Found this via "A Geezer's Corner". Very illuminating, I don't remember anything like this ever happening. Not even during the Carter years, the article mentions it happening under Clinton but it wasn't anywhere near this intense.
Gun and ammo sales on the rise, dealers can't keep up
Cheyenne - 3/13/2009 (Channel 5, KGWN)
It is not uncommon to walk into a gun shop and find self-protection ammunition sold out and weapons flying off the shelves. For Guns and Gear in Cheyenne, they're no exception."
I haven't had in the past a difficult time just getting product, but, what you see here, all those empty pegs. We never have that, except now. We can't fill them and when we get guns to fill them, they go out the door about the same day they get here," explained Guns and Gear owner Frank Gerstenkorn, as he point to the gun rack behind the counter, "Our sales this year, I believe will double last year's."
Guns sales spiked in November as sportsman's fears rose about the future of gun-rights. That follows talk of additional taxes on firearms and a ban of certain types of assault-weapons. To add onto it, worries about the economy and potential for increased crime.
"People who have bedroom windows, don't want someone coming through them and they're buying firearms to protect themselves," Gerstenkorn said.
Gerstenkorn says his store planned ahead for the increase, having seen a similar spike after Bill Clinton took office, but says there is more demand this time during this administration.
"The military black type guns, the shortage of them are almost crippling, as far as our business is concern," he said.
The shortage doesn't stop there. Even producers and distributors can't keep up.
"The balances in inventory are zero. All the way through an entire manufacturer lists of products that they carry. There's nothing on hand and they can't sell anything if they don't have it. They can't get it. It's just not there."
During this weak economy, many may see gun sales as one business that is booming, but Gerstenkorn says sales could be better if there was enough inventory to offer.
"It does keep a lid on things. If I had the product, I'd sell it because it just doesn't last."
Experts in the industry believe it could take years for producers to catch up with demand.
"The spector of this administration returning for a second term will raise its head and it will spike again," Gerstenkorn warns, "Next time we won't be able to catch up with it. It will be a lot worse than this time."
Who wants to bet we won't see B.O. & Co. up the tax on ammo soon in an effort to make it harder to get? No, I haven't joined the tinfoil hat brigade. I'm just looking at where we're going as a nation and not liking it one damned bit!