State ammunition restrictions?

Is there a comprehensive listing of which US states have restrictions on what kind of ammunition one can posess? I know Kalifornia prohibits Tracer and Incendiary cartridges, but who else?

I once had a collector in Kalifornia try to tell me that collectors could posess limited quantities of Tracer and Incendiary so I would ship him cartridges.

Who bears the responsibility of knowing what is legal in the transaction, the buyer or seller?


I’m not an attorney, but I beleive it is a simple tenet of law that “ignorance is no excuse.” That would make both parties responsible for violations of a law involving the transfer of “contraband.” that doesn’t mean that in the case of police intervention, that both parties would be charged. that would, I assume, be subject to a review of all the circumstances. If both parties were in California, with the transfer taking place in California, both would be charged unless there was excusable ignorance (like a little old lady widow giving away an illegal war souvenir item brought home by here husband. I don’t think that even in a state like California, such a party would be charged in that no one could expect her to know the laws on ammunition - however, the person receiving the ammo, if a person who should know, like a dealer or arms collector, would probably be charged.

Of course, not a simple question to answer, I suppose even for an attorney. I have some background in firearms law as we had to be aware of the laws as professional dealers, but again, I am surely no attorney, and do not have an attornies background in legal interpretation.

I can’t speak for other states - have never lived anywhere but California and Alaska, and at the time I was in Alaska, it was a Territory, not a State.

Probably the only readily available reference (short of doing an on line search of the applicalbe state’s laws looking for the subject) is “ATF Publication 5300.5 ATF State Laws and PUblished Ordinances-Firearms: 2006- 27th Edition” revised in September 2007.

It is organized by state, and Kalifornia only takes up 74 pages. Of course, you are also subject to any silliness their hyperactive legislators have passed since 2006.

This is 468 pages of guaranteed insomnia cure.

Naturally, all this is written in legal mumbo-jumbo, referencing various other sections which reference other sections (which may or may not be included in the ATF publication.)

Massachusetts also has a quaint quirk, insisting that their laws require anyone selling ammo to a Massachusetts resident have a Mass. Ammo Dealer license, even if you live many states away. Sounds silly, but they prosecuted a number of dealers, and collected huge fines. Would they do that to someone who sells a handful of collector cartridges? I don’t want to find out.

Remember all of this when you vote in the next election!

NRA carries info by state as well, firearms as well as ammo, magazines, etc. on their website

I have just about finished a reference book which outlines all of the 50 states’ individual statutes and restrictions on pistol caliber armor piercing ammunition, as well as tracers, incendiaries, exploders, and specialty shotgun shells. It’s about 100 pages, and it is full of photos, descriptions, interpretations, and exact copies of the state laws with the state statute numbers. Also has all of the various federal laws pertaining to the same types of ammo. This guide is something I sort of made for myself and possibly a few interested collectors, and I don’t plan to try to sell it for profit or anything. I can send you one now (90% finished), Or I can send you one in a month when I’ll be totally finished. Is there a specific law or state you were wondering on? I for one never knew that there were so many states with so many odd interpretations of Teflon before undertaking this project…

I’d be interested in a final copy. My interest in the various state laws stems from buying and selling cartridges via online auctions. I’ve had several instances in the past where the potential buyer was in a state that prohibits specific ammunition types. I just want to have a better understanding of the various state regulations to prevent problems from occuring in the future, and to possible explain to the buyer why he cannot purchase certain cartridges.