Ammo Vending Machines Are A Thing: Would They Work In Wyoming?

Folks in Alabama and Oklahoma can now buy ammunition from vending machines in grocery stores. Wyomingites might not be ready for such a thing, especially if it cuts into sales for small businesses.

Mark Heinz

July 08, 20244 min read

A company called American Rounds has developed an ammo vending machine that uses AI to verify ID and legal purchasaes of ammunition.
A company called American Rounds has developed an ammo vending machine that uses AI to verify ID and legal purchasaes of ammunition. (American Rounds via YouTube)

How about adding 100 rounds of 9 mm, 115-grain full metal jacket to the grocery shopping list?

Thanks to ammunition vending machines, that’s already a thing in some Southern grocery stores.

A company called American Rounds has installed ammunition vending kiosks in Fresh Value stores in Alabama and Super C Mart stores in Oklahoma.

According to the company, American Rounds has plans to expand in “the South and Southeast.”

An inquiry from Cowboy State Daily to American Rounds about whether the compay would consider expanding to Wyoming wasn’t answered by publication time for this story.

Could It Be Legal Here?

The company claims that artificial intelligence keeps the sales safe and secure. According to federal law, people must be at 18 to by long gun ammunition and 21 to buy handgun ammo.

The vending machines use ID verification and an AI-driven 3D facial recognition to ensure that only legally qualified people walk away with boxes of rifle and pistol cartridges or shotgun shells, according to American Rounds.

So long as the AI technology works as advertised, ammo vending machines would likely be legal in Wyoming, legislator Rep. Jeremey Haroldson, R-Wheatland, told Cowboy State Daily.

“I don’t see the age verification being an issue using the AI,” said Haroldson, who has worked on numerous firearms policy bills.

Laws covering age requirements for ammunition purchases might not specify how a buyer’s age must be verified.

“When all those (age verification) statutes were written, AI wasn’t a thing,” Haroldson said.

Watch on YouTube

Too Much Trust In Technology?

Some licensed Wyoming ammunition dealers said they don’t like the idea.

Kathleen Cervin and Warden Patzer, co-owners of Koyoty Sports & Trophy Room Taxidermy in Saratoga, told Cowboy State Daily that they don’t trust AI to catch possible illegal ammo sales.

“I’m against AI, for the most part,” Patzer said.

Tech-savvy identity thieves, or old-fashioned smash-and-grab thieves, might take advantage of ammo vending machines, he said.

“People are going to break into them and steal ammo. Or, if somebody steals your ID, then they can go buy all the ammo they want,” he said.

Cervin said she has mixed feelings about trusting AI facial recognition. In her small town, real-world recognition does the trick.

“For the consumer, I can see how it’s completely helpful. From my point of view, it’s irresponsible,” she said.

“Saratoga is a small community. And in this small community, I know who is 18,” she said. “We know who their parents are.”

‘We’ve Got A Good Demographic For It’

If American Rounds or some other ammo vending machine company sets up shop in Wyoming, they’d likely do brisk business, Haroldson said.

“We’ve got a good demographic for it,” he said. “That would be a brilliant thing to have at a gun range.”

An ammo vending machine might be a big hit at Valley Foods and Liquor in Saratoga, store manager Louis Umanzor and owner Adam Clarke told Cowboy State Daily.

“If we could have it, I think we have customers who would use it,” Umanzor said.

Clarke said many out-of-state hunters travel to that area during elk and deer season. Ammo vending machines in remote locations might be helpful for hunters in a pinch, such as those who left home in a rush and forgot to pack rifle cartridges.

“I think it would go over well here. There’s fishing bait vending machines, so why not ammo vending machines?” he said.

‘I Would See It As Competition’

Clarke said that he would want the vending machine’s owner to be have sole responsibility for the license to sell ammunition.

He added that he wouldn’t want an ammo vending machine in his store if he thought it would cut into the business of local sporting goods stores.

Ammo vending machines could hurt small stores’ business, Cervin and Patzer said.

“I would see it as competition,” Cervin said.

“It’s just another way to take business away from small, local owners,” Patzer said.

Mark Heinz can be reached at

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Mark Heinz

Outdoors Reporter