POSTED: Monday, April 8, 2013 - 6:33pm
UPDATED: Tuesday, April 9, 2013 - 11:09am
I offer this story to any economics teacher out there. If you ever need a lesson on the laws of supply and demand, guns would be a good place to start.
Ever since the subject of gun control hit the national news, panicked shooters have hit the stores. And the result is long waits for guns and ammunition.
That has led to a lot of conversation among gun owners about causes and solutions. It’s true, if you enjoy shooting, you know that what I have in my hand is worth it’s weight in gold right now.
Even these little .22’s are in short supply. So the solution is simple, make more of them.
Jeff Hoffman is the president of Black Hills Ammunition, and he says that like any manufacturer of anything, you don’t want to invest in too much manufacturing capacity during a boom, because booms end.
‘When something like this happens, people say, why don’t you go to double shifts or triple shifts or work round the clock,” Hoffman says. “You can’t just bring people in off the street. You have to train them. That takes time and you run the risk of diminishing your quality. And this market is incredibly intolerant of making mistakes.”
He also laughs at the idea that some ammunition makers may be holding back supply to raise the price.
“It would be silly to just sit here and ignore huge demand thinking that would be profitable for us. That’s just crazy,” he laughed.
So, until the public calms down and the market returns to some semblance of normal, the shortage will continue.
“If we had five years of production sitting here,” says Hoffman, “I could sell it in two weeks.”
Hoffman told us that sooner or later the waves will crest and supplies will return to normal.
But for now, manufacturers like him will be paddling furiously just to tread water.