Ammunition shortage in Waco could become a problem for law enforcement if it gets worse

Friday, February 1, 2013 - 2:21pm

With the fear of new gun control laws being implemented in the state, Central Texans are taking protecting themselves very seriously. However, with more citizens arming themselves, we're finding that the people we hire to "protect and serve" are running out of the supplies they need to do their jobs. Some stores in Waco have reportedly run out of bullets to sale.

Ammunition of various shapes and sizes is becoming harder and harder to get a hold of, not just for citizens, but also for law enforcement agencies. And, officers say when they find supplies of bullets, they run into another problem, prices have gone up substantially. Some guns and bullets are reportedly three times the cost they were just two months ago.

"It's not only the availability, but it's the cost when you do find ammunition," said Chief Deputy Matt Cawthorn of the McLennan County Sheriff's Department.

The owners of Unique Guns, in Waco, say their sales have gone up tremendously in the last month. And, there have been points and times when even they have run out of ammunition.

"Everybody's running out of it. The distributors are running out of it. So, it's been hard to keep it on the shelves," said Unique Guns Office Manager Juliana Davis.

Cawthorn says his department has enough ammo for now, unless the situation gets more crucial. Then, they may have to turn to officers using their own supplies that they've been collecting over periods of time.

"We're going to start relying on, maybe, some of their own stockpiles," said Cawthorn.

Waco Police Department says the shortage is causing them to perhaps re-evaluate their officer training procedures.

"Obviously, we will not slack off on our training, but we may have to make adjustments and use Simunition rounds. We may have to do more drive fire drills. Things along that line to where our officers aren't actually burning up the ammo like we have been," said Sergeant Patrick Swanton, Waco police spokesman. 

In the meantime, Waco PD and the sheriff's office have already gotten on the six month long waiting list for rifle ammunition, just in case the situation does get worse.

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