In the wake of Columbine; Are K-Mart still selling those bullets?

We saw Bowling for Columbine in film class yesterday, and in a pretty impressive scene they convince K-Mart to stop selling handgun bullets within 90 days, out of sympathy for the two boys who were shot during the massacre. To me it almost seemed to good to be true. There HAD to be a catch.

So… Do they still sell handgun bullets in K-Mart?
Anyone working there? Any cites?

      • I live right in the middle of the lower 48 states, and the few KMarts left in my area don’t sell sporting goods like firearms, or anything to do with them, at all. That could be for a few different reasons though:
  1. About ten years ago, KMarts sold just about everything, except they carried merchandise that was slightly downmarket (slightly lower quality and cheaper) of Wal-Mart. KMarts did sell rifles, shotguns and ammunition I do remember that, but I don’t think they carried handguns at all. Then they suffered during an economic downturn, and many of the stores were sold off/closed and consolidated–locally there were three huge stores, but now there is just one, it is set near a large urban depressed area and its selection is far smaller. It mostly sells inexpensive clothing and housewares–I went in looking for .22LR ammunition just a couple weeks ago, and they had no sporting/hunting/fishing goods at all, and hardly anything in the way of team/athletic sports either. The off-Christmas season toy department was only a couple of aisles of inexpensive small toys and two rows of kids bicycles, and the rest of the store was clothes and housewares. Contrast this with Wal-Mart that maintains 8-10 rows of toys/athletic sporting goods, year round–and even more during the Christmas season. (-in case you were wondering, most Wal-Marts do sell rifles, shotguns and rifle/shotgun/pistol ammo, and can order from a small selection of popular handgun models/brands if you want one–but normally don’t keep any handguns in stock)
  2. But K-Marts in other states might be different, because my state is not a good one to be liking firearms in. If New York is rated 1 for encouraging gun ownership, and Texas is rated 10, then Illinois is about a 3. Illinois doesn’t allow rifle or handgun hunting at all, and doesn’t allow anything that federal permits are required for, such as fully-automatic firearms or silencers. So I don’t know what the K-Marts in Texas sell, but they might carry firearm goods there.
  3. Even if they did, they might have stopped carrying those particular bullets for other reasons. Politics and uninformed hysteria can do funny things to store selection: a few years back, there was a brand of bullet introduced named “Black Talon”. It’s unique features were that A) when used on soft targets, the jacket would peel back like a flower and form these nasty-looking hooks, and B), it was aggressively marketed. Due to outcry caused mainly by doctor and police organizations, most places soon halted sales of “Black Talon”… -which might seem to be a generally good thing, one would suppose. Except that there was another brand of bullets we will call “brand X”, which had long held the rating as doing far more damage in testing than Black Talons did–which, for their nasty-hook-appearance, were really just ordinary hollowpoint pistol bullets. Many of the businesses that halted selling “Black Talon” ammo sold "brand X"ammo, and continue to sell it to this day, and it is still rated as doing the most damage to soft targets than any other bullet type.
      • Now that I think of it though, K-Mart own the Sports Authority chain of stores, that do sell sporting goods of all types, including rifles, shotguns and ammo, even in my area, , , -and they did sell handguns for a while, but seem to have stopped keeping any in stock. So perhaps K-Mart simply spun off their sporting goods separtment as a newer, more-upmarket store. (the stuff you’ll find in a Sports Authority is nicer than what you’ll find in a K-Mart…)

Boy, you dopers sure are fast. :slight_smile:

Come to think of it, I’m not 100% sure I actually meant K-Mart… Not being an American, I probably wouldn’t notice the difference between K and Wal as easily, and it might well have been Wal-Mart. In which case, all of this sounds a tad suspicious. I’ll have to come back to this. Thanks a lot for taking your time to inform me on the subject though, DougC.


Remember that we live in a capitalist society. If K-Mart does not sell something it does not constitute a ban; someone else will be selling it, probably in the same town. A 90 day ban on handgun bullets would be amazingly inconvenient, as you would have to order your bullets 90 days before your own supply ran out.

I wasn’t aware K-Mart or Wal-Mart sold bullets.

Are you talking about cartridges per chance?

I’ve bought bullets many times at K-Mart, in Joisey nonetheless. .22, .357, 12ga.

I do recall the movie having Moore and the boys asking K-Mart to stop selling bullets. They sold the kinds of bullets that at least one of the students still had lodged in his body, and I believe that Harris and Klebold picked them up from K-Mart.

One of the students then went to a local K-Mart and bought up all their stock of ammo. Upon their return, a spokesman (spokesperson?) emerged from their HQ to announce, IIRC, that within 90 days, K-Mart would stop selling ammo in all of its stores.

However, living in Canada, I can’t independently confirm any of this. Anyone able to stop by a K-Mart in their area in the next couple of days and find out if they have bullets for sale?

My word exactly. Thanks for making my question clearer.

I think Crafter_Man was making the point that the bullet is the part that actually is the projectile, while the cartridge is the bullet sitting at the end of a metal case with a charge of gunpowder in it. K-mart prolly never sold just the bullets by themselves, but sold the whole ready-to-use cartridges. Does anyone buy separate bullets? I know reloaders who make their own shotgun shells.

Yep, in both 9mm and .45 ACP, though I haven’t reloaded for a while now. I have a single stage press, and it is mind-numbingly slow.


I just bought .40cal handgun bullets at the Walmart in Greenfield WI., last Friday. It was on sale, and in fact was cheaper than I could get it wholesale with my FFL. They sold every kind of ammo for both handguns and rifles. Why would this be bad?

Of course, an important issue is the fact that for nearly every single popular handgun cartridge, there is a rifle that uses the same. Thus bans on “handgun ammunition” have very little effect.

I don’t know of any .25 or .32 rifles. But if I’m wrong, fill me in.

Replace “nearly every single” with “most” and it will be more correct. I know of rifles in .22lr, .22 magnum, .38 special/357 magnum, 9mm, .44 special/magnum, .45 Colt and .45 ACP but none in .25 or .32 ACP.

You could also include .357SIG too (I think) if you want to. I personally don’t consider .25 and .32 to be “popular”, but I guess others would.

I haven’t noticed them in K-Mart locally but our Kragen Auto parts has them right next to the front door.

Yea, that was my point. One of my little pet peeves is when someone says “bullet” when they really mean “cartridge.” Another is when someone says “clip” when they really mean “magazine.”

But no biggie. Carry on. ;j

I have bought bullets at K-Mart in Missouri. IIRC it was a box of Hornady 9MM. But it was back in the early 70’s! Don’t shop at K-Mart much anymore, but am pretty sure that they no longer sell bullets.

For what it’s worth, many many people do in fact buy separate bulllets. In .270 winchester, and in Canadian dollars, cartridges cost about $1.50 a piece, whereas components to assemble my own run about $0.35 a round, plus however fast the cases deteriorate. I’ve only shot about 300 rounds so far, so I don’t have a good estimate on average life :slight_smile:

And while I don’t know if I’ve ever seen the inside of a [K|Wal]-mart, Canadian Tire, Rona, other hardware chains all sell ammo, once you’re outside of a big city. The ones downtown tend not to. Oddly enough the Canadian Tire claims that legislation requires them to record your firearms license number, phone number, address and signature (Free shopping list for gun thieves!), whereas none of the dedicated gun stores I’ve bought ammo (.22 rimfire cannot be reloaded) from have done that…