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Semi-Automatic Ammunition Flying Off The Shelves In MA

Friday, December 28, 2012


Massachusetts residents are flocking to firearms stores and stripping shelves of their ammunition, particularly the .223 cartridges, which can be used with semi-automatic weapons. Of the nine stores that GoLocalWorcester contacted, seven were completely or nearly sold out of the ammunition.

Newtown Shooting and Fear of Regulation Causes Run on Ammo in MA

In the wake of the mass shooting in Newtown, Connecticut that claimed 26 lives, gun owners seem to be concerned about when the .223 cartridges will be available again and are stocking up while they still can.

Ammunition salesmen say they simply don’t have enough of the product to meet the ravenous demand.

Employees from stores across the state reported their shelves and warehouses are absolutely barren of.223 cartridges. One employee who elected not to be named said that customers were “hoarding” while another called the situation “crazy.” Most stores reported that recent sales far surpass typical holidays trends.

An employee from C & F Guns in Middleborough says that Obama’s speech during Monday Night Football following the Newtown shooting “lit a match to an already bad situation.” He says every time the President or his administration publicly addresses the national situation as it pertains to gun control, it sends people into a panic.

A Lengthy Trend

According to Worcester Republican Chris Pinto, a shortage of .223 ammunition is nothing new. Pinto says the shortage started in 2009 when President Obama attempted to raise prices on ammunition to make it harder and more expensive to obtain firearms.

Pinto also says media bias has played into the current national hysteria over gun control.

“There is no such thing as an assault weapon,” said Pinto, attributing the term’s creation to what he calls liberal logic. “There is little difference between an assault rifle and regular rife. The assault rifle just looks scarier. The last federal assault weapons ban did nothing but make the gun less scary looking.”

Organizing To Make Noise

Shannon Watts, Founder of Moms For Gun Control, says the increased demand for .223 ammunition is attributed to a society that is unsure of where gun laws are headed.

“I’m assuming this is a reaction to fear,” said Watts. “We’re creating an arms race in this country.”

Moms For Gun Control was founded approximately 24 hours after the shooting in Newtown. According to Watts, the group has since ballooned to 15,000 members in more than 50 chapters nationwide.

While Watts acknowledges that the Second Amendment was created for a reason, she stresses the need to exercise common sense when addressing gun control issues.

“I believe the rights of the individual need to stop overriding the safety of the majority,” said Watts.

Hopeful that the Newtown shooting will act as the straw that broke the camel's back in terms of gun control and popular opinion, Watts wants the Moms Against Gun Violence effort to be as successful as it was in the 1980s, when the group battled for stricter laws against drunk driving offenses. Watts says that thanks in part to the help of the organization, 729 new state laws concerning drunk driving were enacted between 1981 and 1986.

This time around, Watts hopes legislators won’t be afraid of opposition from the National Rifle Association and other pro-gun groups.

“We’re not going to rest until we see action,” said Watts. “We cannot let another mass shooting happen because if we do, then we’re culpable the next time it happens.” 


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