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Grocery stores in 3 U.S. states are selling ammo via vending machines

This undated photo provided by American Rounds shows a vending machine that sell ammunition in several locations across the United States. (American Rounds via AP)
This undated photo provided by American Rounds shows a vending machine that sell ammunition in several locations across the United States. (American Rounds via AP)
UPDATED:

A handful of grocery stores in Texas, Oklahoma and Alabama have begun selling ammo out of vending machines.

The machines will check a person’s drivers license to make sure they are above the legal purchase age and will use facial recognition technology to verify their identities.

Vendor American Rounds has installed one machine in Alabama, four in Oklahoma and one in Texas, CEO Grant Magers said, with Texas and Colorado getting one more machine each in the next few weeks.

The machines arrive against a backdrop of gun violence that saw in a rash of violence over the Fourth of July weekend. The southern Alabama city of Stockton saw three people killed and 12 wounded in a mass shooting in May.

U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy has declared gun violence a public health crisis.

Gun-control advocates took issue with the practice of selling ammo alongside eggs and milk.

“Innovations that make ammunition sales more secure via facial recognition, age verification, and the tracking of serial sales are promising , not in the place where you buy your kids milk,” said Nick Suplina, senior vice president for law and policy at Everytown for Gun Safety.

“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.”

Magers said the move promotes responsible gun ownership by squelching shoplifting and offering more security than online sales, in which buyers are more difficult to verify. Besides, he noted, stores like Walmart sells bullets.

“People I think got shocked when they thought about the idea of selling ammo at a grocery store,” Magers said. “But as we explained, how is that any different than Walmart?”

The machines are in supermarkets in small cities and rural areas that may be far from a traditional gun store, Magers noted. Super C Mart and Fresh Value grocery stores in Pell City, Ala. (pop. 13,600), and Noble, Okla. (pop. 7,600), have the machines, for instance.

While in Tuscaloosa, Ala., after a city council member questioned its legality, Magers told The Birmingham News it was because sales were low and said more would be coming elsewhere.

With News Wire Services

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