American gun owners are gobbling up cheap Russian ammunition in huge quantities, worried that President Obama‘s tussle with Vladimir Putin over Moscow‘s grab for Crimea will result in new trade sanctions cutting off imports of bullets.
“We’ve seen an ammo-hoarding effect,” said Larry Hyatt, owner ofHyatt Gun Shop in Charlotte, N.C., one of the nation’s biggest gun stores. “It’s almost like milk and bread when it gets ready to snow: It’s just a mass of people running out and buying some of it, probably more than they need,” he told Secrets.
Driving the ammo binge are gun blogs warningthat the supply of surplus AK-47 ammo and other cheaper bullets manufactured by Russian makers like Wolf and TulAmmo will be cut off ifsanctions are expanded by the president. The two companies make the 7.62×39 ammunition used in the popular AK-47 and variations for the AR-15. They sell it for $3-$4 a box, versus the $9 charged by U.S. manufacturers.
Some websites are also warning that Putin is considering retaliating against the U.S. by cutting off the supplies. So far, none of the rumors appear true. However, an administration officials said that Treasury, under the president’s new executive order, “will be looking to use this broad authority as appropriate, given the situation on the ground.”
“The politics of imports and gun laws really are a big factor in in our business. We used to have the hunting season and the Christmas season and now we’ve got the political season,” said Hyatt. “The stock of gun manufacturers is probably going up because they see that as long as President Obama is in office and as long as Hillary is threatening to run, they see sales staying good,” he added.