Bullets, Grocery Stores

3 Southern States Now Have Bullets Available For Sale In Vending Machines

And more states are interested.

A Texas-based company, American Rounds, has installed automated bullets and ammunition vending machines in select grocery stores in three states in the South with plans to expand its operation over the coming months. This, naturally, has drawn the concern of gun control advocates and groups like Everytown for Gun Safety. 

According to the Associated Press, American Rounds CEO Grant Magers said the company was approached by grocery stores and other retailers about the prospect of selling ammunition in their stores using automated technology in 2023. Currently, the company has one machine in Alabama, four in Oklahoma, and one in Texas, with plans to install another machine in Texas and one in Colorado. 

Although the machines use facial detection and identification scanner technology for a more secure purchase environment, opponents like Nick Suplina, senior vice president for law and policy at Everytown for Gun Safety, worry about the larger implications in a country that deals with mass shootings at a rate that outstrips the rest of the world. 

“Innovations that make ammunition sales more secure via facial recognition, age verification, and the tracking of serial sales are promising safety measures that belong in gun stores, not in the place where you buy your kid’s milk,” Suplina told the AP. “In a country awash in guns and ammo, where guns are the leading cause of deaths for kids, we don’t need to further normalize the sale and promotion of these products.”

So far, the machines are located in small towns that may not have access to retailers that sell ammunition. “Someone in that community might have to drive an hour or an hour and a half to get supplied if they want to go hunting, for instance,” Magers told the AP. “Our grocery stores, they wanted to be able to offer their customer another category that they felt like would be popular.”

According to Inc, Magers said American Rounds has received numerous requests for machines for 200 stores across nine states. However, a machine in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, was removed following concerns raised by the city council at a July 2 meeting. “I got some calls about ammunition being sold in grocery stores, vending machines, the vending machines,” Councilman Kip Tyner said. “I mean, I thought it was a lie. I thought it was a joke—but it’s not.”

Officially, the machine was removed by Fresh Value due to a lack of sales, but the vending machines are legal to operate as long as they fall within the boundaries of local zoning laws governing the sale of ammunition. 

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