Police on both side of the river are working around an ammo shortage

7:19 PM, Jan 28, 2013   |    comments
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By Grant Bissell

ST. LOUIS COUNTY (KSDK) - The White House is keeping up the pressure on Congress to pass tough new gun legislation.

On Monday, President Obama enlisted the help of law enforcement leaders in three communities that have suffered mass shootings. Police chiefs from Newtown, Connecticut, Aurora, Colorado, and Oak Creek, Wisconsin joined other Chiefs and Sheriffs at the White House.

The president said if law enforcement officials can agree on the steps that need to be taken, "Congress is going to be paying attention to them."

Those gun control talks are causing the sale of guns and ammunition to skyrocket. Right now, it's extremely difficult for hunters and sport shooters to get their hands on bullets.

But one group that's not feeling the ammo shortage is local police. NewsChannel 5 checked in with departments big and small on both sides of the river. The common theme is that officers are well-supplied with ammunition.

The St. Louis County Police Department goes through more than 450,000 bullets each year during training exercises. That doesn't count the ammunition officers carry while on duty.

Right now the department has six to eight months of ammunition stored up. But that wasn't the case a few years ago and changes had to be made.

"In 2008 there was some panic buying and ammunition became short and we didn't have an eight month supply sitting in the vault," said Officer John Bozarth, St. Louis County Police Department Armorer. "So we wound up going until August and didn't have any more ammunition. So we had to cut back on training."

Bozarth says the department learned the lesson the hard way and adjusted how it buys ammunition. He believes the change will protect the department from any future shortages.


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