As firearm sales soar, Wal-Mart rations sale of ammunition

Thursday, January 31, 2013 - 1:30pm

Faced with months of surging demand, Wal-Mart is rationing sales of ammunition.

The nation's largest retailer is limiting ammunition sales at its stores across the country to three boxes per customer, per day.

Guns and ammunition have been flying off store shelves since President Obama's reelection in November, and the firearm rush only picked up in the wake of the tragic school shooting in Newtown, Conn., in December.

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. The increased demand has hit Wal-Mart's ammunition supply.

"Right now we're monitoring supply issues daily, since supply is limited at this time," said Ashley Hardie, a Wal-Mart spokeswoman. "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 said that the purchase limit will stay in place until the retailer is able to resolve the shortage.

Gun sales soared following the presidential election, and kept pace in the wake of Sandy Hook. Gun shop owners told CNNMoney that semiautomatic rifles and high-capacity magazines are flying off shelves as the country slogs through a national debate about firearms and the Second Amendment.

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, according to FBI data.

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.

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