Ammunition prices nearly double for local sheriff's department - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Ammunition prices nearly double for local sheriff's department


Eau Claire County (WQOW) - Gun control has been a big topic lately. The uncertainty over how, or if, policy will be changed has caused demand for ammunition to skyrocket, which is driving up prices.

It's forcing one local law enforcement agency to re-examine the budget.

It's a cost that the Eau Claire County Sheriff's Department did not expect. Their ammunition prices have almost doubled in the past few months.

"It's crept up incrementally, but not huge. Not like this, we've not seen a spike like this," says Sheriff Ron Cramer.

The cost of ammunition is on the rise for the Eau Claire County Sheriff's Department.

"Last year I think our costs for the total ammunition was around $14,000, and that includes rifle rounds, shotgun rounds, our ammunition for our .40 caliber weapons," Sheriff Cramer says.

This year, the department will have to shell out an extra $10,000 for the same amount of ammunition.

"After the Sandy Hook school shooting, a lot of things were being bantered around, and that's when they started talking about the ban on assault rifles, ban on certain types of ammunition, that's really when it became clear that the prices were starting to drive up," Cramer says.

"It's even sadder that people are taking this time to become more armed than they were before, it shows a certain level of insecurity," says Eau Claire County board member John Manydeeds.

And it's not just ammunition that's become a hot commodity, it's the weapons as well. The Altoona police chief says they purchased several M16's from the military, but the parts they need to make the weapons useable are sold out.

Law enforcement agencies are used to budgeting for staples like fuel.

" We can do some things to deal with the fuel, but when it comes to ammunition, there are so few people that have availability to sell it legally and produce it, and then when you call companies, they say 'we don't have any. We're on a waiting list' that bothers us because we're set up for regular training," Sheriff Cramer says.

Ironically, the department will be taking that extra ten thousand dollars out of their fuel budget for 20-13.

"I think that we've been able to save some money in the last month and a half, and will be a bit longer, because gas is actually a bit cheaper than what we had projected it to be, so if we get two months of cheaper gas prices, we should be able to recoup the costs," says Manydeeds.

We mentioned fuel, the department says if prices at the pump continue to rise like they have in the past few weeks, they'll then have to find the money from another part of the budget to pad the department's fuel budget.

One way to save money would be to cut back on training, but the department says it already did that. It used to require deputies to shoot every month, but starting a few years ago, that was reduced to every other month.

The extra cost was approved by the Judiciary and Law Committee at a meeting on Thursday.

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