In Beaver County, Candidate Owns Ammo Vending Machine

It's a safety measure.

This is happening: reports that a candidate for sheriff in the Western Pennsylvania county owns a vending machine that dispenses ammunition — “in the same fashion as vending machines commonly used to sell snack foods.”

The machine is located at the Beaver Valley Rifle & Pistol Club — and not, say, in front of a grocery store — but some club members were apparently concerned enough about the manner of dispensing ammunition that they contacted the news website and provided pictures of the machine, bullets wrapped up in baggies and ready for dispensing.

The owner of the machine — Sam Piccinini, a Republican candidate for Beaver County sheriff — suggested that it’s a sort of safety measure for the club. Members were having a hard time finding “non-jacketed” bullets for the firing range.

“Most conventional commercial ammunition manufactured today is jacketed, and jackets can separate from the lead when it hits the backstops in gun ranges,” Piccinini said. “This causes two issues, it causes premature wear to the gun range’s backstops and it could cause a safety issue because the jacket can come back and hit you. It wouldn’t be enough to kill you, but it could cut you or put an eye out.”

The gun club, however, apparently wasn’t thrilled with the attention.

“This has been kept a secret, it’s nobody’s business, it’s our club, we can do as our members allow us,” Bill Fortuna, President of the Beaver Valley Rifle & Pistol Club, told “Legally there’s nothing anybody can do about it.”