​​​ …

Vending machines containing ammunition have been placed in several supermarkets in the United States.

The machines are made by American Rounds and offer customers 21 and older the ability to purchase ammunition with the same ease as an ATM, the company said.

“Our automated ammo dispensers are accessible 24/7, so you can purchase ammo when it’s convenient for you, without the restrictions of store hours and long lines,” American Rounds says on its website.

According to the company, its vending machines have “built-in AI technology, card scanning capabilities and facial recognition software.”

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

American Rounds CEO Grants Magers said Newsweek that eight machines have been installed or are in the works in four states.

The first machine installed was at a Fresh Value supermarket in Pell City, Alabama.

Four have now been installed in Super C Mart locations in Oklahoma and one in a Lowe’s Markets in Canyon Lake, Texas.

Another one will be installed soon at Lowes Markets in Canyon Lake and another is being installed at LaGrees Food Stores in Buena Vista, Colorado, Magers said.

“We have over 200 store requests for AARM [Automated Ammo Retail Machine] units currently covering about nine states and that number is growing daily,” he said Newsweek.

Magers said Newsweek that American Rounds advocated “law-abiding, responsible gun ownership.”

“Currently, ammunition is sold ready-made or online. These environments lead to unintended sales to underage buyers and/or, in the case of retail stores, to a high theft rate,” he said.

“What we liked about this concept is that the AARM units use advanced ID scanners combined with facial recognition before a transaction can be made.”

Magers told Oklahoma TV station KOCO-TV that there will be no restrictions on the amount of ammunition customers can purchase unless the machines run out of stock.

He estimated the machines would be refilled every two to four weeks.

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

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

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

Tuscaloosa City Council President Kip Tyner said he initially thought the machines were a prank after receiving calls about them.

“I’ve gotten a number of calls about ammunition being sold in grocery stores and vending machines,” Tyner said during 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).

Magers told about the Tuscalossa machine Newsweek: “American Rounds made the business decision to relocate the Fresh Value Automated Ammo Retail Machine in Tuscaloosa to another store location. This was strictly a business decision based on sales in that particular store.”

Newsweek contacted the ATF via email outside of regular business hours for comment.

The machines are likely to stir controversy at a time when gun control remains a divisive issue across the country.

While some on social media welcomed the introduction of such machines, others expressed concern about the increasing accessibility of ammunition.

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

Update 7/7/2024. 12:23 p.m. ET: This article has been updated with comments from Magers.