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Alleged government ammunition stockpiling causing price hikes, shortages

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Accusations and denials of government ammunition stockpiling are driving up prices and fear for gun owners.

Friday, two members of the Oklahoma Congressional Delegation introduced legislation to put a stop to it. What hasn't stopped is the price spike for ammo.

Squeezing off a few rounds at the range is getting expensive.

A box of bullets that went for $9 four years ago can now run close to $30. For gun owners like Jin Kim, who wants high performance shells it can be a family budget buster.

"Well it used to cost, like right about 2, to $300 for decent quality FMJ rounds for 556, 223, its gone up to almost a $1,000 for a thousand rounds now days," Kim said. "Basically I'm having to draw back the amount of time I have just for recreational shooting, but also for training purposes I have to scale that back for myself."

Production lines at ammunition manufacturers for the past decade have been running near full capacity.

"We could work seven days a week and not meet the demands right now. It's just crazy out there. Supply and demand, we just can't keep up with demand," said Willy Tague, a factory worker.

Military contracts continue to gobble up bullets, despite the troop draw down in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Additional purchases by the Department of Homeland Security have triggered accusations that the government is trying to limit what the public can buy as part of a back-door-gun control policy. That fear has gun owners grabbing as much as they can.

"They're stockpiling. Why?" They're afraid of what's going to happen, well they're cautious about it I think," said Barry Brock, a factory worker.

On Capitol Hill officials with the Department of Homeland Security testified while they are not stockpiling- they are buying in bulk to save money.

"Your federal agencies are doing the same thing that the American people are doing. They're stockpiling because they're afraid they are not going to be able to purchase ammunition, so they're doing the same thing," said Michael Cargill, owner of Central Texas Gun Works.

Cargill believes the panic buying that's triggering the price hike and shortage will eventually settle down.

"it's going to level off in about eight months or so, we had the same thing happen in 2008, when the President got into office the first time, and after about a year it settled down, so it's going to do the same thing," Cargill said.

Until that happens bullets will continue to be pricey and at some stores limited to one box per person.

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