NEW HANOVER COUNTY -- Local law enforcement agencies are feeling the squeeze of a nationwide ammunition shortage.
New Hanover, Brunswick and Pender County sheriff's offices are all on wait lists for ammunition, and in some cases, they may have to wait up to two years.
The war in Iraq has increased the demand for bullets. The rising costs of copper and other raw materials has also impacted the ammunition supply.
One deputy says ammunition is a necessity for officers.
"The citizen out there relies on us to be there first line of defense, to protect them," said Lee Garris, Rangemaster of the New Hanover County Sheriff's Office.
Two major ammunition companies announced as much as a 15 percent price increase on ammunition.