We're just a little over 6 months since the tragic shootings at Sandy Hook, and the despicable politicizing of those events to push forward an ineffective gun control legislation.
At the Federal level, the gun control legislation failed to even make it through the Senate, let alone the House, but several states have enacted their own gun control laws.
With the failure of legislation at the national level, the gun banners have calmed down. Congress and the media have moved onto new topics--immigration, the Zimmerman trial, etc.
Gun owners who were prone to panic buy went out and bought their stuff months ago. I'm sure there are many who are kicking themselves for overpaying on many things and looking at credit card bills they're not happy about. The "gun budgets" of many have been blown for the year.
Manufacturers have had some time to get caught up, and many have. PMAGs, for example, are just now becoming readily available for pre-panic prices - $11 to $15. Availability of AR components is coming back to normal, too, though components from specific manufacturers may be hard to come by as they work through year-long back orders. But, for the most part, availability is starting to settle back in.
Ammunition is still notably lagging behind. When the panic first set in, I wasn't overly concerned about ammo - none of the gun banners suggested banning ammunition - so people freaking out and buying up mass quantities didn't make intuitive sense. But, with folks buying new guns and magazines by the truckload, the ammunition supply got hit hard. And when people noticed that availability was starting to dry up, panic buying set in there, too.
Several government agencies put in abnormally massive ammo orders at around the same time, too, which may have contributed to the rapid decrease in supply.
Ammunition in most calibers is available, at least through online retailers, but prices are still typically well above where they were, pre-panic--50% to 100% higher, in fact.
The prices/availability of ammunition are slowing demand for other shooting items--most folks aren't interested in buying more mags and accessories if they can't afford to feed their guns in the first place. The reports I'm getting from some in the firearm accessory industry are that things are unusually slow.
In fact, we will most likely see something that is referred to as the
"bullwhip" effect by supply chain nerds. Here's how it works: suppliers are hit with high levels of forecast demand ('Firearmageddon'/the Great Panic). They work overtime, add shifts and invest in components and machinery to get massive amounts of product onto the market. But, if
that level of demand isn't quite as forecast, they can end up flooding the market with excess product.
I think we're still a ways off, but I'm betting we'll see some of this in the 2nd half of the year, and the associated fire sales that go with them. Add that in to the folks who are looking to dump the ARs they paid $2000 for and then never shot, and there will likely be some pretty good deals to be had.
Ammunition will continue to be the question mark. Availability is starting to come back, so now it's a matter of waiting for prices to settle down into more palatable ranges. They are getting there--it's actually exciting to see prices gradually coming back down to earth.
Interested to see how things are progressing in your neck of the woods!