Ammunition shortages sparked by Hamas terrorism in Israel, "Day of Rage" threat

AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli

Here we go again. It appears we are headed for panic buying amidst what seemed to be normalizing ammunition supplies after the COVID-19 and Summer of Love shortages in 2020. As gun owners recall, the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic wreaked havoc on global supply chains, impacting various industries throughout the world. One particular sector that experienced an unexpected surge in demand, coupled with significant disruptions to its supply chain, was the ammunition industry. The pandemic era, characterized by its uncertainties, anxieties, and socio-economic disruptions, brought forth a unique set of circumstances that contributed to an unprecedented ammunition shortage.


We’ve entered yet another period of uncertainty brought on by the depraved terrorist attacks perpetrated by Hamas militants on innocent civilians in Israel.  The sheer brutality and the explicit targeting of civilians have left many thinking about their own preparedness should that kind of attack happen here in the U.S. A common refrain on (formerly Twitter) was, this is why I need an AR-15.

Prior to the pandemic, the ammunition industry maintained a steady supply that adequately met the demands of its consumer base. However, when COVID-19 hit, manufacturing units were forced to reduce production capacities or halt operations altogether due to lockdown measures and concerns regarding the safety of workers. These disruptions to the manufacturing sector were palpable across various industries, including ammunition production.

Simultaneously, the pandemic era witnessed a surge in firearm and ammunition sales, propelled by factors such as social unrest, political instability, and general concerns about personal safety and security amidst the crisis. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) reported a record-breaking 39.7 million firearm background checks conducted in 2020, an indicator of the heightened demand for firearms and, by extension, ammunition (Source: FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System [NICS], 2020).


Ammunition manufacturers faced an uphill battle in trying to meet this burgeoning demand due to an array of supply chain issues. The pandemic-induced restrictions imposed impediments on the procurement of raw materials, such as lead, brass, and gunpowder, further stalling production (Sources: Interviews with ammunition manufacturers, 2020-21). Transportation of goods was also hampered due to disruptions in global shipping and logistics sectors, exemplified by port congestions and reduced freight capacities.

Today we began to see signs of panic buying in the face of the uncertainty in the Middle East.  Bearing Arms was first alerted to this issue by Lucas Botkin of T.Rex Arms on

If, in fact, Lake City is stopping shipments for commercial customers, there will be a massive ripple effect for consumers, with other manufacturers scrambling to satisfy demand.  Bearing Arms is trying to independently confirm Lucas’ statement and we will update this article when we learn more.  However, a quick scan of showed ammunition still available, but often with quantity restrictions, sometimes as few as 1 unit per customer.  This warning from ammunition supplier seems ominous as well.


There appears to be another round of panic buying going on across the country.  Reports from one local gun shop in Florida said sales were brisk.  The shop had purchased forty thousand rounds of ammunition just last week.  They sold thirty-six thousand rounds in just over 4 hours.

We reached out to the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) for comment.  Mark Oliva, the NSSF’s managing director of public affairs shared the following:

NSSF doesn’t track ammunition sales like monthly FBI NICS verifications. However, NSSF is aware of reports of increased ammunition sales. This isn’t unprecedented, as sales of ammunition – and firearms – increase during times of uncertainty.
The “Day of Rage” called for by the Hamas terrorist group, coupled with their unprovoked attack on Israel, is increasing concerns for personal safety, even here in the United States. The sheer depravity of their wanton violence against innocent men, women and children, coupled with verified reports of military-aged males of Middle East origin and known terrorists taken into custody at the open U.S. Southern border, has caused many to, once again, take stock of their own safety preparedness.

Ammunition manufacturers are in a much better place to respond to sudden spikes in demand than was witnessed during the COVID-19 pandemic. Remington Ammunition is fully staffed and operational, unlike in 2020 when they were just acquired by what is now The Kinetic Group. SIG Sauer recently expanded their ammunition production capabilities. Other manufacturers have ensured their production capacity is resilient to the market fluctuations.


There is some hope in the comments from the NSSF.  The NSSF independently reached out to Winchester, who operates Lake City and they are also awaiting comment.

These supply chain and shipping challenges had a massive economic Impact. The ammunition shortages reverberated economic implications on multiple fronts. Small arms ranges, hunting businesses, and firearm training centers were notably affected, with some even ceasing operations due to the inability to procure sufficient ammunition. Moreover, consumers faced skyrocketing prices as demand vastly outweighed supply, leading to inflated costs that were, at times, several times the pre-pandemic pricing.

Ammunition shortages sparked by global conflict and the COVID-19 pandemic underscore the fragility and interconnectedness of supply chains, particularly when confronted with a global crisis. These events should prompt introspection within the industry, steering toward developing more resilient and sustainable supply chain models to weather future disruptions.  The best way you and I can weather these ammunition shortages is to have a stockpile of ammunition that’s sufficient to weather any storm that comes our way.

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