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Kent Police: Several Factors Affecting Ammunition Scarcity, Prices

Patch corresponded with Kent Police Capt. Paul Canfield to find out more on the rising prices of guns and ammo, and how it affects the local police department.

The aftermath of the Sandy Hook school shooting has led to a push for stricter gun control laws, which, in turn, has caused U.S. consumers to buy and stockpile guns and ammunition that may one day be unavailable or illegal.

Given the higher demand, prices on guns and ammunition have risen, and local police departments aren't immune to these economic trends.

However, it's not just the Newtown, Conn., massacre or recent legislative proposals that have affected prices and backlogged orders; so to find out more on the issue, Patch corresponded via email with Kent Police Capt. Paul Canfield. 

Here's what he had to say:

Kent Patch: Is the Kent Police Department paying more for ammunition following the Sandy Hook tragedy?

Paul Canfield: Ammunition prices have risen steadily since 2003. I suspect that the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have something to do with that. However, I've also heard folks in the firearms industry say that competition for natural resources (lead, brass, copper, etc.) by developing nations (specifically China) has had a significant impact on ammunition prices.

Patch: How much will you spend this year in ammunition versus last?

Canfield: The Kent Police Department's budget for ammunition is the same this year as it was last year. Depending on our current stock of ammunition, KPD may purchase more or less ammunition this year as compared with last year. Therefore, it may be difficult to compare year-to-year expenditures on ammunition.

Patch: Have you experienced any delays in receiving ammunition you've ordered?

Canfield: Since 2003, there have been a number of years when KPD has experienced delays in fulfillment related to ammunition orders. Suppliers are predicting delays up to six months or more on ammunition orders for 2013.  At this time, we have no way to predict the actual length of the delay.

Patch: Is the cost of ammunition constricting your budget; or do you have the available funds to purchase it?

Canfield: There never seems to be enough money for ammunition and time for training. The general public expects every officer to be an expert with firearms. That's quite an undertaking, and it requires training and ammunition.

As in past years, KPD training staff must balance available funding for training time and other resources to keep officers adequately trained. I have never experienced a time when resources weren't scarce. We do our best to manage what is available carefully and be good stewards of public funding.

Resident of Kent February 23, 2013 at 06:06 PM
Wow,. those were some pretty vague answers!
silly sally February 23, 2013 at 06:38 PM
yeh, very vague.. but i'm all for a shortage of ammo. you can have the guns, just no ammo. i like the sound of that!
Rachel Marie February 23, 2013 at 08:00 PM
I can understand the vague answers. Do you really want to tell the world how much ammo you have? And "silly Sally" that's the "silliest" thing I have ever heard. You want your police force to not have ammo? What are you going to do when some crazy person is trying to get in your house one night? Have the KPD respond and ask them nicely to leave? People on this site never cease to amaze me.
Bonefishbill February 23, 2013 at 09:37 PM
When seconds count the police are just minutes away! You are ultimately responsible for your own safety. If you are mentally fit get a firearm..and learn how to use it. People that harm other people will go after those unable to protect themselves.
William February 23, 2013 at 10:52 PM
The reporter John Deike should have pressed a bit harder and actually got answers to his questions! All the expenses are a matter of public record so why is Capt. Paul Canfield not answering those questions with facts?
Mick Mummy February 24, 2013 at 02:02 AM
Canfield is a Captain now?!!! AWESOME!!!! He is a great officer and a good guy. And those were very good diplomatic answers. Its silly to expect him to rattle off specifics about a singuler budget line item. He's not rainman. They're trying to get a new station. If they have plenty of money for ammo, he wouldnt want to let everyone know that. And of they DON'T have enough for ammo, what do you want him to say? "Oh we cant afford bullets next year, so we'll just be throwing rocks at the bad guys.... Stay in school"
silly sally February 24, 2013 at 03:00 AM
when was the last time a KPD officer fired their gun in response to a crime? anyone......? <crickets>
William February 24, 2013 at 06:01 AM
Matt, since this was a Email interview as stated in the article "Patch corresponded via email with Kent Police Capt. Paul Canfield." Mr Canfield had ample opportunity to look up and factually answer the question as posed. If KPD is lacking Bullets they are able to secure them from other sources, think state and federal agencies! Bullets will not come from the same line item in the budget as buildings or maintenance. Sally, I don't wish for any officer to have to fire his or her firearm in the course of their duties but I do hope that they are well prepared with training and equipment!
Rachel Marie February 25, 2013 at 06:11 AM
Sally.. just because they haven't had to use their weapon, doesn't mean they wont ever need to. Crime happens anywhere and everywhere and I would prefer our police force be prepared. I do think if you are in your right mind and learn how to use a firearm you should do so. You never know when you may need it.
silly sally February 25, 2013 at 11:01 AM
we live in a society where everyone is scared of everything. that's sad.
The Omnipotent Sponge - Soak it up! February 25, 2013 at 05:33 PM
Rachel, not everyone desires or is willing to take up arms. Soon we'll be just like the photos that come from the Middle East. Every photo from America will be nothing but men, women and children with semi-automatic weapons walking around like zombies. Nothing but a bunch of scared people killing each other. Killing out of fear. Out of intolerance. Out of ignorance. America is really feeding it's fear factor, and it's scary. I don't want to walk around in fear of being shot. But I do. It's one of the sad prices to pay for living in this country. We have many freedoms, but freedom from fear is one America doesn't stand for.
Bonefishbill February 25, 2013 at 08:42 PM
The police needto train constantly..with real ammo--to be at the highest degree of skill level..hence the need for a large supply of ammo... I can guess why they call Silly Sally, "silly sally"...

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