Central Florida gun owners camping out for ammunition
LAKE MARY, Fla. - People started lining up in front of the door at Academy Sports + Outdoors in Lake Mary as early as 2 a.m. on Monday waiting for the doors to open at 9 a.m.
When FOX 35 News asked several of those in line what they were waiting for, they all answered "ammo." Many voiced that they are afraid of what new gun laws could come under a new administration.
"I think we all believe Biden is going to take it away from us too," David Godkin said.
It's difficult to find ammunition, especially 9mm. Stores across the country are sold out. Some gun enthusiasts looking for it know when and where they have the best chances of finding it.
"I just come here on Monday. Tuesday, I go to Buena Vista. Wednesday, I go to East Colonial. Thursday, Buena Vista. Friday, East Colonial. Sunday, I go to Millenia," Godkin said.
He is an avid hunter and marksman who uses about half of what he buys each week and stockpiles the rest. Right now, he said Academy Sports will only sell three boxes of ammunition to each customer. He was about 10th in line and wasn’t able to get exactly what he wanted.
"I got two 9s, which is the handgun, then I got the 223, which is the rifle. A good day. Would have been a better day if I’d gotten all 9s," Godkin explained.
Across town, at Volusia Top Gun, it’s a similar story. On Sunday, the staff showed up at work to find 60 people waiting in line before the store opened. Owner Ron Perkinson said his store is typically full of inventory -- one of the biggest in Florida. While he does have some weapons on the shelves, the majority of his gun cases are empty.
Perkinson added that, since the pandemic hit, sales have been up 100% and every day feels like "Black Friday." However, he said the last two weeks, it’s been a "zoo."
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"When Trump had mentioned a peaceful transfer of power, whatever exactly it was he said, seems like it’s been even more crazy than the crazy it was," Perkinson said.
He estimated that his business has been up another 100%. Ammunition is the biggest seller at Volusia Top Gun. Due to supply and demand, his suppliers have raised their prices so he has had to raise his too. A small box of 9mm ammunition that was selling for $14 maximum at this time last year, is now selling for $37.99 and he can barely keep it stock. He has had to limit the number of boxes he’s selling at times.
"I could have done 300% more if I had the inventory. I’m turning away a lot of people just for lack of inventory," Perkinson explained.
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It’s the same story for gun sales.
"The AR-15’s have picked back up. Obviously, any handgun, concealed handgun in a 500-600 range, half of them don’t even make it to the case," Perkinson said.
He is has a waiting list of people looking for certain handguns, so they're sold before even hitting the gun case.
Perkinson tells FOX 35 News, even if he is able to get larger amounts of ammunition in later this year, he doesn’t see the price going down any time soon. Several of his manufacturers made him sign new contracts agreeing to pay more money for the product, if not, they won’t sell to him anymore.
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