Gun debate leads to increase gun, ammo sales

Rush on ammunition could impact local businesses

BOCA RATON, Fla. - The ongoing gun control debate has gun enthusiasts rushing to stock up on ammunition. That is unsettling for those who depend on ammo to make a living.

Stan Szalkowski is one of them. Assembling and selling weapons went from his hobby to his profession five years ago when he was laid off. Now he worries an ammo shortage might squeeze him out of this job.

"Ammunition is hard to get, it's in short supply. It's like people bought everything that was to be bought and cleaned out the supply chain," says Szalkowski.

He has 50 rifles he needs to put together, and 100 rounds each to test them at the firing range.

"Without the ammo it's like a boat with no gas, it just sits at the dock. It's a major problem," says Szalkowski.

Local gun stores are feeling the pinch too. Many limit customers to just two boxes of the most popular rounds, the ones that are hard to come by.

"It's hard to get 9 millimeter, 22 LR, 40s and 50s are hard to get," says Norma Pollack at Boca Arms, Inc.

Szalkowski has a few thousand rounds on hand, but he says that's not enough. It's not a question of whether he'll run out, it's when.

"The alternative will be paying through the nose for the ammo, the asking price," says Szalkowski.

He says the asking price is now almost twice what it was six months ago.

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