Gun owners ask: Where's the ammo?

SEATTLE -- A shortage at gun shops around the state has gun owners asking, where's the ammo? Even gun dealers are having trouble keeping the shelves stocked.

Ammunition manufactures nationwide can't keep up with gun owners who want buy more and more ammunition.

For Sharyn Hinchcliffe, hitting the range to practice her sharp shot is a way of life and a means of protection.

"I was taught to maintain my skill level and that means going 150 to 200 rounds at a time," she said.

That's three boxes of ammunition for her 9 mm hand gun. But lately it's hasn't been easy to find.

Gun dealers across Western Washington report a low supply of ammunition and in some cases, popular ammo such as 9 millimeter, .40 and .45 caliber aren't available.

"There's been a big rush on ammo," said gun shop owner Wade Gaughran.

And there's several reason why. Dealers say more people are buying guns, so more people are buying ammunition.

Also, after the tragic school shooting in Newtown, Conn., gun owners are fearful of potential gun-control legislation, so they're stocking up.

"If they buy more than they need it's just going to make the situation worse," Gaughran said.

And prices right now are 25 to 40 percent higher than they were a year and half ago. Some gun shops even limiting the amount of ammo a customer can buy.

For Hinchcliffe that means practicing her patience.

"You just have to wait, there's really no other way to do it," she said.

But Gaughran says the short supply won't last forever.

"I expect sometime near the end of this year ammo will be relatively easy to get again," he said.

Also, dealers expect prices to go back down as well. What can you do in the mean time? Gaughran suggests don't stockpile ammunition, simply purchase only what you need.