SALISBURY, Md.- The issue of gun control is on the minds of many, particularly in the wake of last month's shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Connecticut. Nationally and locally, bills are being proposed to ban certain types of firearms. The fear over gun control measures has weapons and ammo in high demand, and local law enforcement agencies are feeling the effects.
"Before, it was nothing to get that ammunition mailed to us and shipped to us within a week," explained Wicomico County Sheriff Mike Lewis. "It's going to be months before we get any extra ammunition now."
Chalk it up to supply and demand.
At Crazy Louie's Pawn Shop in Salisbury, general manager Steve Kottman said gun sales are up, and waiting periods on background checks just keep getting longer.
"We've definitely seen a lot of customers come in that are concerned about what kind of gun laws might come down," he said. "Certainly with the governor talking about passing new laws, a lot of people are certainly anxious and want to buy a firearm now, when they know they can, versus later on, where that may be harder to do."
With ammunition flying off store shelves, keeping officers equipped and conducting training exercises are becoming even more difficult for local law enforcement agencies.
"Within the last few months, we actually loaned ammunition to the Salisbury Police Department, because they had run out of ammunition, and we had to loan ammunition to them," Lewis noted.
"Not only are people going and buying everything they can get their hands on, but you're also dealing with some of the large chains even here in town that are not refilling their shelves," Kottman explained.
Lewis said that ultimately, more government action is not the answer.
"The current laws that are being proposed will do nothing to solve the violence or criminal acts committed by perpetrators who are determined to commit crime," he said. "It's not going to make a difference at all."
According to Lewis, his office has a reserve supply that should last through the end of the year.
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