Ammunition shortage forces HPD to scale back firearm training

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Supply is not meeting demand when it comes to the availability of ammunition. A nationwide shortage is leaving gun owners with a long wait.

The shortage is also having an impact on the training of Honolulu Police officers.

Some firearm training is being scaled back at HPD and the department is having to plan ahead so they don’t run out of bullets.

At Honolulu Firearms and Range on Queen Street, a box of 9 millimeter ammunition is not just hard to come by, there’s none left.

“I don’t have any 9mm,” Honolulu Firearms and Range store manager Cameron Cortez said.

Cortez ran out over the weekend, which is a first. He won’t get another shipment in for another week or more.

When the store receives more ammunition, customers will be limited in the amount they can purchase.

“As far as our 9mm, we are only able to sell one box per customer, per day in order to keep up demand,” Cortez said.

Skyrocketing ammunition sales have led to a nationwide shortage, but shops aren’t the only ones in a pinch. It’s also affecting local police departments.

“It’s just been hard to get ammunition, in general,” Cortez said. “I wouldn’t be surprised if they can’t get their supplies as well.”

HPD is managing their current inventory to ensure there’s enough supply for training.

As a result, enhanced training for certain officers has been scaled back. Standard training, such as firearms qualification, remains unchanged.

“Your gun is useless without ammunition, so if you don’t have the bullets to shoot it, it’s just a big expensive paperweight,” Cortez said.

For neighbor island police departments, there are currently no ammunition shortages. They’re working to keep it that way.

The Maui Police Department says they order ammunition well in advance to prevent any type of shortage.

The same goes for the Hawaii Police Department. They say there’s up to a year wait for an order of ammunition.

The Kauai Police Department also has enough ammo to certify and re-certify officers.

“I’m trying to see when the market will stabilize. It could be six months to a year before things start to settle down,” Cortez said.

All of the local police departments say the long wait for ammunition is not affecting officers in the field.

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