Assault rifle shortage affecting law enforcement - 14 News, WFIE, Evansville, Henderson, Owensboro

Assault rifle shortage affecting law enforcement

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ATLANTA (CBS ATLANTA) -

The rush on semi-automatic assault rifles has created a shortage on assault rifles that is now keeping some metro Atlanta police officers from purchasing them.

An officer who did not want to be identified told CBS Atlanta's Mike Paluska that GT Distributors in Rossville informed him that the assault rifle he ordered may not be available until the end of the year.

"I think it is ridiculous," the officer said.  "This is a public safety issue if officers who need those weapons can't buy them."

The company would not comment on camera about the shortage.

GT Distributors did have a phone message on their answering system and a message from their president, Jim Orr, posted online alerting customers to the items they are sold out of.

In the message online, Orr said, "We have spoken to many suppliers and product availability is getting worse.  Several suppliers have ceased accepting orders, some project lead times to be longer than six months, and some will not provide lead times at all ... The inquiries are affecting our core business of supplying Public Safety Equipment to those who protect our communities."

The Atlanta Police Department told CBS Atlanta News that they have not been having issues with obtaining ammo or weapons.

"Keep in mind that our officers can be approved to carry a patrol rifle, but the department does not purchase them for the officer," Officer John Chafee said.

It's not just GT Distributors having assault rifle shortages.  Nearly all of the local gun stores we have called are not accepting new orders or have assault rifles on back order.

As a temporary measure, Orr said the company is only accepting new order for the following with law enforcement ID or agency letterhead:

-Magazines with a capacity over 10 rounds

-AR-15, AK platform firearms, M1As, Mini-14s

-.223/5.56 FMJ (practice) ammunition

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