Gun business booming in Indiana, leading to ammo shortage

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It’s a unique time for the firearms industry in Indiana, says a gun store owner in Carmel.

VA Atkins, who owns Pinnacle Firearms, said his business is seeing not only a unique economic climate brought on by the coronavirus pandemic, but he added that he is lucky to be a firearms store owner in Indiana.

When the pandemic first hit the state and Gov. Eric Holcomb ordered statewide shutdowns of non-essential businesses, he declared in his executive order that firearms stores were in fact essential and thus could remain open.

“In other states that wasn’t the case,” Atkins told Indiana Outdoors. “Pennsylvania, for example. They (gun store owners) had to sue the governor to try and be open, and they ended up being allowed to be open by appointment only. They relented, but they only relented to a very small degree.”

Aktins said it was Holcomb’s order allowing them to stay open that likely allowed them to take advantage of a boom in gun sales that happened not long after the pandemic came to Indiana. Though they benefited financially from the rise in sales, five months later, the firearm industry is at a virtual standstill due to a lack of supplies to sell, especially when it comes to ammunition.

“People don’t realize that most ammunition is made overseas,” said Atkins. “The box may say ‘Made in America’, but the ammunition is not made in America. The box is made in America or it’s packaged in the U.S. That’s why they can say it’s made in the U.S.A.”

Atkins said a lot of the ammunition they sell at his store in Carmel comes from Europe, where there are still many strict shutdowns in place to mitigate the spread of coronavirus. Many ammunition manufacturers in Europe are either still closed or operating on a skeleton crew of workers.

“Once the pipeline ran dry it’s almost impossible to get it refilled in any expeditious way,” he added. “It’s going to take months and months and months.”

Which is why he said you are seeing a shortage in ammunition no matter where you go to buy it.

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