BREWER, Maine (NEWS CENTER)-- President Obama unveiled new policies today aimed at reducing gun violence. It is the most sweeping set of gun-control proposals in two decades. Since the president has taken aim on tighter gun control laws, gun store owners in Eastern Maine said guns and ammo are flying off the shelves.
Vice President Ryan Nyer with Maine Military Supply said this is not the first shortage for ammunition they have seen. The popular rifle ammunition 223 are scarce on the shelves.
Nyer said, "The 223 has had a shortage in this country for the last four years. The worst was last year, we were virtually unable to get anything. We would get a little here and there."
Rick Lozier with Van Raymond Outfitter's in Brewer said, "The demand is probably up 1000% than what it normally is. People that would typically buy one or two boxes would grab a whole case which would be 50 boxes typically."
National manufacturers are feeling the punch too. Many are experiencing back orders for both firearms and ammunition.
This shortage is nothing new. Many gun suppliers say they saw a shortage four years ago when President Obama first took office and some worried there would be stricter gun control laws.
The most popular 22 ammunition can not stay on the shelf long enough and retailers struggle to fulfill the demand.
Nyer said, "People want to buy 22 because that's one of the most common rounds in America to target shoot with is 22. And people use a lot of it. It's very inexpensive, very common, and so people come in and buy 500 rounds and shoot it all off in a weekend without thinking about it. So many people are buying 500 rounds and then buying thousands of rounds and hoarding it. The supply dwindles pretty quick and they are not producing enough to fill the demand."
Some big manufacturers are experiencing an 18-week back order or stopped taking orders until they can catch up.
The increase in sales can have something to do with the increase in gun owners. Gun store owners say there's been a spike in people coming in looking to buy their own gun.
"Particularly in the female line. We have a ton of new females, not looking so much for rifles and shotguns, but handguns for self defense, concealed carry weapons things of that nature and an increase in that probably in the last year and a half two years we have seen an increase in that," said Nyer.
According to Maine State Police, there has been a steady increase in concealed weapons permit applications over the past four years. In 2012, Maine State Police issued more than 7,500 concealed weapons permits. This number is up by 2,000 from the previous year. The high demand caused a backlog of 2,000 applications.
Leuitenant Scott Ireland with Maine State Police said they sometimes receive nearly 150 new applications a day. The spike has extended the wait period of up to 90 days, an increase from the usual 30 to 60 day wait period.