The nationwide ammunition shortage isn’t just affecting civilians — it’s hitting law enforcement.
"Everybody is fighting for what is seems like a shrinking amount of ammunition out there," said Lt. Louie Tirona, firearms and tactics instructor for the Richmond Police Department.
With backorders on ammo stretching up to 12 months, law enforcement in the Northern, California, town have opted to train with Airsoft.
"We can do simple drills with Airsoft that would mimic what we would do with live fire," Tirona said. "They shoot small plastic [airsoft bb] pellets that still pack a punch."
According to sources, the [airsoft] guns used by the department look, feel and function almost like the real thing.
The neighboring town of Albany has followed suit. "It’s become harder and harder to get the ammunition we need to train our officers on a timely basis," said Albany Sgt. Dave Bettencourt. "We’re using Airsoft as an affordable option to try to maintain the officers’ skills."