"There's two reasons this (shortage) is happening," Nielson said. "One, there are fears that the new Obama administration is likely to ban or restrict guns. And, two, manufacturers have marked up their products. The price has doubled, even tripled, since 2006. Next week it might be higher. That's why I am buying now. The military is buying, too. The government could be stockpiling materials to artificially manipulate the market to take civilian ammo out of the picture. Who knows?"

In Rutland and Williston, both Wal-Mart and Dick's Sporting Goods are large sellers of various firearm and ammunition supplies-from hunting and target rounds to rifles and shotguns. Both stores have ammo shortages, according to several anonymous customers.

When asked to comment about the ammunition shortage at these local big-box stores, corporate officials representing both Rutland and Williston Wal-Mart and Dick's stores did not return telephone calls.

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