Alpena-area stores struggle to keep ammo on shelves

News Photo by Crystal Nelson Fast Cash and Guns owner David Karschnick Jr. works on a gun Friday in his store off of M-32 in Alpena.

ALPENA — Northeast Michigan gun shops are taking a hit from an nationwide ammunition shortage.

Local gun shop owners say that, although the ammunition shortage started months ago, they have fewer rounds on their shelves and have not been able to replace stock recently.

Fast Cash and Guns owner David Karschnick Jr. said the shortage started during the coronavirus pandemic as the supply chain was interrupted when states shut down and manufacturers weren’t producing ammunition. Additionally, Karschnick said the raw materials used to make ammunition are not as readily available.

Karschnick said that, when people began hoarding toilet paper in the spring, he placed an order for ammunition, which was still available at that time. Then he sold out of almost all of his handguns within a four-week period.

“I did have a lot of first-time gun buyers,” he said. “I usually carry 150 handguns in stock, I might have 10 left, and I can’t order any more. I haven’t been able to order any from my wholesalers because they just don’t have them. ”

Karschnick said he hardly has any ammunition for handguns or for rifles, and that he just has “the odd calibers” left. He said his wholesalers estimate it will probably be the first part of the new year until guns or ammunition will be available again.

Jeff Stahl, manager at Bob’s Gun Shop, said it’s been hard to get ammunition for handguns and guns for hunting. Stahl said people are either buying the ammunition up and sitting on it or they’re trying to go to auction sites and resell it for more than they should.

He said the only place to currently purchase ammunition is online. Stahl said if he were to purchase ammunition online, he would have to mark the price up, it would become too expensive for people to want to buy it.

“It’s getting to the point where we might not be able to get any,” he said. “A lot of people in the state stop in here because we have ammo — a lot of places don’t — but, eventually that’s going to wear off.”

But Stahl said gun and ammunition sales have increased “for personal protection because the world is just getting crazy. Even though there isn’t a lot of that happening in Alpena, some of those people travel. They go into some of the bigger cities, and that’s where all the chaos is happening, and nobody feels safe.”

Stahl said people are also concerned a President Joe Biden would “hammer down on the firearms industry.

“People are trying to get guns and ammo before that happens, because, if he gets in there, he’s just going to go crazy with it,” Stahl said. “People don’t feel safe with that because, how are they going to protect themselves if they can’t get the ammo or firearms?”

Crystal Nelson can be reached at 989-358-5687 or cnelson@thealpenanews.com.


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