Ammo Shortage Could Eventually Change Training for Officers - ABC5 News Des Moines, IA

Ammo Shortage Could Eventually Change Training for Officers

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By Alex Schuman

aschuman@myabc5.com

@alexschuman

A new .40 caliber bullet can be tough to come by right now unless you ordered a box of them months ago. 

Most law enforcement uses a .40 caliber and now that kind of ammunition is becoming more rare as an ammo shortage empties gun shops nationwide.

"The ammo shortage just continues to get worse and worse," said Mike Sporer, JLM Gun Shoppe owner.

The Polk County Sheriff's Office thinks eventually, the trend could start affecting their officers.

"Our people who do the ordering are keeping a more vigilant eye on what's going on," said Sgt. Jana Rooker, Polk County Sheriff's Office.

The shortage would delay law enforcement access mainly to bullets and gun parts for repairs. 

"Civilians have a 200 plus year tradition to shoot and own firearms that our military and police use," said Sporer.  "So yeah, it's draining everybody."

Demand for guns and ammo began to steadily rise awhile ago, but has exploded in the last few months after the presidential election and talk of new gun control legislation.

"Now we're just pretty much out of everything," said Sporer.

If the shortage continues Polk County may make changes to their training, which is where most bullets get used.

"[We would start] focusing more on weapons handling and tactics rather than more on shooting," said Rooker.

Des Moines Police and the Iowa State Patrol, just like Polk County, think no matter what, they will always have enough to do their job and keep people safe. 

"We have the flexibility to change what we've been doing in the past in terms of how often we order, how much and how much we're spending," said Rooker.

DMPD suffered a shortage like this back when the war in Iraq started so they have had measures in place for a long time to make sure they do not run out.

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