​​​​​​​Ammunition Vending Machines Appear in Grocery Stores

Vending machines stocked with ammunition have been installed in several grocery stores in Oklahoma and Alabama.

The machines are made by American Rounds and allow customers over the age of 21 to buy ammunition with the same ease as using an ATM, the company says.

“Our automated ammo dispensers are accessible 24/7, ensuring that you can buy ammunition on your own schedule, free from the constraints of store hours and long lines,” American Rounds says on its website.

The company says that their vending machines have “built-in AI technology, card scanning capability and facial recognition software.”

The software can verify the buyer’s identity and determine whether the machine matches the identification scanned, according to American Rounds.

The dispensers have been installed in two Fresh Value grocery stores in Pell City and Tuscaloosa, Alabama, per the company’s website.

They have also been installed in four Super C Marts in Kingston, Lindsay, Noble and Wetumka in Oklahoma.

The CEO of American Rounds, Grants Magers, told Oklahoma TV station KOCO-TV that there will be no limitations on the amount of ammunition customers can purchase, except when the machines run out of stock.

He said he estimated that the machines would be restocked every two to four weeks.

Stock image of ammunition. Several vending machines dispensing ammunition have been installed in grocery stores in Alabama and Oklahoma.

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

A machine in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, was removed on Wednesday after its legality was questioned in a city council meeting.

Tuscaloosa City Council President Kip Tyner said that he initially thought the machines were a joke after he received calls about them.

“I got some calls about ammunition being sold in grocery stores, vending machines,” Tyner said in the meeting, according to ABC 33/40.

“I thought it was a lie. I thought it was a joke—but it’s not,” he said.

Tuscaloosa Police Chief Brent Blankley confirmed on the Tuscaloosa Thread that the machines are legal and approved by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).

It is not clear if the Tuscaloosa machine has been reinstalled.

Newsweek reached out to the ATF and American Rounds for comment via email, outside of regular working hours.

In a promotional video, Magers said that the company also plans to send machines to stories in Louisiana and Texas.

“Over the next year, we’re looking forward to seeing these roll out all throughout the South and the Southeast,” he said.

The machines are likely to stoke controversy at a time when gun control continues to be a divisive topic around the country.

While some on social media celebrated the introduction of such machines, others expressed concern about increasing the ease of accessing ammunition.

Shannon Watts, a gun control advocate, shared an article about the machines on X, formerly Twitter, and wrote: “THIS IS REAL.”