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Gun owners, law enforcement face ammunition shortage

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As the gun control debate rages on, it's causing a new shortage that's hitting everyone from gun owners to law enforcement agencies. Over the past month, the demand for ammunition has skyrocketed.

At Duck Creek Armory in Davenport, empty shelves that used to be stacked to the ceiling with ammunition speak for themselves.

"The popularity of the sport is at an all-time high, and of course, with everything that's going on politically, I think people are stocking up," said owner Jason Bitting.

Since December, legislators have introduced bills that would ban everything from high-capacity magazines to assault weapons. It's not just AR ammo, though, that's hard to come by.

"That's what amazes me the most. One of the hardest calibers in ammo to get is the .22, which is not going to be subject to any sort of proposed ban. Most rim fires are not on the chopping block," said Bitting.

The price of ammo, which has been edging up over the past couple of years, has taken a jump as well.

"Now, with the huge amounts of demand, the aftermarket, the private parties selling ammunition -- the cost has gone up dramatically," said Bitting.

For the Bettendorf Police Department, the impact hasn't had to do with price, but availability. Captain Keith Kimball says the Department orders from a law enforcement distributor at a set price. Kimball says the ammunition shortage, though, is affecting them like everyone else. The Department is having to order their supplies more in advance, knowing there will be a longer wait for shipments.

That's because the wholesalers that store owners like Bitting order from have close to zero supply as well. It's why Bitting says "shortage" doesn't even cover it -- and it likely won't be ending anytime soon.

"On the pistol calibers, on some of the smaller things, I don't think that there's any real need for this much demand, so it will die down. On some of the rifle calibers, things like that, we could be looking at this for a little bit longer. I don't think it's going to be very short term," said Bitting.

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