Ammunition Laws in DC

The police enforce strict regulations on guns that can be difficult to follow and understand if someone is unfamiliar with these the law. The ammunition laws in DC can be just as complex as gun regulations to comprehend.

As a result, if someone wishes to purchase a firearm and munitions, they should contact a knowledgeable attorney to discuss the regulations surrounding this weapon and its ammunition. A lawyer could help to explain your rights and guide you through the legal process, should you commit an infraction.

What Types of Ammunition Can Licensed Gun Holders Buy?

A licensed firearm owner cannot simply buy any kind of munition. Instead, if someone has a license for a specific firearm, that permit includes permission to possess the ammunition for that fits in that specific firearm. This means that DC ammunition regulations prohibit this gun owner from possessing bullets for any other type of gun.

The exception to this law is if the licensed gun owner has additional authorization for other kinds of ammo, which means they may legally possess different types of bullets. For example, if someone has a license to sell ammunition, they may be authorized to possess it.

Restricted Ammo

There are certain types of ammunition that a person absolutely cannot have in DC, even if they have a registered firearm in DC. There is simply no way to have certain types lawfully in DC. With a restricted pistol bullet, for example, the core of the projectile or the core of the bullet is entirely made with tungsten, steel, iron, brass, bronze, beryllium, copper or depleted uranium, it is a dangerous bullet and cannot be lawfully possessed in DC.

Ammunition for a 50-caliber Browning machine gun rifle is specifically outlawed in DC. If a person has a fully-jacketed projectile, a bullet that is bigger than a 22 that is intended to be in a pistol and the jacket has a weight of more than 25 percent of the total weight of projectile, they cannot possess that ammunition.

There are specific types of bullets but they are pretty unique and dangerous bullets. If they have that ammunition in the District of Columbia, they could specifically be charged with a crime for possession of that ammunition if they are not aware of the restrictions.

Restrictions on the Transfer of Large Capacity Ammunition

DC ammo laws strictly prohibit any large-capacity ammunition feeding devices. Essentially, this includes magazine belts, drums, feed strips, or similar devices that can accept more than ten rounds of ammunition. Any device that has these features is illegal to possess, sell, or transfer, whether it is detached from a firearm or not.

Sale of Ammunition

Prior to 2012, the DC Code stated that the only ammunition that could lawfully be possessed was ammunition of the same gauge or caliber as a firearm registered to the person. The law has since been amended to state that a person who has a registered firearm in the District of Columbia can lawfully possess ammunition in DC (unless that ammunition is specifically outlawed, like certain dangerous pistol bullets).

Because there are no firearms dealers in DC, no one lawfully sells ammunition in DC. Law enforcement cannot track ammunition sales occurring in DC. Moreover, it may be a violation of federal law for someone to track the sale of ammunition, much the way that there is no national database tracking who has purchased illegal firearms. In any kind of public fashion, there is no tracking of the sale of ammunition. Bulk purchases of ammunition in extreme quantities could raise some flags, though, if a retailer and authorities are in communication

How Does Law Enforcement Track the Sale and Distribution of Munition?

The district has unique regulations for ammunition that help law enforcement track the selling activity of ammunition similar to firearm distributions. Similar to how the government gives a firearm dealer a license to sell firearms, they also track the types of ammunition in the dealer’s inventory, how many bullets dealers sell, what kind of ammunition customers buy, and who purchases the ammo. The police investigate illegal sales of ammunition and target people if they think they are in unlawful possession of ammunition.

Contact an Attorney to Learn About Ammunition Regulations in DC

A person who owns a firearm should know that the law heavily regulates ammunition in the same way that firearms are regulated. Not only do gun owners need a license or authorization for possessing ammunition, but the ammo they possess must also be specific to their registered weapon, even if they are in complete compliance with the law. Therefore, any firearm owner should be aware of the ammunition that they wish to possess and the specific regulations surrounding it.

Because guns and their bullets have the potential to cause fatalities, lawmakers create extremely restrictive regulations surrounding their ownership and use. However, these laws also can be confusing for new gun owners to follow. If you are thinking of purchasing a firearm and ammunition, you should speak with an experienced attorney to learn more about ammunition laws in DC. Legal counsel can explain the specifics of what types of ammo the law permits you to own and how much you may have at one time. Contact an attorney today.