Police Departments Having A Hard Time Buying Ammo

Jan 30, 2013

Concerns over potential gun control legislation appear to be having an effect on law enforcement. Some northern Illinois police agencies say it’s becoming more difficult to buy ammo for their officers.

DeKalb police Chief Gene Lowery says this isn’t the first time law enforcement has dealt with this type of situation. He says with the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, large military orders created ammunition shortages over the past decade.

In the past six months, the wait time has increased for a different type of ammo.

“We’re experiencing anywhere from 2 to 5 months delivery on handgun ammunition. That could be an area where we could speculate that individual citizens are stockpiling ammunition” Lowery said.

The police chief in Orland Park also cited demand issues when he asked the village board to approve an earlier than usual ammunition purchase.

Kent Williams owns Williams Shooters Supply in Quincy. The company distributes ammo to the commercial market and to law enforcement. He also says supplies are hard to come by. But after talks with manufacturers, Williams says they are definitely aware of the growing waiting list for police departments:

“They are definitely cognizant of the need to continue to give priority to law enforcement items and law enforcement orders, and [that] they’re doing the best they can” Williams said.

Still, Williams predicts his company will have problems making timely deliveries for most of 2013.

DeKalb’s police chief says delays force them to keep a close eye on their supply. He says it puts more pressure on the department to stay within their firearm training schedule. While he’s not concerned about the potential effect on the skills of his police officers, the chief says it could potentially have an impact on the civil liability factor in the event of a police-related shooting.