Gun shops face ammo shortage ahead of deer hunting season

Local News

CENTRE COUNTY, Pa. (WJAT) — Deer hunting season is nearing fast, and while hunters may have their camo ready, there’s nothing to a gun…if it’s not loaded.

According to Belding & Mull owner Sam Vitullo, ammunition is very limited.

“Our shelves used to be stocked and there was ammunition readily available to order at any time…now that’s not the case,” said Vitullo.

Vitullo attributes the shortage to the pandemic.

“It really created the perfect storm,” said Vitullo.

On one hand, Vitullo says production was slowed due to the amount of workers gun manufacturers could have in the factory. On the other, it pushed people in to stores to buy guns and ammo with all the extra free time they had on their hands.

“There was a record number of gun owners, last year and this year still. Then you have all of the extra stimulus checks people got…and the riots. For awhile people thought the police were going to be defunded so they didn’t know who was going to protect them so they were buying more guns, more ammo. That put a strain on the whole pipeline of ammunition,” explained Vitullo.  

To help with supply Vitullo says he’s now had to put limits on hunting ammo.

“1 box per person, per day, however hand gun ammunition is readily available, and there’s no limit,” said ammo.

While some customers aren’t too happy about the limit, Vitullo says it’s just to make sure there’s enough to go around.

“They do want to stock up, you have your hoarders out there always. We explain it to them that we want more people to be able to enjoy the sport of hunting and get ammo into more peoples hands than one person buying it all,” said Vitullo.

One thing Vitullo says he won’t change, is his prices.

“We do raise our prices when our cost increases, but we don’t believe in gouging, price gouging that’s just not our thing. We wouldn’t want it done to us so we won’t do it to our customers,” said Vitullo.

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