With rising costs and shortages of ammo, the Hall County Sheriff’s Office said a purchase of more than $60,000 in ammunition will help get the department through to the next budget year.
The purchase of $60,920 in ammunition was submitted for approval at the Monday, Oct. 5, Hall County Board of Commissioners meeting. It was moved to the consent agenda to be approved at the Thursday, Oct. 8 commissioners’ voting meeting.
“It’s all about supply and demand,” Sheriff’s Office spokesman Derreck Booth said. “With ammunition, that comes and goes with world events, U.S. events, politics, any of a number of factors. A decision was made to go ahead and purchase this amount at this one time, and the hopes are that this will get the department through to the next budget year July 1.”
Local sellers of firearms and ammunition have reported a high rate of recent spending particularly by first-time buyers.
“The supply chain has broken down. There is just not enough inventory,” said Jon Lipscomb, owner of The Foxhole Guns & Archery in Gainesville, to The Times last month. “And we don’t believe it will let up anytime soon. No matter which way the election goes, it’s going to be pretty hard to get products in this industry.”
The National Shooting Sports Foundation said in June retailers reported 40% of sales during the first four months of 2020 were to first-time gun buyers and that new customers were spending $595 on an average sale.
“The main purchase driver among the group was personal protection, followed by target shooting and hunting,” according to the National Shooting Sports Foundation. “Also of note was that 25% of first-time buyers had already taken some form of firearms safety course and 63% inquired about taking a firearms safety course in the near future. All this equates to more than 2.5 million new gun owners in a very short period of time.”
With costs rising as they are now, Booth said the idea was to “get it all now than wait and do the typical two orders a year.”
The order form from June shows a combined 70 cases of .45 caliber rounds and a combined 80 cases of 9 mm rounds. Booth said each case includes 1,000 rounds.
Booth said the bulk of the ammunition is for firearm qualifications and training throughout the year.
There are 10 cases of .308 rifle rounds to be used for the SWAT team, each case carrying 200 rounds.
There were also 300 boxes of bean-bag rounds ordered, with five rounds in each box. These are used as a less-lethal option should the officer become involved in a situation that may necessitate a use of force.