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Local law agencies notice ammo shortage

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GONZALES - Officers at the Gonzales Police Department are part of a growing group nationwide dealing with an ammunition shortage.

"The manufacturers that are supplying to law enforcers are also supplying to the local retailers. With that being said, It's a basic economy test supply and demand," said Sgt. Steven Nethken, a Gonzales Police detective.

He said they started noticing problems ordering ammunition a little less than a month ago, when the recent mass shootings and worries over gun control legislation sparked a rush on guns and ammo.

"If they don't ramp up the supply to meet the demand then we can definitely see a problem," he said.

The shortage has affected ammunition for the department's .38 caliber pistols, which Sgt. Nethken says has been placed on back order. The department has a small stock and so far has not run out, but getting their hands on more of those bullets could take awhile.

"The particular vendors we're dealing with said it can be 9-12 months to get it."

The state law requires officers to complete a certain proficiency skills test once a year. Typically they're required to fire about 60 rounds, and departments take several opportunities to train officers ahead of their tests.

"If it does get to the point where the availability of the ammo is not immediately accessible, what we'll have to do is possibly look at backing off on some of our training days."

This isn't the Gonzales Police Department's first time going through a nationwide ammunition shortage, so they're prepared.

"We have learned how to deal with it, and not to drop our standards because of a lack of something is just a different way of approaching it," said Nethken.


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