Every time gun control debates heat up, gun manufacturers win big. Out of fear that guns and ammo may soon be difficult to purchase, people tend to stock up on as much firepower as they can. Between this fear-inspired buying and the Department of Homeland Security’s recent billion-round purchase, ammo manufacturers are having trouble keeping up with market demands. It’s gotten so bad, in fact, that even police departments are having problems finding ammo. Just ask Proctor, Minnesota police chief Walt Wobig.
“I go, ‘Do you have 40–caliber qualification rounds?’ And [the supplier said], ‘Well, no. It’s going to take six to eight months,’” Wobig said.
So Wobig put out a call for help. He asked Proctor residents, all 3,057 of them, if they would be willing to loan the police department some ammo. Apparently, the people were more than willing to help out.
“The citizens were like, ‘If you need something, we got plenty here,’” Wobig said. ““I had several other calls from other citizens that said, ‘Hey, if you need more ammunition we have plenty.’ I know that if I need ammunition I have citizens out there that will gladly come forward.”
Wobig says the department is treating these generous citizen contributions as loans. Citizens will have their ammo replaced once the Proctor PD is able to buy more ammo.
But this situation does more than draw attention to the small-town generosity of Proctor residents. It raises the issue, once again, of why the DHS recently purchased billions of rounds of ammo. Some speculated that the DHS was stocking up in order to help out law enforcement agencies in case citizens wiped out the ammo market. But if that were true, the DHS, not citizens, would have been helping out the Proctor police department.
The DHS remains vague on the issue. Agency spokesman Peter Boogaard says the high number of DHS employees creates a need for lots of ammo, but the agency has never made a purchase of this magnitude in the past. The agency has yet to release any official statement on the purchase.
Citizens aren’t the only ones who want a good explanation for the purchase. The Government Accountability Office is currently investigating the DHS over the issue. The GOA launched its investigation after deeming the DHS congress testimony on the purchase entirely unconvincing.
We’ll have to wait and see if the investigation confirms or dismisses the large voice of citizen concerns. But for now, the Proctor police department should be grateful to its residents. If you’re a Proctor resident, you’ve got to pull this card the next time you get pulled over for going five over the speed limit.