Gun owners can now buy bullets from vending machines installed in grocery stores across three states

Gun owners in Alabama, Oklahoma, and Texas can now purchase ammunition through vending machines installed in grocery stores, a concept introduced by the company American Rounds. These machines, which are as user-friendly as ATMs, operate around the clock, allowing customers to buy bullets at their convenience. The process involves selecting the desired ammunition type on a touchscreen, scanning a state-issued ID, and using AI facial recognition software to verify the purchaser’s identity and age. This innovation ensures compliance with federal laws, which does not restrict on the quantity of ammunition that can be purchased but requires buyers to be at least 18 years old for rifle ammunition and 21 for handgun ammunition.

The vending machines, already operational in several locations across the three states, have sparked both interest and controversy. For instance, a machine in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, was removed following a city council meeting due to zoning issues, though the store cited lack of sales as the reason. Despite such setbacks, American Rounds plans to expand its operations to Louisiana and Colorado, with over 200 requests for machines from nine states. The company emphasizes that its machines keep records of transactions to adhere to state regulations.

The introduction of these vending machines comes amid ongoing debates about gun control in the United States. The US Surgeon General has declared gun violence a public health crisis, with recent data highlighting the high rates of gun-related deaths in states like Alabama and Texas. However, American Rounds maintains that its machines promote responsible and legal gun ownership by ensuring that all purchases are made by individuals who meet the legal requirements.

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