LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY)- A Louisiana state representative says a national ammo shortage is causing the prices of ammo to skyrocket in Acadiana and across the state.

The prices of ammunition are doubling, tripling, and even quadrupling.

It doesn’t matter if you’re buying a gun for recreation, sport, or self-defense. The ammo prices are going to affect all gun owners.

“Don’t be surprised if you go to your local gun store and you find out that ammunition has quadrupled in price,” state representative and current pistol shooter national champion Blake Miguez said.

Miguez says a year ago, a box of 50 bullets for a 9-millimeter firearm only cost about $15. Now the price is around $50 to $60, and gun stores in Acadiana are seeing the trend too.

“For a 9-millimeter, you used to see it around 20 to 25 cents a round. Now you’re seeing it around a dollar,” Owner of Sentry Defense, Brandon Elias, said.

Miguez says that’s if you can find it.

“Even if you’re willing to pay the prices, it’s not even on the shelves to purchase. That’s just the normal environment that we’re seeing with ammunition,” he told News 10.

He says this ammo shortage could last a while, and it started with the coronavirus pandemic.

“I think the main reason for the ammo shortage is a lot of the uncertainties in the United States last year,” Miguez said.

“You had the covid pandemic, which scared people, and you didn’t know what the virus, what type of outcomes it would have to our economy and to their normal way of life. There were also different riots in cities,” he said.

In 2020, there were 20 million new guns sold in the United States, and of those 20 million, 8 million were new gun owners.

“New gun owners are going to pick up a couple of boxes of ammo for the gun that they purchased, and on top of people being scared, it just drives up the price of the ammunition because there’s a shortage. There’s such a huge demand and a limited supply,” Miguez said.

“You had millions of new gun owners that came out, and everybody buys a box of ammo whenever they buy a gun, right? So if everyone buys a box of ammo, that’s millions and millions of boxes of ammo that come off the shelf. If people can’t get them anymore, they want more of it, right?” Elias added.

State representatives and local gun store owners both agee it could be 12 to 18 months before ammo prices go back to normal.

“Hopefully ammo prices return. I don’t think it’s going to be this year, hopefully next year, but we do think it’s going to come back,” Elias said.

Miguez says it will likely take over a year for ammunition manufacturers and suppliers to catch up to the demand for ammo.