Ammo Factory All Fired Up Amid Gun Ban Threat…”We could work seven days a week and not meet the demands right now. It’s just crazy up there – supply and demand – we just can’t keep up with demand.”
Thursday 25 April 2013
Proposed measures to control guns in the United States have boosted sales of ammunition.
Manufacturers and gun shops across America are reporting record sales with gun enthusiasts worried that tighter weapons laws will lead to a shortage of bullets.
Sky News has gained rare access to an ammunition factory in Missouri, where they say business has never been better.
Sierra produces millions of loaded cartridges and bullets each week.
It’s careful not to reveal secrets to rivals – it won’t say exactly how many – but what’s certain is that this is a bright spot in an otherwise gloomy economy.
At the moment Sierra simply can’t meet the demand from anxious gun enthusiasts, who in fear of President Barack Obama’s drive to tighten gun laws, are stockpiling ammunition.
The company makes bullets for every market. The most popular are .30 calibre for competitive shooting and target practice.
It also produces America’s most popular handgun bullet – the 9mm – which is commonly found in instances of gun crime.
It also manufactures .223 calibre bullets for bolt action and assault rifles. Such weapons are used primarily for hunting.
But a semiautomatic Bushmaster .223 was also used in the Newtown massacre in which 26 children and teaching staff were killed by a gunman who shot 154 rounds in less than five minutes.
The ethics of the ammunition industry don’t really register with those who depend on it for a living.
Most of the 150 workers here own guns. When they’re not making bullets – they’re firing them on hunts or at shooting ranges.
For them, the only moral issue is any threat to their right to own one. They say efforts to control the industry have only boosted it.
Sierra worker Willy Tague said the company had never been busier.
He said: “We could work seven days a week and not meet the demands right now. It’s just crazy up there – supply and demand – we just can’t keep up with demand.”
His colleague Barry Brock said: “They’re stockpiling because they’re afraid of what’s going to happen – at least they’re cautious about it.”