Military exchanges reverse decision to stop selling high capacity magazines

Responding to customer pressure, Army and Air Force Exchange Service stores Monday reversed their decision to stop selling high capacity ammunition magazines just 10 days after they were removed from 72 military Post Exchanges, or PXs, across the United States.

“Based on input from authorized Army & Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES) shoppers, the Exchange has resumed sales of magazines with a capacity of 11 or more rounds. Feedback from active-duty, Guard and Reserve Soldiers and Airmen highlighted the criticality of high-capacity magazines as it relates to readiness and proficiency,” said Judd Anstey, vice president of communications for the exchange system, in a statement to CNN.

Some customers, the majority of whom are current or former members of the military and their families, told the exchange they were using the magazines as “supplemental” items to their militarily issued gear. “We thank customers for sharing their thoughts regarding the necessity of firearms accessories,” Anstey said.

The exchange stores provide retail shopping at bases around the world. A civilian director is responsible for key decisions on what items are sold.

The Army and Air Force Exchange Service withdrew high capacity magazines from its stores on March 2 after reviewing its sales policy.

The policy change followed the decision of several major retailers, including Dick’s Sporting Goods, to stop selling the magazines in the aftermath of the February 14 shooting at Florida’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High school in which 17 people were killed. Anstey noted that exchanges run by the Marine Corps stopped selling high capacity magazines several years ago.

The current director of the Army and Air Force Exchange Service is Tom Schull. He is the first civilian director and has long experience in the retail industry including a spell as chief executive officer of Barney’s New York between 1997 and 1999.