In a nationwide move, Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT) has instituted a new policy limiting ammunition sales in-store.

The retailer began limiting ammunition sales to customers on Thursday, Jan. 24. Specifically, the company is limiting sales to three boxes of ammunition (a standard "box" of 9-mm handgun ammunition will contain 50 rounds) per customer, per day.

According to a company spokeswoman, Wal-Mart is responding to supply constraints in the industry. In order to ensure fairness to its customers, the company is limiting sales to ensure that all customers can buy at least some.

The company spokeswoman declined to comment on the cause of the supply problems, or to name which specific suppliers have been affected by it. In America, the major publicly traded companies producing commercial ammunition are Olin Corp and Alliant Techsystems. Olin Corp reported strong earnings, exceeding estimates, earlier this week. Alliant reports Feb. 5.

The spokeswoman said the retailer is "monitoring" the supply situation and, if the situation changes, its policy may change.


Fool contributor Rich Smith has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.