The city police department is planning to spend $30,000 on duty and training ammunition next year — double the amount budgeted three years ago, according to the police chief.
Estimated ammunition spending for 2017 is similar to the amount the department budgeted for this year.
“We try to maintain a year’s worth of ammunition because there have been periods where ammo has been very difficult to get,” said Beavercreek Police Chief Dennis Evers. “We train at least four times a year with firearms qualifications and training.”
The department annually uses about 17,000 to 20,000 rounds for training. This includes ammunition for handguns, rifles and shotguns. The department tries to keep enough ammunition to have an adequate supply for four training sessions per year and any miscellaneous training, Evers said.
In 2013, a national ammunition shortage led gun shops to limit sales and caused distributors to tell police departments their orders might take up to a year to fill.
Some gun shop owners reported the shortage was due to a mix of fears of new gun control measures after the Newtown massacre and the popularity of sport shooting, according to previous reports by this newspaper.
That same year, the Beavercreek police department had to cancel a shooting-related training session because it didn’t have enough ammunition, according to the chief.
Peace officers in Ohio are required to annually complete a 25 rounds qualification course to meet state peace officer mandates each year.
“There was a period where you couldn’t get it, and it was a long wait time to get it,” Evers said.
When law enforcement agencies could get their hands on ammunition supplies, they were faced with paying significantly higher prices. Beavercreek Police Department went from paying $13,000 in 2013 to paying almost twice as much, $25,000, in 2014, Evers said.
Civilians faced similar ammunition woes. Customers who at one time paid $3 for a box of .22s reported paying up to $12 for the same box, according to previous reports by this newspaper.
While the city law enforcement agency have planned for prices to remain high, a local gun shop owner says ammunition prices have leveled off and will likely drop significantly in the future.
“Prices have come down quite a bit,” said Andrew Plamer, owner of Palmer’s Firearms in Beavercreek.
An $18 box for 50 rounds has slowly come down to $15 and eventually to $10 at places like Walmart, he said.
“I haven’t noticed anything high anymore,” Palmer said.”I don’t really expect it especially after Trump getting elected to office. We’ve seen it slow down.”