Traveling with Ammunition in DC

DC regulates transporting ammunition similarly to how they regulate individuals traveling with firearms. The police strictly enforce these laws when gun holders move ammunition within DC, as well as when they transport ammo across the district’s borders into Maryland and Virginia.

These laws can be complex, and therefore, novice gun owners may wish to speak with a legal representative to learn more about traveling with ammunition in DC to try to avoid an infraction. If a violation has already been committed, however, a well-versed attorney could help to explain your rights and guide you through the ensuing legal process.

Penalties for Unlawfully Traveling with Ammo

If law enforcement catches someone illegally transporting ammunition in DC, they may charge them with this offense, in addition to an unlawful possession of munitions charge. Unlawfully traveling with ammunition can negatively impact both a court sentence and a deal sentence if someone is caught committing this crime—in addition to facing a maximum penalty of one year in jail and a $1,000 fine.

An accused individual may also face a period of probation that could place restrictions on their ability to travel to work and other places outside of their home. A firearm owner also may lose their gun license and their permit to possess ammunition for any guns they may own. Overall, a conviction can have various consequences in different areas of a person’s life.

Situations of Legally Transporting Munition

A licensed gun owner may have ammunition and can travel with it legally under certain conditions. The first thing a person should do to ensure they are legally able to travel with ammunition is make sure that they can lawfully possess it. A gun license does not give somebody free rein to possess any type of ammunition they want. Therefore, a person should ensure that the ammunition they are traveling with is for their registered firearm.

When someone wants to travel with their gun and ammunition in DC, it should be locked in a separate container and stored in the trunk or any other place that is not within reach of the driver. For instance, law enforcement may not allow people to store their ammo in the glove compartment or the center console when they are traveling with it. As long as a gun holder follows these conditions and their ammunition is registered, it is lawful to transport that ammunition.

Another lawful way to transport ammo would be similar to someone traveling through DC with a firearm. Someone traveling through the District without stopping —and with properly stored and secured ammunition—is not in violation of ammunitions laws, even if the ammunition is not registered in DC. However, if this person stopped inside of DC voluntarily, they are subject to local laws, and if that ammunition is not registered, they are in violation of these law.

Can Someone Travel with Ammunition Without Receiving Legal Permission to Do So?

The main way to travel with ammunition without receiving legal permission to do so is by only passing through DC, as mentioned above. If the ammunition is properly stored and secured and the person does not stop, they can pass through DC without getting affirmative legal permission to do so. Furthermore, if a person is unaware that there is ammunition in their vehicle, it is not illegal to travel with it.

This is because a person must knowingly transport ammunition to violate the law. This knowledge can often be subjective, and the evidence for knowledge can be circumstantial. Therefore, whether knowledge can be proven or not may sometimes come down to a dispute adjudicated by a judge. For example, if there is a single bullet casing in the back of a pickup truck that has a lot of other material in it, it is reasonable that a person may not have been aware that that ammunition was sitting in the back of their vehicle as they traveled.

Contact an Attorney to Learn More About Transporting Ammunition in DC

If you have been charged with unlawfully traveling with ammunition in DC, you should contact a lawyer immediately. The consequences may be severe, and you could risk losing your ability to own a firearm. To get started on your case, call today.