Local News

Agencies Bite Bullet on Expensive Ammo

Posted July 13, 2007 5:38 p.m. EDT
Updated July 13, 2007 8:59 p.m. EDT

— The price of ammunition has shot up in recent months because of the War on Terror, forcing local law enforcement agencies to turn to the state for help to remain well-armed.

A case of ammunition that cost the state Highway Patrol about $83 last year now sells for about $137 -- a 65 percent increase. Also, orders are so backlogged that it could take as long as a year to receive the ammunition.

"It's probably one of the biggest price increases we've had," said Al Sutton, president of Lawmen's Safety Supply, which provides bullets for many area law enforcement agencies. "If you're an avid shooter and have bought ammunition consistently over the past couple of years, you will notice a significant increase in your pricing."

The declining value of the dollar against other currencies and a worldwide resource shortage also play roles in the rising prices, Sutton said.

The Wake County Sheriff's Office has had difficulty purchasing some types of ammunition and has put a halt on qualification classes for higher-ranking officers, officials said. But they said there's no threat that deputies will be short on ammunition on patrol, they said.

The sheriff's office also has borrowed some ammunition from the state Highway Patrol.

"We don't mind sharing with the sheriff's department here or other sheriff's department if they run short," said Lt. Everett Clendenin of the Highway Patrol.

The Raleigh Police Department also has had trouble buying certain kinds of ammunition, officials said, but they said they don't expect it will impact any future training courses.

Clendenin said the Highway Patrol stocked up on ammunition to hedge against price increases, but he said higher prices do impact the agency's budget.

"That's somewhere else we have to take money from. That could be shoes or leather gear for our uniforms," he said.