LACKAWANNA, N.Y. (WIVB) - Sportsmen are taking notice - ammunition is flying off store shelves. Nervousness about the NY SAFE Act has gun owners stocking up.
It's gotten so bad that many of the chain retailers like Wal-Mart and Dick's Sporting Goods set a limit on the number of boxes of ammo one person can buy. But it doesn't prevent them from selling out in no time. And local sportsmen want to know why there isn't more available.
Dan Caputa is a sportsman who prefers to target practice with his .22 caliber handgun. But he hasn't been able to make it to the gun club lately, because he can't get his hands on any ammo.
"And I can't be accurate if I don't have the bullets to do it," Caputa said.
The reason for the run on ammo - the best he can explain - is panic.
"If you're having these laws now, what is the future going to hold? I think people are panicking all over because of so many gun control laws starting to pop up, that nobody even knows what these laws are," Caputa said.
At H&H Firearms in Lackawanna, Justin Reickart isn't able to keep ammo on the shelves for long. And after New York passed the SAFE Act, he says ammo hoarding got even worse.
"Every time they see it on the shelf, whether they need it or not, they seem to scoop it up and stash it away for a rainy day," Reickart said.
Initially, the SAFE Act would have added a registry and background checks to ammo purchases to go into effect next year.
According to lawyer James Tresmond, that part has been de-funded and will not go into effect. But Reickart says many gun owners don't know that.
"There have been a few things that have changed since the beginning of the SAFE Act, and people don't know that's changed," Reickart said.
The trend is happening all over the country.
"I know we've gotten phone calls, believe it or not, from South Carolina, Nevada, Georgia, Texas - pretty much throughout the nation. From gun dealers or just people in states who are going online and searching anyone they can find," Reickart said.
Caputa is forced to ration his .22 caliber bullets, between what he takes to the shooting range and keeps at home for personal protection. He wanted to know why manufacturers don't just make more.
Gunmaker Remington wrote: "Currently we are operating at over 100 percent capacity at our ammunition plant and turning out millions of rounds per day."
That's what Reickart has heard from manufacturers.
"Pretty much everyone has the same story: we have guys working around the clock, three shifts, cranking it out as fast as we possibly can get it made," he said.
Reickart says until people run out of money or places to store the ammo, the hoarding will likely continue.
"I just have to think at some point, it will get the point where everyone has bought so much of the ammo, they can't physically buy any more," Reickart said.
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