Can I Legally Purchase Ammunition from My Friend?

Ammunition is needed for regular firearms practice and to be prepared for those “just in case” moments. As you go through the process of buying the ammo you need, you may be inclined to buy it from a friend instead of going to the trouble of trying to find it yourself—especially given the ammo shortage that’s common today. As for whether or not you can legally do this, the firearms experts from Gun Safety Training Pros, the professionals to turn to if you’re interested in taking a firearms safety course, explore this topic below.

Know What Federal Law Says

According to, many federal firearms laws don’t apply specifically to ammunition. However, if you’re federally prohibited from owning or using firearms, which may be the case if you’ve been convicted of certain crimes, it’s generally not advised that you purchase ammo from a friend, since you wouldn’t be able to legally use it.

Know Your State’s Ammo Transfer Guidelines

Limitations or restrictions on ammunition transfer, which may apply to purchases from a friend, vary by state. Generally, it’s not legal to buy ammo from a friend if you’re underage or not able to be a legal gun owner according to federal or state laws. You’ll also need to be mindful of state-specific laws that apply to ammunition transfer before making this type of purchase from a friend. In California, for example, you’ll need to complete the transfer of ammo in person while using a licensed ammunition vendor.

Avoid Buying “Dangerous Ammo” from a Friend

It’s generally not legal to buy ammunition from a friend if it can be classified as “dangerous ammo.” For instance, Texas is one of several states that prohibit the sale of or knowing possession of armor-piercing ammunition. This is typically any type of ammo, usually for handguns like revolvers or pistols, that’s designed to penetrate body armor.

Be Cautious with Skirting State Ammo Requirements

Some states, such as Connecticut and Illinois, require an ammo license to purchase ammunition legally. There are also states, such as Arizona and Delaware, that require ammo applications for the purchase of ammo for all firearms, while others limit this requirement to handguns only. States such as Alaska, Arkansas, Georgia, Montana, and Nebraska, on the other hand, have no specific ammunition limitations or requirements that apply to purchases. It’s sort of a legal gray area as to whether or not you can get around ammo-related purchase requirements if you’re buying ammo from a friend, which brings us to our next piece of advice.

Get Input from a Lawyer or Firearms Expert

Err on the side of caution if you’re really not sure whether purchasing ammo from a friend may present some legal issues for you or your friend. Do this by either consulting with an attorney or a local firearms expert in your state before buying ammo from a friend. It’s especially important to do this if you plan to obtain your ammo this way on a regular basis. 

Part of being a responsible gun owner is knowing the laws governing how to buy, handle, and store your ammo. If you’d like to learn more about how to be a responsible firearm owner, call on the experts at Gun Safety Training Pros. We’re committed to providing the finest firearms training available. If you’re looking for a high-quality gun safety class online, we have everything you need. Contact us today at [email protected].

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