by Ryan Adams
A shortage in guns and ammunition is hitting gun owners and sellers in the Midlands. Firearms have become more scarce and certain calibers of ammunition have become harder to find.
"They are buying up guns like there is no tomorrow, because they figure tomorrow they may not be able to get them," said Rob Butler. He's vice president of Grassroots Gun Rights of South Carolina and legislative liason to the Statehouse.
Tom Thompson is the president of the Mid Carolina Rifle Club. He says he's seen people buying guns simply because there is a shortage.
"I know people that have bought guns that they have no plans shooting," he said. "They're just putting them up in case."
Butler said the reason for the shortage is a simple one.
"People have been buying guns because they perceive that Obama and the democrats in control are going to try to ban guns," he said.
Thompson said he knows a gun seller in Georgia that sold hundreds of AR-15 rifles right after the election. AR-15's are normal semi-automatic rifles, but look like the assault rifles used by the military.
"In the three days after the election, he sold 674 AR-15's," he said. "He could have sold more if he could have gotten more."
John Elias is the owner of Big John's Pawn Shop in West Columbia. He has seen the affects of the shortage first hand.
"I've never seen it in my whole life, a shortage like this," Elias said. "Ammunition and guns."
His shelves used to be stocked full of ammunition and his gun selection used to better. Elias said his shortage started right after the election.
"Right when he [Obama] took office, that's when the shortage started," he said. "Everyone started buying everything they could get a hold of."
However, Elias thinks the shortage will probably end pretty soon.
"It won't go on very long, they're going to start production again," he said. "They'll have to. They don't have a choice."
Rob Butler is not so optimistic about when the shortage will end.
"It may never end as long as people are hording ammo," he said.
So, no matter how long the shortage lasts, many gun owners will have to wait until production meets demand.