Many preppers were speculating, in the latter months of 2012, that there might be a run on guns or ammunition. The basis for this cautious pessimism was the idea that, in a second term, President Obama might seek strict gun control legislation. They were right, in some respects. We are currently facing a shortage of guns and ammo. Gun store shelves are empty, especially of AR type weapons. Ammo shelves are sparse, and Walmart has been limiting quantities to 3 boxes of ammo per person per day. But no one seems to have anticipated that the legislation would be spurred by a shooting tragedy and by an attempt to institute legislation that is more restrictive than the Clinton-era AR gun law.
If you prudently stocked up on guns and ammo in advance of the shortage, in order to be well-prepared, you are a few steps ahead of many other persons. But if you did not stock up, what can be done at this point in time? I have a few suggestions, but I’d also like to hear from readers on this topic.
“Do you have a .416 Rigby rifle?” asked the clerk.
“Nope,” said the man, reaching for his wallet. “I’ll take it anyway.”
True story? Maybe not, but it reflects the current attitude among some buyers.
So my first suggestion is not to get caught up in the buying frenzy. Make a careful decision as to which make and model of gun best suits your purposes. If it is home defense, consider getting a shotgun. (According to Bourjaily, shotgun are not selling out like most other guns.) But if you looking for an AR or another type of gun that is selling out quickly, I suggest choosing the right model for your needs, putting it on order, and waiting with patience.
If you feel that the wait will be too long, you might consider getting a bolt action rifle. Bolt actions are still widely available, and can be suitable for hunting and survival purposes. And as a home defense gun, a bolt action can be used in a pinch.
Commentators differ as to whether a strict gun control law can be passed at the federal level. My take is that something will pass, sooner or not-much-later. But several State legislatures are rushing through poorly written bills. That is a serious concern, although it does depend on where you live. You could try to buy a gun now and hope it is grandfathered in. But not all proposed legislation has a grandfather clause. The latest New York State law, as I understand it, requires owners of magazines holding more than 7 rounds to get rid of the mag within a year. (Please note that I am not a lawyer or legal expert. See this disclaimer.)
You might want to have at least one or two guns that are almost certain to avoid new gun control restrictions: a revolver, or a shotgun holding 5 rounds or less, or a bolt action rifle, or perhaps a lever-action rifle (holding 10 or fewer rounds). These guns, in my opinion, are the safest picks as they are least likely to be made illegal. A .22 LR with a tubular magazine (such as the Marlin Model 60) might also be a safe bet.
As for ammo, I would suggest not settling for less effective types of ammo, like full metal jacket pistol ammo. If you look around online, or put in an order at a local gun store, or check Walmart frequently, you should be able to get enough hollow point self-defense ammo to be well-prepared. I know a lot of preppers stock up on ammo, with hundreds or thousands of rounds. But most self-defense shootings require relatively few shots. A few boxes should suffice, even if you feel that more would be better.
How are you dealing with the shortage? Did you stock up beforehand, or are you scrambling?