Marty-eJournal column pix

by Marty Hayes, J.D.

I received a text message the other day that read: “Just finished loading 4,000 rounds of 9mm FMJ last night. Only 6,000 rounds to go before I use up all the bullets on hand.” This message was from a well-known firearms trainer who is concerned about having enough ammunition on hand if the Presidential election goes badly for gun owners. At the risk of sounding paranoid, I agree with him.

I am not worried about societal breakdown and fighting the next American Revolution, although at times it seems that our Federal government is acting like King George. But I am concerned about the supply chain for ammunition for us lowly armed citizens if a panic-buying spree occurs after November, 2012. You heard it here first: I predict this will occur if Obama is re-elected, and especially if the Senate and the House are both led by the “progressive” party.

If that happens, life as we know it as avid shooters, will change. Now, I don’t believe a ban on guns or bullets will take place, although the assault weapons ban and restrictions on large capacity magazines will likely come back. Not that it did any good between 1994 and 2004 when it was law, but it is a feel-good piece of legislation that anti-gun politicians and their supporters can get passed which will make them feel like they accomplished something.

No, I am expecting a tax on ammunition and components that will double or triple the cost of ammunition. That will change shooters’ lives. No longer will most of us be able to afford the luxury of shooting up a few hundred rounds in a Sunday afternoon of shooting.

We won’t be able to afford to take a two-day, 500 round defensive handgunning class when our skills start getting a little rusty. I am frankly more than a little concerned about the viability of the firearms training industry, which I have watched grow from the 1980s when a handful of people taught firearms on a full-time basis, until now when several hundred full-time instructors are prominent and many more teach part-time. I also run a firearms training business, and as I see it, our challenge will be to offer viable training without the need to fire hundreds of rounds of ammunition in a day. It can be done, but it certainly won’t be as much fun.

If the election goes against us, I also predict a run on ammunition that will eclipse the 2008 shortages. Ammo supplies will dry up overnight and suppliers who have ammo will parcel it out at inflated prices. If you’re reading this column in the first part of October, if Obama is re-elected, you have only a few short weeks to buy ammunition before the price skyrockets. Of course, we don’t know yet if Obama will be re-elected, but at this writing it looks like the odds are about 50-50. We have yet to see what surprises are in store for America in the weeks running up to the election.

Above: These full ammo shelves were bare in January 2008.  There is lots of ammo now, although I found no bulk .22.