Less training for cops? Police departments nationwide feeling the consequences of ammo shortage


As a national ammunition shortage continues, police departments from coast to coast are starting to feel the squeeze as they are forced to have reduced trainings due to ammo scarcity.

Gun shop owners and police in Metro Detroit said that they are facing a massive shortage of ammunition. Taylor Police Chief John Blair said in a statement:

“Some civilians have had better luck than police departments.”

Blair said that the department tests its officers’ firearm proficiency three times a year, but because of the ammunition shortage, one test had to be canceled. Not to mention, the COVID-19 pandemic also cut down on firearm practice.

Blair added:

“The officers don’t have enough trigger time and we are always concerned where those rounds go if we do have to fire that weapon.”

The ammunition shortage is believed to have been caused by multiple factors. In 2020, gun owners started stockpiling ammunition because of the pandemic. Additionally, many people purchased new guns.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) did nine million background checks for new gun owners in 2020 and in just two months in 2021, they did another nine million more. Mike Barbour, owner of Top Gun Shooting Sports in Taylor said that he believes ammunition is scarce because of demand.

He stated that new gun owners do not have enough ammunition to practice to learn how to properly handle their gun. He said that the lack of ammunition is a rare occurrence.

Ammunition is also scarce for other Metro police departments. Harper Woods police said they had to wait nine months for their order of 9mm ammunition.

Harper Woods Public Safety Director Vincent Smith said in a statement:

“Friends of mine not in law enforcement, they actually had more ammo than we had at one point.”

If police departments are low on ammunition then they are unable to do live training, which hinders the officers’ ability to protect and serve their communities.

Alaska gun owners are also seeing a shortage. The shortage in Alaska, just like the rest of the country, is likely due to confluence of current events and production setbacks. According to reports, it has impacted many businesses like Brenda Trefren’s, who runs the firearms company Majority Arms out of Sterling.

She said:

“If we don’t have ammo, we don’t have students. So, it’s pretty serious for us.”

Michael Modrell, who manages Soldotna Ammo Supply on K-Beach Road, said that the shortage has a lot to do with the unrest during 2020. He said gun stores saw spikes in gun and ammo sales when COVID-19 first came to the U.S. back in March 2020.

He added that more people came in to get guns and ammunition during the Black Lives Matter protests in the Lower 48 and that the spike came again just before the November 2020 election:

“I knew people who got into guns because they assumed Trump was going to win and they felt their side was going to be further marginalized. And then other people bought guns because they thought Trump might not win and if a Democrat won it would be harder for them to get guns and ammo.”

In Washington, D.C., several D.C.-area police departments said that they have noticed a dwindling supply of ammunition being sold by manufacturers and distributors, which could create problems for agencies when they need to purchase ammunition for officer training and certification. 

Curt Sebastian, co-owner of SSG Tactical gun shop in Fredericksburg, Virginia said:

“I talk to police departments everywhere — from federal, state, and local departments, daily. They are struggling to find ammunition to even qualify officers.”

Sebastian said that the shortage has quadrupled the price of some ammunition and drained his supply of others:

“There will come a point, if things keep going the way they’re going, when I don’t have enough inventory to be open six days a week.”

To prevent a shortage of ammunition, several local police departments said they purchase ammunition months in advance, in large orders to avoid running low.

Acting Arlington Police Chief Andy Penn said in a statement:

“We don’t try and wait until we’re out or low. We stay proactive in order so that we don’t run out. We always have a supply.”

Do you want to join our private family of first responders and supporters?  Get unprecedented access to some of the most powerful stories that the media refuses to show you.  Proceeds get reinvested into having active, retired and wounded officers, their families and supporters tell more of these stories.  Click to check it out.

LET Unity

Suspected cartel members seize seven million rounds of ammunition destined for U.S.

June 15th, 2021

MEXICO – Get ready to pay more for ammo after a two-truck convoy in Mexico was hijacked last Wednesday and had its entire U.S.-bound shipment of  seven million rounds stolen by criminals.

The seven million rounds of were of various calibers, with the majority being .22. The shipment also included several pallets of .38 Super, .40 and .45 caliber ammo as well as various sizes and types of shotgun shells.

According to a report, the trucks carrying the precious cargo were stopped by gunmen in Mexico south of the Texas border in the state of Guanajuato, which has a reputation of being an area of violence.

According to Milenio, the ambush occurred in the town of Cabaña del Rey on Highway 57, which is a popular target for criminals as a large number of cargo vehicles drive on it.

The trucks were found abandoned just a few miles away from the ambush site and completely depleted of their ammunition.

Thankfully, the drivers were not injured during the ambush.

Officials do not know who was behind the ambush, but Mexico is infested with cartel violence, so the list of suspects may point to criminal networks involved with drug trafficking. Authorities are questioning whether an organization was tipped off about the convoy.

Just before the ambush, remote operators noticed the GPS signals of the transport trucks and their security escorts went dark, according to the report.

The Mexican Army became involved after the hijacking, but could not find the gunmen or ammunition.

In recent years, the cartel has been flexing its muscles and growing stronger as it arms itself with powerful weapons, armor and tactical gear and becomes a threat to the Mexican Army and even the U.S.

Do you want to join our private family of first responders and supporters?  Get unprecedented access to some of the most powerful stories that the media refuses to show you.  Proceeds get reinvested into having active, retired and wounded officers, their families and supporters tell more of these stories.  Click to check it out.

LET Unity

However, some people have alleged that two previous U.S. administrations armed the Mexican cartels and actually strengthened them through gun-running operations that backfired.

Last year, Mexico’s foreign minister, Marcelo Ebrard, announced in a video posted on Twitter that he sent a note to the U.S. Embassy asking for answers about the Obama administration’s controversial gun-running scheme nicknamed “Fast and Furious.”

The scheme was supposed to limit gun smuggling across the border, but it ended up causing unnecessary deaths and giving bad guys a lot of guns.

More than 2,000 guns were sold to suspected criminals thought to be linked to Mexican drug gangs in the two years of the operation under the Obama presidency Newsmax reported.

“The [Mexican] government requests that it be provided with all the information available regarding the ‘Fast and Furious’ operation,” Ebrard said, as reported by Reuters.

Ebrard cited former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder as saying Mexican authorities knew about the 2009-2011 operation, which allowed people to buy arms illegally in the U.S. and take them back to Mexico, where the gun buyers would allegedly be tracked to drug cartel bosses and then supposedly caught by law enforcement.

Prior to “Fast and Furious,” a similar operation, named “Operation Wide Receiver,” took place under George W. Bush’s administration. The operation began in 2006 and also failed in tracking down gun and drug traffic.

Talking Points Memo noted:

“What’s also fascinating about the documents turned over to investigators is that they reference a little-known ATF operation called ‘Operation Wide Receiver’, which just like ‘Fast and Furious,’ let guns ‘walk’ to Mexico.

“The operation, run by ATF’s Tucson office and the U.S. Attorney for Arizona, started in 2006 — when George W. Bush’s Attorney General Alberto Gonzales was running the show — and ran until the end of 2007. No charges were filed.”

Unlike “Fast and Furious,” no U.S. Border Patrol or Immigrations and Customs Enforcement  agents were killed during “Operation Wide Receiver.”

Just last Thursday, FBI Director Christopher Wray warned that cartel violence was spilling into the U.S. border and said it was “extremely concerning,” according to Washington Examiner.

Wray spoke at a hearing of the House Judiciary Committee, according to the report. When Rep. Tom McClintock, a California Republican, expressed concerns about the flood of migrants and upticks in criminal arrests at the United States-Mexico border.

Wray responded:

“There’s no question that the cartel activity on the other side of the border is spilling over in all sorts of ways, and you just put your finger on one that’s extremely concerning to us all.

“Different cartels have different affiliations with gangs here in the United States. There’s not just human trafficking from a labor perspective, but also sex trafficking.”

Wray said the issue was a “significant security concern” and added the bureau has several specialized units to curb human smuggling:

“We have a number of human trafficking task forces as well as working on certain task forces with [Department of Homeland Security] to try to address that issue.”

President Joe Biden‘s administration has faced intense criticism over its poor handling of the crisis at the border after authorities reported over 180,000 attempted illegal crossings for the month of May, a number that dwarfed previous estimates, according to Washington Examiner’s report.

The May total was higher than April’s 178,622 and March’s 172,331, according to the report.

About 8,000 of the 180,034 people who border authorities came across last month were denied entry at a port of entry, but the remainder went across the border through unfenced areas Washington Examiner reported.

Want to make sure you never miss a story from Law Enforcement Today?  With so much “stuff” happening in the world on social media, it’s easy for things to get lost.  

Make sure you click “following”and then click “see first” so you don’t miss a thing!  (See image below.)  Thanks for being a part of the LET family!

Facebook Follow First

Related Posts