Rumor Control: Ammo Shortages Revisited!

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As attacks on our Second Amendment rights increase, there is a predictable uptick in the number of internet rumors concerning firearms and ammunition. In particular, NRA-ILA receives frequent inquiries regarding ammo shortages.

A rumor that surfaced earlier this year was actually a variation of an old one, and claimed that George Soros owns “most of the ammunition manufacturing companies and many arms manufacturers,” and that he’s “selling ONLY to the government right now.” This simply isn’t true. As noted in a past statement by the National Shooting Sports Foundation, “George Soros does not own ANY manufacturers of ammunition or firearms. No manufacturer of either guns or ammunition has been ordered by the government to limit or alter its supply channels. All manufacturers are trying their best to catch up to this market, but it’s a simple matter of supply vs. demand. There is way too much demand for manufacturers to meet with supply. There is not enough tooling, infrastructure or raw materials at the ready anywhere in the entire world to keep up with current consumer demand. And that’s why we are seeing shortages.”

Other rumors concern acquisitions of ammunition by the Department of Homeland Security and a number of smaller agencies. Much of this concern stems from a misunderstanding of the size of the U.S. ammunition market. While the amount of ammunition some agencies have sought to buy seems impressive at a glance, it’s far less so when spread out over a multi-year contract and over the tens of thousands of armed federal agents who engage in regular firearm training and qualification. And even if federal agencies bought all of the ammunition for which they’ve recently solicited proposals, it would still amount to only about three percent of total domestic ammunition production.

As we’ve pointed out before, most gun owners will agree that skepticism of government is healthy. But today there are more than enough actual threats to the Second Amendment to keep gun owners busy.

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