Editor’s Note: This is the first story in a two-part series about ammunition shortages throughout Canadian County. The first part explains how local police departments have been affected.
Ammunition shortages have affected the U.S. for a little less than a year.
“It’s created such a stir,” Yukon Police Chief John Corn said.
The police department has not had an instance of running out of ammo, but they have gotten close, the chief noted.
As consumers visit local shooting sports stores to find ammo, police departments have been struggling with buying bullets for on-duty work and training purposes.
“I don’t think you could have foreseen all the different things that took place between COVID, politics, supply and what the disruption any of those things combined did,” Corn said. “What we started seeing was we were placing orders in, and the suppliers were saying, ‘It’ll be six months.’”
If the department were to send a purchase order in for ammo to GT Distributors, an ammunition distributing company in Texas, the organization would tell them it will be six to eight months until the bullets are delivered, he said.
The ammo shortage is also affecting Mustang’s police department.
“I’ll put it this way: we ordered ammunition in August, and we still haven’t received it,” Chief Rob Groseclose said.
Mustang also orders from GT Distributors but has not been given an estimated delivery date about their purchase order from August 2020.
Corn said the ammunition shortage is due to the lack of transportation of raw materials, like primer and brass, during the country’s quarantine only allowing essential business to operate.
Mustang and Yukon officers carry 9 mm Glocks while they are on-duty.
Both departments have a cache locker of 5.56 semi-automatic weapons and 12-gauge shotguns.
Yukon’s department must purchase 9 mm, 5.56 bullets and 12-gauge shells for the weapons, with a budget of $20,000 set aside for ammunition every fiscal year, Corn said.
He said they must pass a qualification course four times a year with handguns and two times a year with rifles.
“At a minimum, we’re shooting 3,600 rounds of pistol ammo a year just on qualifications,” Corn said.
He said the department also shoots 4,600 rounds of both pistols and rifles during each training.
Groseclose said Mustang officers have already completed their training for the year.
“We certainly won’t do it again until we get some more ammunition,” Groseclose said.
He said the ammunition shortages aren’t causing problems right now, but they will next year if they don’t get shipments delivered.
“If we don’t get ammunition, we will run out,” Groseclose said. “We typically order ammunition a year in advance.”
Any time there is a change in the nation’s executive branch or talk about gun legislation is mentioned, the country’s ammunition supply fluctuates, he added.
“We were good this year, but next year, we’re going to be in a significant issue if we don’t get some bullets,” Groseclose said.