Baltimore County Police, other law enforcement agencies face ammo shortages after gun sales surge nationwide

Baltimore County Police, other law enforcement agencies face ammo shortages after gun sales surge nationwide

Nationwide fears about public safety are driving gun and ammunition sales, creating longer waits for Baltimore County Police and other Baltimore-area law enforcement agencies trying to stock up on bullets and cartridges. Facing “critically low” supplies, Baltimore County’s tactical unit — a group trained for special operations — nearly depleted its .223-caliber rifle cartridges at the end of July after the department’s ammo vendor, New Jersey-based The Gun Shop, couldn’t get them from the manufacturer it uses. “There’s a nationwide shortage,” said county police Col. Steven Hlavach, chief of the department’s professional standards bureau. “A lot of that has to do with the pandemic and some of the other things going on,” he said. Baltimore County Police have unfilled ammo orders that date to last year, according to the county auditor. The county placed extra orders in 2020 to attempt to address the shortage, according to police spokeswoman Joy Stewart. The department’s gun range was “also low on inventory” in July, according to the county auditor’s briefing to the County Council, and could not share inventory with other units. The Harford Sheriff’s Office and Howard, Anne Arundel and Baltimore City police departments say they’ve seen similar strains with supply delays. None reported running out or rationing, but several have had to make changes in how they get bullets and cartridges. With delays increasing, Baltimore County switched to a shooting range for supplies. The County Council in August approved paying $45,000 to GUNTRY in Owings Mills for 75,000 .223 cartridges. […]

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