In a 5-4 decision last Thursday, the United States Supreme Court ruled that the second amendment was not written for mere militia purposes, but instead protects “the inherent right to self-defense,” as Justice Antonin Scalia told reporters. The opposing justices fear the close decision will hurt gun control laws, arguing that this ruling has opened the floor for further attacks and dissent from violence prevention.
Then again, the rising cost of small arms ammunition and rounds could make gunplay too expensive for the average American. During the past two years, the U.S. has observed a 70 percent hike in these ammunition prices, dampening the spirits of amateur marksmen. Some prices have more than doubled in the past two years. While partial blame falls on the war and the falling dollar, rising metal prices have also led to the ammunition pinch. In Alaska, for example, “lead shot for shotgun shells used to cost $18 a bag. Now it’s more than $50, if you can find it.”
Although lead is finally decreasing in price, the metal still spiked to $1.75/pound this winter, a drastic difference from its earlier 50 cents/pound. Copper and brass, also part of the ammunition recipe, reached some of their highest marks last year, and have witnessed limited gains in the past week. The same day that the Supreme Court made their second amendment ruling, copper futures rose to $3.86 in New York. Likewise, the price of brass has recently increased due to excess industrial demand. Zinc is the only ammo ingredient that seems calm in the market. However, since zinc is also necessary for steel creation, a rise of zinc prices is expected in a path similar to iron-ore. Until metals prices stop rising faster than a speeding bullet, gun enthusiasts may need to find some new hobbies.