammunition manufacturing business
for more than 20 years and he’s never seen demand this high.

Fearful of
the Obama administration’s potential to tighten gun control laws,
people from all over the country are stocking up on guns and ammunition.

“I went
through the Clinton years and there was a bit of a scare then,”
Newsom said. “This is like the Clinton years on steroids. On
the day of the election, our phones started going nuts. It hasn’t
stopped since.”

As a master
distributor for ATK – the world’s largest ammunition business – Bitterroot Valley Ammunition supplies other ammunition manufacturers
around the country with the components needed to make bullets.

“I get
a million primers in every other day and most are shipped out the
very next day,” he said. “I have 100 million primers on
back order right now. We just can’t get enough of them.”

At a recent
gun show in Salt Lake City, Newsom sold somewhere between 300,000
and 400,000 rounds in the first two hours.

just unreal,” he said. “Somewhere in lots of basements
around the country, there are millions of rounds of ammunition being

Local businesses
have felt the ammunition shortage.

At Bob Ward’s
in Hamilton, Mike Matteson said there has been quite a run on ammunition
and reloading supplies like bullets and powder since the election.

“We are
especially low right now with pistol ammunition,” Matteson
said. “There are four or five calibers that we don’t even have
on our shelves.”

Matteson said
he didn’t believe manufacturers were prepared for the panic buying
that’s occurred since the election.

tell us that they’re months behind on some calibers – .22 ammo is
really tough to come by,” he said. “Our gun sales are
up somewhere between 30 (percent) to 35 percent or better. A good
percentage of those sales are pistols.”

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29, 2009

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