Bullet Vending Machines ‘In Some States, You Can Now Walk into a Grocery Store and Buy Bullets’

 Bullet Vending Machines ‘In Some States, You Can Now Walk into a Grocery Store and Buy Bullets’

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A Texas-based company, American Rounds, has introduced vending machines that sell bullets, now installed in select grocery stores across Texas, Oklahoma, and Alabama, with plans for further expansion. According to recent reports, these machines use artificial intelligence to verify the age of buyers, who must be 21 to purchase shotgun, rifle, and handgun bullets.

Federal regulations on ammunition sales are minimal, with only a few states enforcing stricter laws. This development is “likely to stoke controversy,” as noted by Newsweek, and has been described by Gizmodo as a “questionable new trend.” Social media reactions have ranged from calling the idea “insane” to “horrible” and “beyond sick.”

Gizmodo reported, “In some states, you can now walk into a grocery store and buy bullets from a vending machine as if you were ordering a candy bar or a soda,” though they clarified that the process is “slightly more rigorous… than buying a Twix.”

Nick Suplina, senior vice president for law and policy at Everytown for Gun Safety, expressed concerns about the increased accessibility of ammunition. “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,” Suplina told The Associated Press.

The introduction of these vending machines comes at a time when gun-control advocates are intensifying their efforts to counter the gun lobby. Over the 4th of July weekend, more than 500 shootings were reported nationwide, according to Moms Demand Action.

Though Walmart, a significant ammunition retailer, has placed some restrictions on sales over the past decade due to public pressure following mass shootings, bullets remain widely available in the U.S. According to The Trace, “In most of the country, it’s harder to buy Sudafed than it is to buy ammunition,” highlighting the lax federal regulations on ammunition sales.

There were once stricter federal laws on ammunition sales, but these were repealed in 1986 when Congress passed pro-gun legislation backed by the National Rifle Association. One of the new vending machines sparked controversy in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. “I got some calls about ammunition being sold in grocery stores, vending machines,” Tuscaloosa Councilor Kip Tyner said during a city council meeting on July 2, as reported by ABC 33/40. “I mean, I thought it was a lie. I thought it was a joke, but it’s not.” The machine in question was removed from a Fresh Value supermarket in Tuscaloosa the next day due to a lack of sales.

Currently, American Rounds’ vending machines are located at four sites in Oklahoma, one in Alabama, and one in Texas. The company plans to install a machine in Buena Vista, Colorado, and has received over 200 installation requests from stores in nine states, CEO Grant Magers told Newsweek. “And that number is growing daily,” he added.

American Rounds’ website claims that “the future of ammo sales is here.” There are no purchase limits, except for when the machine runs out of stock. The company targets small towns where ammunition might not be readily available, ensuring that the machines are always set up inside stores, according to Magers.

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