Firearm Fever

Firearm fever spreads citywide; gun & ammunition shortages reported

from Huntsville Newswire

In the wake of last week’s school shootings in Connecticut and the resulting renewed interest in gun control demand for weapons, particularly AR-15 style semi-automatic rifles and the ammunition they take, has skyrocketed to levels not seen in years.

People have been crowding stores that carry the weapons since the shootings and by Friday morning businesses including Larry’s Pistol & Pawn, Gander Mountain, and WalMart were either sold out of the rifles or experiencing extremely short supply.

If the rifles were hard to find, the .223/5.56-caliber ammunition they take was almost impossible to come by.

A visit to several Huntsville stores Friday revealed supplies were exhausted with no word on when more would arrive.

At Larry’s Wednesday the ammunition, normally in good supply, was being rationed with customers limited to buying 60 rounds per day.

High-capacity magazines, typically those holding 30 rounds, had doubled in price from $9.99 before the shootings to $19.99 by Wednesday. Customers were also limited to buying five magazines per visit.

The magazines are also a target of gun control advocates in the wake of the Connecticut shootings.

A line of people estimated at nearly a hundred snaked around Larry’s just before the store opened Friday morning on North Memorial Parkway.

As lunchtime neared the crowd had gone down but still spilled into the parking lot. At around 4:00 about 20 people were seen waiting to get inside.

The demand for rifles and ammunition was not limited to Huntsville.

Earlier in the week in Athens a crowd was waiting when Craig’s Guns & Tactical opened their doors.

An HNW reporter observed one man asking a clerk for all the .223 ammunition he had. The clerk ran out after 800 rounds.

Several 30-round magazines, still on display when the store opened, were gone within minutes.

A person answering the phone at Craig’s late Friday afternoon said he had one AR-style rifle remaining and no ammunition.

New 30-round magazines were selling for $39.95 each.

Phone calls to Larry’s were not answered.

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