Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT) Customers Facing Ammunition Limits
As demand for ammunition surges across the country, Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT) customers are facing the unprecedented at the retail giant – rationing.
The nation’s largest retailer is limiting ammunition sales at its stores across the country to three boxes per customer, per day. Since President Obama’s reelection in November, guns and ammunition have been flying off store shelves. With many speculating tighter gun controls coming the near future, gun owners and enthusiasts are stocking up now, before the industry changes with the sure to come regulation. Wal-Mart has saw inventory going out as quickly as it is coming in, as nervous consumers are buying while they believe they still can – something many worry will change in the new future.
Ashley Hardie, a Wal-Mart spokeswoman commented “Right now we’re monitoring supply issues daily, since supply is limited at this time. We’re trying to take care of as many customers as possible and we’re working with suppliers to put products back on shelves.” Hardie went on to say that the purchase limit will stay in place until the retailer is able to resolve the shortage. More and more people are buying up guns while they have the chance, since many are worried that their right to buy assault weapons could be curtailed with gun control legislation.
As further evidence for the surge in demand for guns, FBI data shows that background checks, the most reliable way to track the number of gun sales, have reached their highest levels in fifteen years over the last 6 weeks. Eight of the 10 highest days for gun background checks since 1998 have taken place since the school shooting in Newtown, Conn., on Dec. 14, and more than a quarter of all background checks in 2012 occurred in November and December alone.
Gun control is a hot topic on the national agenda, and the demand for guns does not seem to be subsiding at all as time progress. Stockpiling of guns and ammunition is a curious byproduct to the recent wave of gun related violence, and buyers are cleaning out inventories across the nation at unprecedented speeds. The span of potential litigation goes anyway from outright bans, which are highly unlikely, to limits of the amounts of firearms owned, to increased taxes on the sale and distribution. No matter which avenue is ultimately pursued, the cumulative impact will surely be a dent to the industry. Thus, buyers are taking advantage of the still lax ability to purchase unlimited quantities at what remain low costs.