By Nathan Baker
Although war efforts and an uncertain future for firearms laws have depleted ammunition supplies at retail gun stores nationwide, local police say they have plenty of rounds, thanks to careful planning.
Both the Elizabethton Police Department and the Carter County Sheriff’s Department order a year’s supply of ammunition at a time,because of the municipalities’ budget cycles.
EPD Maj. Shannon Peters said his department’s ammunition supplier has been on a six-month waiting list since the early years of the Iraq and Afghanistan engagements.
“It affects you if you don’t plan ahead,” he said. “We’re fine as far as what we have for probably another year.”
Peters said he has kept an eye on the recent skyrocketing demand for guns and ammunition brought about by fears of enactment of stricter gun control laws and could decide to order even earlier than usual to allow the manufacture enough time to fill the order.
Likewise, Chief Deputy Ron Street said the sheriff’s department received a large order of ammo before the retail run on guns got under way and is in a good position to ride out the shortage.
“So far it’s not affected us,” Street said. “Luckily we place a large order last time, so it should get us by another year. After that we could have to look at ways to be a little more frugal if it becomes difficult to get ammunition.”
Both departments issue all sworn officers .40-caliber pistols, and their special teams use .223-caliber rifles.