Nationwide, the ammunition shortage has continued throughout COVID-19 with little end in sight for the next 12 months. In Rhinelander, Hodag Pawn and Loan Gun Store has been feeling the highs of gun sales and the lows of loss of ammunition stock.
Caleb Giddings from Recoil magazine, explains a few factors that have led to this shortage are, "COVID-19” Lockdowns, civil unrest, and this upcoming election year,” he said.
Fear is the biggest driving factor in sales right now with, issue-based information system world reporting, "that online gun and ammunition sales in the U.S. industry has grown 13.8% from 2015-2020. And in 2020 alone the market for online gun and ammunition sales is expected to increase to 7.2 percent."
Elizabeth Thompson of The Dallas Morning News said, "There were a record-breaking 4 million firearm background checks nationwide in June as the protests picked up."
John O'Hare, a firearm salesman at the Hodag Pawn and Loan Gun store, said hunting ammo is plentiful.
"Most of the ammo that there is a shortage of isn't really hunting ammo, it's mostly recreational and self protection stuff," said O'Hare.
Chris Turk, manager at Hodag Pawn and Loan Gun Store, also believes the presidential elections and COVID-19 are what causes ammunition shortage.
"Both sides have everybody so venomous towards each other that it definitely drives the sales out of fear of not getting it," said Turk.
Business is still flowing into the store, but people are more hesitant to buy a firearm if they are unable to buy ammunition.
COVID-19 has disrupted ammunition distribution by reducing access to raw materials for ammo and also how many trucks are able to deliver the orders.
"The problem is that only a few companies produce ammo at the volumes needed " companies like Magtech and Federal," said Giddings.
"The economic downturn not only impacts the industries that produce the raw materials, but with politically tense tariffs, sourcing materials globally takes a two-fold hit: first by supply line disruption via pandemic, and second, the cost-effectiveness through government sanctions. This trickles down to the consumer," said Giddings"
"Some people come in everyday, covering all ages," [to buy ammunition]," O'Hare said.
For those struggling to find ammunition, Turk says don't give up.
"You just gotta keep trying, we even get the short stuff every now and then. We limit it to a box per person. You just gotta keep checking and hit it right," said Turk.