TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) - A national shortage of ammunition is forcing some Indiana Police Departments to cut back on practice and training in an effort to conserve supplies. News 10 caught up with the Vigo County Sheriff’s Office to see how this problem is affecting local law enforcement.
Vigo County Sheriff John Plasse says the ammunition supply issue is something he’s seen first-hand.
“Just the availability of duty ammo, training ammo, practice ammo—whatever you want to call it—there’s a big backlog,” Plasse said.
He says it’s been hard to get ammunition for quite some time. For example, Plasse ordered some duty ammo in September of last year, and his department has still not received that shipment. Orders that used to take three to four weeks now could take nine months to arrive.
“It doesn’t seem like there’s an end in sight,” Plasse said, “I know some agencies have really had to alter their training because of that. We were fortunate that we had a lot of practice ammo in stock, and we don’t necessarily use duty ammo very often to have to replenish it.”
Top Guns in Terre Haute reserves ammo for the Vigo County Sheriff’s Office before selling it to the general public. As a result, the department has sold some ammo to West Terre Haute police and is willing to help out other departments when possible. Plasse says this situation poses a significant issue for law enforcement.
“If you aren’t out here practicing, training, and keeping up on a perishable skill, it’s going to fade,” Plasse concluded, “Then when you have a bad shoot because you haven’t trained, then that’s just not good all the way around.”
Plasse says part of the problem stems from COVID-19 shut-downs. He also says last year was a record year for gun sales. He would like to see the state government have some oversight on the issue. In fact, he planned to bring the problem up to Senator Todd Young who was visiting with local law enforcement in Terre Haute on Monday.