Be Careful where you ship ammo in the US

Like most of you, I ship ammo UPS ground to other collectors in the US. If I don’t know them well, I ask for an ID showing they are 21 or over and a email or letter stating that they can legally own ammo (not a convicted felon, etc). Both are legal requirements and you can get in trouble with the Feds if you ship to minors or convicted felons.

I know that some States like Massachusetts have outlawed having ammo shipped in (only allowed to Massachusetts dealers), but didn’t have a list of the restrictions.

Just found the following in an ad on Gun Broker and think it is good advise. Sounds like this guy did his homework.

No sales to the following California Cities: Los Angeles , Oakland , Sacramento and San Francisco Sorry - No sales to AK, HI, MA, NYC, Montgomery County Maryland or Washington DC . Illinois buyers must provide a FOID in addition to a Driver’s License for ammo.


I’ve also noticed that if I buy ammo from many places in NY they usually ask for a photo ID and a signed statement. I have one all made up ready to e-mail to them. I don’t know why, and I don’t ask.

I wonder why AK is on that guy’s list?

Has anyone ever gotten a clear opinion re: shipping to and from Canada? I still don’t do it but have never learned what the regulations are, exactly.


Is “AK” Alaska? Then, does this mean one can’t ship ammo to Alaska, where there is no pistol permit for conceled carry?

Ray, the only restriction in NY is if ammo is exclusively for pistols, like 25ACP, then one needs to show a pistol permit. If ammo is used in rifles too, like 9mm, then don’t need to show anything.

The reason why you can’t ship to Alaska is that the package would have to go by air. Ammunition is restricted to ground transport only.


That makes sense, although I heard that Anchorage, Fairbanks, and other Interior towns on the road system will soon be getting UPS Ground.


I don’t doubt what you said about NY regulations. I have a feeling that they are very gun shy (pardon the pun) and don’t want to take any chance. I know some shooters who will not deal with anyone in CA simply because they are afraid they MAY be breaking some ridiculous local law that no one knows about.


Just a little piece of information regarding asking for a declaration of age when shipping ammunition.
In Britain it is not legal to sell ammunition except face to face. However, it is still legal to sell air pellets by mail order provided that the buyer is over 18. So dealers have always asked for a declaration that the buyer is over 18.

However, some faceless official has now come up with the idea that a simple declaration does not go far enough to constitute legal verification of age. Basically what they are saying is it could just be a kid who is lying.

Now the law in Britain places the onus of verification on the seller, the same as with cigarettes and alcohol. So if the dealer sells it even to a person over 18 he has not complied with the verification requirement and so could lose his licence.

Now the British airgun world is in a state of paralysis, its a Catch-22 situation. Air pellets are virtually all sold by speciailst dealers mail order because its a very technical subject now and the old hardware stores that used to keep them have gone.

This is a classic example of what I call creeping legislation. the law has not changed but some anti gun creep (on a mission to save the World) has found another way to toss a spanner in the works and make life impossible for law abiding dealers and buyers.

Coming to a State near you soon no doubt.

Guy is right, I don’t think there is anyone who provides air transport to Alaska and there is no UPS ground from the states so no easy way to get it there. I have traded with a guy in Alaska and he had me ship the stuff to his daughter in Washington who he visits each year. He also carries his trades down and sends them UPS from Washington.

I get the requirement for proof of age and sometimes a statement from most of the dealers I buy from (Midway, Cheapethandirt, AmmotoGo, etc). That is to satisfy the federal requirement, not a NY state requirement.



Living in Alaska I can tell you the problem, for most of the state the only UPS is second day air and they do not carry ammunition. Post office does not carry live ammunition, the only way up here for most of the out side of the road system is by barrage which can be a problem unless you know how to work it. I do, but if I mess up and get a duplicate I am stuck with it. If you have extra let me know and I can get it here LOL. Vic

A very interesting Can 'O Worms you’ve opened up Lew!

For us U.S. residents, the Federal law Lew is referring to fall’s under Title 18 of United States Code (USC) 922.

I haven’t had a chance to really read and analyze the law. At first glance, I personally don’t see where the laws can be enforced against individuals who sell cartridges to othe individuals, whether in person or via common carrier (“mail”, so to speak). If we were to strictly follow the Federal laws, then everyone who has given or sold a single cartridge to another individual would have broken the law and risked being prosecuted federally.

As an example, how many people have asked any individual cartridge collector/buyer in person if they were: a convicted felon, addict of drugs, ajudicated mentally insane, an illegal alien, been dishonorably discharged from any military service, renounced his/her citizenship to the U.S., are a restrained person on a domestic violence restraining order or misc court order involving violence, and a few other restrictions? Probably no one. How would anyone “know” or have “reasonable cause to believe” that anyone that they’ve traded/sold cartridges to may fall under one or more of the above listed prohibited persons? If the Feds wanted to enforce Title 18 USC 922, I seriously doubt that any ammo sales at gun/cartridge shows would even take place if said law were to be enforced upon individuals.

Anyway, anyone interested in taking a crack at trying to interpret the law can check here:

I’m sure there’ll be more discussion about the law, and I’m looking forward to hearing other’s opinions, as this is clearly an important topic for all of us collectors, sellers and traders.


Your average US citizen probably breaks one or more Federal laws and/or regulations each and every day. Throw in the State and local laws and ordinances and we are all really baaad.

Many rules are made, not to be enforced, but to intimidate. Many are written as a way for law enforcement to have a fall back position when they can’t pin the big stuff on criminals. I think the Canadian Post regulations regarding inert munitions are one such example.

If we agonize over such things we would never get out of bed in the morning.



This is so depressing I think I’ll go take a nap… Nooner as we used to call them, afloat.

Ray’s comments made me think of an Ayn Rand quote some crazy guy has attached to his posts at BOCN. “…When there aren’t enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for man to live without breaking laws.”

Our hobbies have probably more regulations and laws involved than most I can think of. I try very hard to understand the laws and follow them, but I’ll never live long enough to completely absorb the entire U.S. Code not to mention the State and Local stuff. Ignorance of the law may not be a legitimate excuse for being in violation thereof, but it sure is a likely reason…


Our hobbies have probably more regulations and laws involved than most I can think of. I try very hard to understand the laws and follow them, but I’ll never live long enough to completely absorb the entire U.S. Code not to mention the State and Local stuff. Ignorance of the law may not be a legitimate excuse for being in violation thereof, but it sure is a likely reason…

I sometimes envy those who collect something such as pottery, sports memorobilia etc. It must be nice to be able to collect soemthing that does not have any regulations attached to ownership / purchase / storage / postage etc. The fear of guns and therefore cartridges is also a problem that this hobby has that many others do not.

In light of the “expansion” of my SAA collecting, I’m confident I’ll have lots of ‘splainin’ to do in the if and when. As a defense against ignorance, I have troubled myself with labeling items to the extreme, making obvious note to the lack ef energetic materials contained within items of potential interest. The untrained enforcers can only assume the worst until proven otherwise. Best to advise on the front end and clarify the safety/inertness of collected items. While we’re generally free to collect whatever, there are those out there looking for a headline, which can prove detrimental to us all regardless of areas of interest.


HEY!! I resemble that statement! :-)

And worst case, if this area of collecting starts to become too much of a hassle, I cans always fall back on what Ray hooked me up with. Thanks Ray.


I’m sure I don’t know what you mean. I was refering to the Barn Owl Conservation Network site…Who?Who?





I think I’m sorry I started this thread. It may be a pain now, but some of us remember the old days before UPS when the only way to ship ammo was by Railway express at a pretty steep cost and not very reliable delivery. The really old guys on the Forum will remember the story of Pete Bigler (a great guy and old time dealer, and painter by trade) who use to, on occasion, fill old paint cans with carefully wrapped ammo and mail them—and the time one postman was throwing one of Pete’s cans across a mailroom when it hit the floor, the top came off and little cartridges rolled all over the mailroom floor. Great excitement in many quarters over that!!!

Overseas trades were, I’m told, done by wrapping two or three cartridges inside an old newspaper and mailing it surface, bulk rate across the ocean. No more surface overseas mail and almost no newspapers now!!!

Guess we will all adapt as best we can.



No need to be sorry for starting this thread. Case in point, your story of past hassles reflects the changes and highlights the details we need to be alert to when shipments are made.

I will apologize for participating in the “off topic” discussion, stealing it, as it were.

Back on theme, the verities of shipping are of high concern to a number of us, and any clarifications on shipping will save potential embarrassment or fines. A great thread, even the silly parts.