Published June 09, 2013
By: Sam Cook, Duluth News Tribune
All Billy Freeberg wants to do is teach his boys to shoot, to do some target shooting in the backyard of his rural home in Pike Lake. But like a lot of other gun owners, he’s can’t get all the .22-caliber ammunition he wants.
Handgun and .22-caliber ammunition is hard to come by these days. Supplies are tight. Demand is high, spurred by an increase in gun sales and, after the Sandy Hook school shooting, concerns over potential new gun-control legislation. Stores can be sold out of ammunition for days, and when a shipment comes in, retailers often limit the amount each customer can buy.
Freeberg has been visiting Fisherman’s Corner in Pike Lake with his girlfriend, Dorothy Bernard, nearly every day, hoping to find .22-caliber ammunition.
“We were told one box per person per day,” Freeberg said. “We’ve been getting our two boxes per day.”
Scott VanValkenburg, who owns Fisherman’s Corner, says demand for ammunition has been intense.
“This is probably the most dramatic I’ve seen it,” he said. “We have customers coming in every day to buy one box a day… When Mr. Obama gets in and starts talking, people start buying guns. We sold a lot of handguns, so we’ve got that many more people shooting. …
“(Talk of gun control) is the best advertising I’ve had. We’ve had customers from Virginia and all the outlying areas that we’ve never had before.”
Pat Kukull, owner of Superior Shooters Supply in Superior, also said the current run on ammunition is driven by politics.
“We have gone through this before with different elections,” Kukull said. “But I’ve been here for 35 years, and I’ve never seen anything like this — ever.”