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Semi-Automatic Ammunition Flying Off Shelves In RI

Friday, December 28, 2012

 

Ocean State residents are flocking to firearms stores and stripping shelves of their ammunition, particularly the .223 calibers, which can be used with semi-automatic weapons. Of the seven stores that GoLocalProv contacted, six were completely or nearly sold out of the ammunition.

In the wake of the mass shooting in Newtown, Connecticut that claimed 26 lives, gun owners seem to be concerned about when the .223 ammunition will be available again and are stocking up while they still can.

Store Owners say they simply don’t have enough of the product to meet the ravenous demand.

“We’ve been out of stock for a week,” said John Francis, Owner of Competition Shooting Supplies in Pawtucket. “The last time I saw something like this was after the 2008 Presidential Election. People are concerned with possible State and Federal regulations.”

An employee from Wal-Mart in Newport said the store sold out of the ammunition on December 23rd, adding that “people are going crazy.” Another employee with the Wal-Mart in Cranston reported the .223 ammunition will continue to sell rapidly as customers are unsure when they will be able to purchase them again. Most stores reported that recent sales far surpass typical holiday trends.

Organizing For Action

Shannon Watts, Founder of Moms For Gun Control, says the increased demand for .223 ammunition is attributed to a society that is unsure of where gun laws are headed.

“I’m assuming this is a reaction to fear,” said Watts. “We’re creating an arms race in this country.”

Moms For Gun Control was founded approximately 24 hours after the shooting in Newtown. According to Watts, the group has since ballooned to 15,000 members in more than 50 chapters nationwide.

While Watts acknowledges that the Second Amendment was created for a reason, she stresses the need to exercise common sense when addressing gun control issues.

“I believe the rights of the individual need to stop overriding the safety of the majority,” said Watts.

Hopeful that the Newtown shooting will act as the straw that broke the camels back in terms of gun control and popular opinion, Watts hopes the Moms Against Gun Violence effort can be as successful as it was in the 1980s, when the group battled for stricter laws against drunk driving offenses. Watts says that thanks in part to the help of the organization, 729 new state laws concerning drunk driving were enacted between 1981 and 1986.

This time around, Watts hopes legislators won’t be afraid of opposition from the National Rifle Association and other pro-gun groups.

“We’re not going to rest until we see action,” said Watts. “We cannot let another mass shooting happen because if we do, then we’re culpable the next time it happens.”

 

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