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AAFES Stops Selling 10+ Capacity Firearm Magazines, Customers Complain, AAFES Reverses Decision

Lots of businesses are deciding to institute boycotts of certain types of firearms and accessories. You’d expect it from a company like Dick’s Sporting Goods, but many of us were surprised to see a standard capacity magazine ban instituted by the Army Air Force Exchange Service bringing it into alignment with an earlier ban in 2013 Marine Corps Exchange. The MCX will distribute a so-called High Capacity Magazine only if it is OEM equipment with a firearm and legal in the state where the firearm is sold.

Both organizations sell firearms in select stores, along with accessories. Sure, it’s a convenience, but these are quasi-military organizations, which just also happen to be stores, created to sell products to military personnel and their families, and most recently, other authorized veterans.

I realize a lot of you are upset by this and I understand your dismay. But, think about it this way. First off, they’ve shown their true colors. Second, big box stores have forced out many local and small specialty retailers. The heart of our ability to purchase firearms lies in your local FFL. That FFL facilitates the transfer of firearms and they don’t keep the doors open by transferring firearms purchased somewhere else. They need to actually sell guns to consumers. What’s more, they make more from accessory sales than firearms.

AAFES just recently reversed its decision after an outpouring of comments from its customers. AAFES stated, “Feedback from active-duty, Guard and Reserve soldiers and airmen highlighted the criticality of high-capacity magazines as it relates to readiness and proficiency.” This shows us you have a voice, and others will listen. But it’s a voice which should’ve never had to have been used.

This is a wake up call for us as supporters of Second Amendment rights. We need to support those businesses who support us always, and don’t falter when it’s politically expedient. Buy local, or from specialty retailers who support the Second Amendment. I’m sure most of you have your own favorites but if you don’t, I’d like to suggest our advertisers which offer firearms and accessories.

17 Responses to “AAFES Stops Selling 10+ Capacity Firearm Magazines, Customers Complain, AAFES Reverses Decision”

  1. Stefan S. says:

    Gotta love knee-jerk reactions to inanimate objects.

  2. Chase S. says:

    Despite reversing their decision I won’t shop at AAFES again including the food court. I haven’t shopped at Dicks since they decided to stop carrying ARs after Sandy Hook. As you put it in your article, they have shown their true colors and only backed down because of pressure, not because their values align with ours.

  3. Ryan says:

    AAFES only reluctantly sells firearms anyways. From personal experience AAFES discourages customers the purchase firearms. Usually through a few practices.

    1) Any ol’ employee works the counter. The same dependent who can’t tell you anything about an LED TV will stare confusedly at you if you inquire about a firearm.

    2) They add a preponderance of additional hoops to the purchase process. Some AAFES require additional in-house documents to be signed that are not legally required. Some bases require you to be escorted out of the store and off base by Security Forces after the sale because firearms aren’t allowed on base….

    3) I’ve personally had AAFES call me weeks later to return in order to correct a “typo” on forms well after the sale is completed.

    The only positive aspect of AAFES ignorance is that sometimes you get lucky and they have NO IDEA what they’re selling you. I’ve bought several guns from them for HUNDREDS less than the going rate.

    • John says:

      Plus they price match locally which the tax savings can save you quite a bit. They also have regular ammo sales which with the tax savings and the paying the shipping you save more plus since ammo is more plentiful now they will sell you bulk from back and give you a deal on it. But there are lots of catches and pain in the ass but if you like money and have patience there are deals to be made.

      • John says:

        In addition when pmag first came out, unless you had a family member willing to break ITARS no company would ship magazines or firearm mounts, grips, and rail covers overseas. The PX at Graf and at Kandahar were mostly always stocked up.

    • Christopher Schmidt says:

      Similar experience, here.

      + No sales tax
      + No transfer fee

      – Requirement to register firearm with Provost Marshall (done with additional form during purchase)
      – Required to be escorted to vehicle by employee, who carried gun out to my truck. Not terrible, just kind of ridiculous.

      This was at Fort Bliss. Each post seems to have it’s own way of doing things.

    • Pat says:

      AAFES is a mixed bag, on the one hand using the star card, a sale, and tax free, I got an FN SCAR 17 for under $2000. On the other hand, I have seen things like glocks sell for full MSRP despite the fact that if there is one store that should stock Blue Label guns it would be AAFES.

  4. Jon, OPT says:

    The truly sad part is AAFES is run by a GO, last I checked at least, that means the store didn’t make this decision, but an actual Active Duty Service Member did, let that sink in.

  5. Will Rodriguez says:

    AAFES has a monopoly on commercial sales on USA/USAFA facilities. This action is no surprise.

    As a former vendor I could make your head spin on the practices AAFES condones that are not supportive of the service member. Poorly policing their own staff that were corrupt and hurting both vendors and customers were the straw that broke the camel’s back.

    Take advantage when you can because they have no issue taking advantage of you.

    • Buckaroomedic says:

      Too true! I managed a store for a German vendor at the KMCC on Ramstein AB, Germany. The AAFES/KMCC management ran that place through intimidation and fear. The KMCC general manger would routinely come to the store, when I wasn’t there, and literally yell and threaten my employees. When I would ask her about this later, she would deny and make counter accusations against my employees. Could never get a straight answer from anyone in the front office either. Horrible organization to deal with at every level.

  6. Stone11C says:

    “After all rounds magically feed themselves onto clips which magically load their rounds into magazines that then magically jump into the magwell of a rifle. If we get rid of all these high capacity magazines then we’ll magically stop the bullets from magically flying around all by themselves!”

    It’s not like an actual group of people in Broward County, FL were responsible for allowing those mean little bullets, magazines, and rifle to be purchased and used by Cruz because of thier own willful ignorance, irresponsibility, or sickening allegiance to that corrupt piece of garbage Sherriff Israel. Every one of them betrayed those of us in a uniform and it’s not a bullet, magazine, or rifle’s fault!

  7. PBAR says:

    I tried to order a Steyr AUG through AAFES and was told I couldn’t because it was on a prohibited list from AAFES HQ. However, they had a Tavor in stock. The employee I dealt with said AAFES HQ had lots of similarly stupid gun policies.

    • Kris says:

      I have seen them selling G36 Pmags at Two large posts. When I asked why they sell mags for guns not available in the US the guy looed at me like I was crazy.

      • John says:

        The luftwaffe has a permanent base outside fort bliss white sands i think plus benning and Bragg regularly have bundeswehr soldiers training or taking courses.

  8. TominVA says:

    Thought this one was a yawner, but I just decided I wanted to say something:

    So what?

    Seriously, so what? If this is what the GO or whoever in charge of AFFES wants to do, or if Dick’s or whoever doesn’t want to sell ARs anymore, so what? The 2A gives me the right to keep and bear arms; it obligates no one to manufacture or sell them.

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