Obama administration's run on guns impacts law enforcement

Austin American-Statesman:
Law enforcement agencies across the country face back orders and waiting lists for tactical assault rifles and ammunition, as a national run on firearms by civilian consumers has started to hamper public safety efforts.

While larger departments in Central Texas, including Austin’s, are able to make deals that guarantee they have the supplies they need, some smaller operations are struggling, going so far as to encourage officers to conserve bullets by cutting back on range practice.

The Rollingwood Police Department decided to update its patrol rifles — currently government surplus M-16s — with more modern tactical arms in the wake of the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn. But Rollingwood Chief Dayne Pryor was told he’d have to get in line for the Bushmaster .223 rifles he wanted.

The waiting list for the rifles was more than a year, Pryor said, and the waiting list for new handguns is eight to 12 months.

The Round Rock Police Department has had tactical rifles on back order since October — just before the presidential election — and police departments from Pflugerville to Buda are having trouble getting the ammunition they need for training and certifications.

This isn’t the first time local departments have seen ammunition become scarce. Shortages have occurred periodically in the last decade because of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and because of an increase in consumer purchasing when gun control enters the national conversation.

“This is panic buying,” Pryor said. “People don’t realize that it affects law enforcement just like the people buying guns at Academy.”

Some weapons distributors suspect the shortages for law enforcement are aggravated because arms manufacturers might be giving priority to consumer supply chains, which command higher prices for weapons, over law enforcement distribution.

...

... the industry standard is for military and law enforcement orders to get priority. However, manufacturers can set higher prices on the retail products. A new Glock pistol, for example, is priced about $100 cheaper for military and police orders.

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Casey Wagnon, a manager at Tex-Guns in South Austin, said consumer demand has been beyond anything the shop has seen in years.

“It has increased tremendously since about Dec. 18,” Wagnon said. That’s when President Obama announced plans to crack down on gun violence, possibly through increased gun regulation. “All my suppliers are out of guns and ammunition because they have been bought up. I know manufacturers are making them as quick as they can, but as long as demand is up, they sell out just as quick.”

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Obama has done more for gun and ammo sales than any previous President.  At this point it looks like the weapons bans have little prospect of passing Congress.  The administration is scaling back its must have list to universal background checks.  The problem with that is the logistics of enforcing and requiring back ground checks for sales by individuals.  A year from now you may be able to get a deal on an AR-15.

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