Police Departments Suffer From Ammunition Shortage and High Prices

John Martin, owner of Shooter’s Depot works with his ammunition stock Thursday, Feb. 7, 2013, on Shallowford Road in Chattanooga, Tenn. Martin says demand has been so high for ammunition, he had to limit his stock of ammo to range members only. (Photo: AP/Chattanooga Times Free Press, John Rawlston)

Ever since gun control discussions began in such earnest after the tragedy in Newtown, Conn., firearms and ammunition have been flying off the shelves. Store owners have said they can’t restock fast enough and demand has driven up the prices. But what about those who need ammo for the jobs and have budgets that have remained stagnant or even declined, like law enforcement?

An Oklahoma police department is saying it is taking donations and coming up with other innovative ways to get their hands on necessary supplies that it can’t seem to afford or that it cannot find in stock at this time.

KJRH reported Jenks Police Department Chief Cameron Arthur saying some departments are bartering for supplies and even cutting down on the number of bullets loaded in firearms to stretch stocks.

“Most police departments are having a very difficult time even getting the necessary ammunition for handguns, shotguns and especially rifles,” Arthur said. “With the delay in ammunition, some departments are limiting the number of rounds they carry in their handgun because of the shortage of ammunition. We get to the point where it is difficult to have enough ammo to train and also equip the officers.”

Arthur also said the department received a $3,000 donation from the community for supplies and has had some donations of goods from the U.S. military.

Overall, Arthur expressed his primary objective to KJRH, which is to make sure officers and citizens are kept safe.

“Statistics would show that about one out of every five officers that are killed are killed with an assault-type rifle. We are being out-armed and out-manned in regard to these type of weapons day in and day out. So it is critical that we have access to superior fire power,” Arthur said.

But this Oklahoma department is by no means the only one rethinking its operations due to an ammo shortage. Police departments in South Carolina and Georgia have expressed how difficult it has been to get their hands on a timely supply of ammunition. The same holds true for departments in Tennessee, Indiana and Michigan who are also waiting for backordered supplies.

Watch this report about the ammo shortages:

Some have made the connection between the ammo shortage and the Department of Homeland Security’s hope to purchase 1.6 billion rounds of ammo over a four to five year period. CNS News stated:

Meanwhile, Rep. Timothy Huelskamp (R-Kansas) says the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has failed to respond to multiple members of Congress asking why DHS bought more than 1.6 billion rounds in the past year.

Here’s another report that questions this amount of ammunition being purchased:

This is not to say that DHS has answered to congress, but it did address the purpose of its solicitations for ammo in February. The Associated Press reported it saying the supplies would be needed for law enforcement agents in training and on duty officers:

Federal solicitations to buy the bullets are known as “strategic sourcing contracts,” which help the government get a low price for a big purchase, says Peggy Dixon, spokeswoman for the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Glynco, Ga . The training center and others like it run by the Homeland Security Department use as many as 15 million rounds every year, mostly on shooting ranges and in training exercises.

Dixon said one of the contracts would allow Homeland Security to buy up to 750 million rounds of ammunition over the next five years for its training facilities. The rounds are used for basic and advanced law enforcement training for federal law enforcement agencies under the department’s umbrella. The facilities also offer firearms training to tens of thousands of federal law enforcement officers. More than 90 federal agencies and 70,000 agents and officers used the department’s training center last year.

The rest of the 1.6 billion rounds of ammunition would be purchased by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the federal government’s second largest criminal investigative agency.

TheBlaze has also reported military experts in the past saying the government buying millions of rounds of ammo is “perfectly normal” as an individual in training can go through thousands of rounds.

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(H/T: Drudge Report, CNS News)