Sunday, December 26, 2010

Monkeyshines at walmart

This morning I needed a few things so I head out for my local walmart. I went early as I was trying to avoid the post Christmas return rush and thankfully the crowds (and parking) were still light when I arrived at just before eight. While there I decided to buy some ammo and made my way to the very back corner of the store where the sporting goods department (or whatever they call it now) is located. After looking through their showcase a short time the only kind that I could see I wanted was some Federal "Target Grade Performance" .22LR in the 325 round bulk pack. I've never tried this particular ammunition and decided to purchase a couple of boxes. I had spent about five minutes in front of their ammo case trying to decide on what I wanted and during that time one of their employees, an old wrinkled and sour faced woman, and apparently the only one working in the department that time of morning, walked by the isle on multiple occasions taking a good look at me. Although she passed by several times she never once asked me if I needed help. On the sixth or seventh pass I stopped her, "Do you work here? I need to get some ammo out of the case." She looked like she just downed a whole bottle of vinegar as she fished for the case's keys in her pocket. Finally she found them and after a couple of tries retrieved the particular ammunition that I wanted and took it back to the register. When we got there she got on the computer/register and asked me, "Is this for a handgun or rifle?" She had me in a playful mood by then and told her "oh it's definitely for a rifle." I've never been asked that question before and even though I didn't know exactly what it was all about being walmart I just assumed that "for a rifle" was better than "for a handgun." She must have not liked that answer, or maybe she just didn't like my face. She just silently stood there giving me the fisheye. As she did I picked up one of the boxes and with my finger pointed out on the front of it "see, 22 Long RIFLE." After that she just continued to give me the stink eye and finally told me "The total is 32.80." I paid her and with that she bagged my ammo and handed it to me and then I put it in my cart and leisurely shuffled away, all the while her still giving me that eye and me trying not to bust out laughing...

12 comments:

Tam said...

The register prompts her to ask that question.

It is against Federal Law for Wal-Mart to sell you handgun ammunition if you are under 21 years old. They don't want to get fined or have their store shut down by BATFE because some minimum wage cashier didn't ask you if it was for a rifle or a handgun.

Wilson said...

That’s interesting, but even more interesting is the fact that I have been buying a lot of ammo at this Wal-Mart (since they caught up their supply nearly a year ago), including much 9mm and 45 auto, and this is the first time I’ve been asked…

Tam said...

The other people were probably more familiar with the procedure, knew why the question was being asked, and thought you looked over 21.

Speaking as someone who has had to deal with the BATFE as a regulatory agency, I don't mind when retail employees err on the side of caution.

Wilson said...

It's been a long while since I've looked 21. No doubt that is the reason that this is the first time I've heard the question, despite having bought a ton of ammo there. THANKS!

Anonymous said...

I would have straight out asked her if she had a problem with me buying ammunition. But then at 2 of the 4 walmarts in my area the employees actually wince when they see me coming...lol

.45ACP+P said...

At my local walmart, the register auto promts the cashier about age/ rifle/handgun questions. I usually can answer the question for them before it has popped up on the register. My white beard usually precludes any questions on my age, but I do answer for them anyway.

Hypnagogue said...

Hilarious. I was reloading pistol ammo at 19.

Billll said...

The clerks at my Wal-Mart all know why the question is asked, and frequently apologize for asking. The old gray-beard always tells them it's for my machine gun.

JHardin said...

...and what if you're buying .45ACP for a carbine?

KA9VSZ said...

When I was (unfortunately) living in Illinois a decade ago, I stopped in a Wisconsin Wallyworld and they sold bullets like any ordinary product. A pallet full of .22LR four feet high. No Illinois FOID needed, no drivers lic, no body cavity search, no questions asked. I moved there shortly thereafter. (Full disclosure- not because I was smart, it was to stay employed. Then the company laid off everyone and moved to Florida. Where they promptly got clobbered by a hurricane. Serves 'em right.)

Laughingdog said...

Go read the law again Tam. It's against federal law for a licensed firearms dealer to sell ammunition that is used exclusively in handguns to anyone under 21.

So I'm not sure that law even applies to a Walmart if they only carry ammo, but no actual firearms.

Laughingdog said...

Had the wording off slightly, since I hadn't read it for a year or so. What I remembered as "exclusively" was actually "suitable for use only in a handgun". There's a mighty short list of ammo that fits in that category.

http://codes.lp.findlaw.com/uscode/18/I/44/922

(x)(1) It shall be unlawful for a person to sell, deliver, or
otherwise transfer to a person who the transferor knows or has
reasonable cause to believe is a juvenile -
(A) a handgun; or
(B) ammunition that is suitable for use only in a handgun.
(2) It shall be unlawful for any person who is a juvenile to
knowingly possess -
(A) a handgun; or
(B) ammunition that is suitable for use only in a handgun.