Ammunition shortage continues; police officers say they’re prepared

Published: Aug. 31, 2021 at 6:53 PM CDT
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - Gun owners have been struggling to find ammunition as shortages continue across the nation. For law enforcement, like Bismarck’s police department, which uses ammunition to train, the shortage could become a concern.

Officers train with firearms at least four times a year. At a minimum, they’re shooting around 500 rounds annually.

“We get them to a certain level of proficiency. We want them to be proficient in everything they do, and firearms is no exception to that. We want them to be able to maintain or improve that efficiency throughout their career here,” said Bismarck Police Department Training Officer Shaun Burkartsmeier.

Officers say they were prepared for the ammunition shortages gun users are now facing.

“We do have enough on hand to make sure that we get through this year, this year’s training, and that we have plenty to send people to firearm schools or extra training if they want to do that. So, we try to plan ahead for circumstances like we are currently in where it’s harder to get ammunition,” said Burkartsmeier.

Future ammunition orders are unpredictable.

“This is the worst that I have ever seen it, and I know my fellow other gun shop owners in the region would say the same thing. We think there’s a little bit of daylight coming and then something happens with the climate across the country and then it changes the game again,” said Josette Severson owner/lead instructor at Prairie Patriot.

If shortages persist, Bismarck’s police department has a plan.

“There’s drills firearms instructors can come up with where they are still working on all the fundamental skills of marksmanship and you’re just not shooting as many rounds with each drill,” said Burkartsmeier.

Dry firing allows officers to effectively practice shooting techniques without wasting ammunition.

The department put in its last order in January and is waiting for ammunition.

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