In a backroom of a coin and gold shop in Oklahoma City, thousands of bullets, in various sizes, containers and boxes, cover a table.
Chelsey Davis said he's buying most kinds of ammunition, so long as it's been stored properly and is still usable. He's been doing it for about a week.
“The first three days we purchased 10,000 rounds, which was a couple thousand dollars spent,” Davis said. “These are people that had them in the garage, in the closet … they either no longer had the guns or no longer had use for them.”
Ammunition is becoming so hard to get in the Oklahoma City area — and elsewhere across the nation — that Davis' coin and gold shop is now in the “Cash for Bullets” business.
It's the latest twist on a nationwide gun craze, fueled by a presidential election, a mass shooting on the East Coast and — depending on who's asked — a variety of other factors.
Tactical weapons, guns like the AR-15 rifle, are nearly impossible to buy from a retail store. Accessories, such as high-capacity magazines, can be difficult to find, too.
Now the very bullets needed to load and fire all these guns are becoming scarce.
At Oklahoma Coin & Gold, 4001 N Pennsylvania Ave., the bullet shortage means opportunity. At least that's the hope.
Davis, 39, said he is planning to stockpile the ammunition — for the moment — but said he may sell it in the future. He said it's no different from buying gold, silver or other precious metals.
“People are having trouble trying to purchase them, stores are running out everywhere,” Davis said. “Even the distributors and the manufacturers … there's shortages all the way up the chain.”
On the other hand, there are people with ammunition they don't need.
Davis said he's “creating a marketplace” where the two groups can do business.
“In the U.S., in the Old West, it was used to barter with,” he said. “I don't believe we're headed in that direction anytime soon, but there still are people that keep and store it.