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Borderland gun shops see ammo shortage after firearms sales soar

EL PASO, Texas — Gun sales have soared during the past year and now Borderland gun shops report seeing a shortage of ammunition.

Data shows merchants nationwide sold more than 2 million firearms in January of this year, a 75% increase over the estimated 1.2 million guns sold in January of 2020. And since a gun is useless without the ammunition, a surge in gun sales means a surge in ammunition sales.

The coronavirus pandemic, the U.S. Capitol attack, the protests after the death of George Floyd, and the election of President Joe Biden are all contributing factors, according to Richard Garcia, the director of training at the Sportsman Elite gun shop in west El Paso.

Garcia told ABC-7 it's a perfect storm, "its not anything that anybody could have predicted would have happened.” He added, "but at that same time, people who have been around this industry for a while come with the mindset to be prepared, now we have thousands of new people coming in with the same mind set."

The ammo shortage has impacted business at Sportsman Elite. Garcia says its hard to find ammunition, so people don't want to waste what they have. That means no one is coming into the shooting range.

Also, with the demand increased, so is the price.

"It's usually not this expensive. I haven't been shooting as much as I’d like to recently and that's just because the cost of the ammo is getting ridiculous and that's if you can find it," said Garcia.

Garcia told ABC-7 he expects to see yet another increase in gun sales as people get their stimulus and tax refund money and as the weather continues to warm up.

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Shelby Montgomery

Las Cruces native Shelby Montgomery is an ABC-7 reporter who also co-anchors Good Morning El Paso weekends.


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