american round
The American Rounds ammo vending machine is conveniently wedged between the coin counter and the Bang energy drink display. Credit: American Rounds/Youtube

Vending Machine Dispensing Ammo Removed from Alabama City

Yes, firearm ammo-dispensing vending machines exist and they're stirring controversy in Alabama of all places.

Last week, a company that makes vending machines designed to dispense firearm ammunition removed one of its machines from a grocery store in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Meanwhile, everybody else was left trying to wrap their heads around the idea of an ammo-dispensing vending machine.

According to reports, the issue popped up during a city council meeting in which the council president Kip Tyner revealed he had received calls from constituents asking how such a machine could be legal. In response, the city's police chief explained that the machine was legal as long as it met proper zoning requirements.

Concerns raised during the discussion, though, prodded whether or not the artificial intelligence used to prevent prohibited buyers from obtaining ammo would actually work. Shortly thereafter, the company removed its machine from the grocery store.

Please enable Javascript to view this content

American Rounds: 'Express Ammo'

The head of American Rounds, the Texas-based company that makes the vending machines, told reporters that the removal of one of its two machines in Alabama was "strictly a business decision." The machine had reportedly only made four sales since November.

According to American Rounds's website, the company uses "smart retail automated ammo dispensers" with built-in AI technology. The machine will scan ID cards and verify the buyer using facial recognition software.

In a promotional video shared in January, Grant Majors, the company's chief executive, explained that they installed their first machine at a grocery store in Pell City, Alabama. However, the company has since expanded to five other locations in Oklahoma.

"One of the ways we're changing the landscape of ammunition sales is by making it more available. Being able to move into a place like a grocery store or supermarket makes it a lot more available to the public," Majors said.

He argued that traditional ways to sell ammo — by keeping it on shelves — lead to a high rate of theft. Therefore, his machines make ammunition more secure inside retail stores.