Lock and Load: Stocking Up on Bullets and Safes


The recession is hurting a lot of retailers. But ammunition providers and those offering home safes, the kind you can stash cash and jewels in, are doing big business.

Safe dealers are reporting double digit increases in sales in for the past three months. At the same time, ammunition sales have reached a point where independent dealers are struggling to keep up with demand.

“I still have 5,000 rounds left,” says Kordell Jackson, owner of Jackson Gun & Ammo in West Henrietta, N.Y. “But we’re all drying up.”

Fear and Loathing in the U.S.
Though it is unlikely your next door neighbor has joined an anti-government militia, there is less reason to feel secure now than a year ago. The economy has been shattered, formerly independent banks have run to the government for protection and even rock-solid companies such as General Motors (Stock Quote: GM), Ford Motor Company (Stock Quote: F) and Viacom (Stock Quote: VIA) are struggling to survive the current economic downturn.

Moreover, some Americans are unsure what President Obama's administration has in store, so they are taking security matters into their own hands.

“I’ve got nothing against Obama,” says Jody Johnson, president of the Johnson Safe Company in Columbus, Ohio.  “But now that the Democrats control the presidency and Congress, a lot of people don’t trust the banks. A lot of people want to lock stuff up.”

Johnson has seen sales of his fire and burglary safes increase by 20% since Obama cinched the presidency. He expects to sell even more during tax season.

“Everybody needs somewhere to put their refund money,” he says. 

Lock and Load
In addition to locking up the valuables, folks are looking to lock and load their firearms. The government has changed the face of the banking industry and few, especially those who wish to preserve their Second Amendment rights, expect reform to stop there.

“There’s a rumor that Obama is going increase taxes on ammo by 500%,” says Jackson, the gun shop owner. “So people are buying up all the ammo they can find from dealers and online because they think they won’t be able to afford it.”

Although there has been a $3 to $5 increase in the cost of a box of ammunition in the last three months, the Obama Administration has made no plans to increase the cost of ammo by 500%. Sales have not fallen off despite the higher prices. According to dealers, they’re on track to sell even more than the 20 billion-a-year bullet mark estimated by the Seattle, Wash.-based Ammunition Coding System.

“Even manufacturers are having a hard time keeping up now that there’s so much demand,” says Jackson. “They just can’t push the ammo out quick enough.”

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