As the national debate over gun control continues, the number of people getting concealed weapons permits in North Dakota continues to skyrocket.
Here are the latest numbers of weapon permit applications in North Dakota:
Grand Forks County issued 573 in 2012 compared to 389 in 2011. The number of permits almost doubled in Cass County from 582 in 2011 to 1,067 in 2012. The numbers are staggering for North Dakota as a whole: 5,634 in 2011 and 12,614 in 2012.
As those numbers grow, it is combining with other factors to create a nationwide shortage of ammunition.
The most popular pistol used by law enforcement and the general public requires 9mm ammunition. But now on store shelves across the country, the section containing some types of rifle ammunition is scarce, and the 9mm section is empty.
In fact, the manager of ammunition here at Home of Economy in Grand Forks says, he has 300-thousand dollars worth of ammunition on order. But, he says it could take as long as 18-months to get it in the store.
Mike Raymond, Home of Economy: "Yeah, if I got 50 boxes of 9mm right now it would be gone by night time, by the time we close tonight, unless I put a limit on it."
Raymond says there are two main factors causing the shortage.
Mike Raymond: "A lot of it has to do with government, with Homeland Security growing so much and there's a big demand there and the political climate. Every time there's a scare about guns…. everybody's stocking up."
And Raymond says while ammunition orders from Homeland Security and law enforcement get priority, even the Sheriff's Department is feeling the pinch.
Sheriff Bob Rost, GF County: "If we were to order our ammunition right now, it would probably be 6-months before we could get any. We anticipated some issues last year, and so we had ordered quite a bit of it… so…"
And experts say you can expect the price of ammunition to keep rising as manufacturers charge more to expand their plants, so they can produce more ammunition as the debate over gun control continues.