"Ammunition" Laws in Nevada
(NRS 202.273)

People do not need a permit or background check to purchase ammunition in Nevada. But federal and state law largely prohibits armor-piercing (a.k.a. metal-penetrating) bullets.

In this article, our Las Vegas firearms attorneys answer frequently-asked-questions about ammunition laws in Nevada. Click on a topic to jump to that section:

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1. What ammunition is legal in Las Vegas, Nevada?

All firearm ammunition is legal in Nevada with one exception. Nevada prohibits making or selling metal-penetrating bullets.1

Similarly, federal law prohibits making, importing, selling or delivering armor-piercing ammunition (with some exceptions). Armor-piercing ammunition is defined as:

  • any projectile or projectile core that may be used in a handgun and that is constructed entirely from one or a combination of tungsten alloys, steel, iron, brass, bronze, beryllium copper, or depleted uranium; or
  • a full jacketed projectile “larger than .22 caliber designed and intended for use in a handgun and whose jacket has a weight of more than 25 percent of the total weight of the projectile2

In general, any ammunition made by Winchester, Remington, Federal Premium, Hornaday, Nosler, CCI, and Speer Ammunition are lawful.

Note there is no limit to the amount of ammunition a person can buy in Nevada.

2. Do I need a background check to buy ammunition in Las Vegas, Nevada?


3. Is there a minimum age limit for buying ammunition in Las Vegas, Nevada?

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Yes. Age 18 for long gun ammunition, and age 21 for handgun ammunition.3

4. Is anyone prohibited from buying ammunition in Las Vegas, Nevada?

People may not sell or give ammunition to a person if they know this person either:

  • is under indictment for, or has been convicted of, a felony;
  • is a fugitive from justice;
  • has been adjudicated as mentally ill or has been committed to any mental health facility; or
  • is an illegal alien4

5. What are the penalties for making or selling armor-piercing ammunition in Las Vegas, Nevada?

Making or selling metal-penetrating bullets is a gross misdemeanor in Nevada, carrying up to $2,000 in fines and/or up to 364 days in jail.5

And people who possess armor-piercing bullets while carrying out drug trafficking or a violent crime face stiff penalties under federal law: 15 years to life in federal prison.6

6. How do I fight charges of selling armor-piercing ammunition in Las Vegas, Nevada?

Defenses are very fact-specific to the case. The prosecution has the burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, so the defense attorney would try to show that the government has insufficient evidence to sustain a conviction. Nevada does not mandate ammunition sellers to maintain a record of their purchases. So depending on the case, there may be no paper trail tying an ammo seller to an alleged purchaser of armor-piercing bullets.

7. When can I get a record seal for a conviction of selling armor-piercing ammunition in Las Vegas, Nevada?

Nevada convictions for selling or making metal-penetrating bullets may be sealed two (2) years after the case ends. Federal convictions involving armor-piercing bullets may not be sealed in most cases.7

8. Can I get deported for wrongfully having ammunition in Las Vegas, Nevada?

Possibly, if the crime the non-citizen is accused of is an aggravated felony or other deportable offense. Learn about the criminal defense of immigrants in Nevada.

Call a Nevada criminal defense attorney...

If you have been charged with a firearm or ammunition-related offense in Nevada, call our Las Vegas criminal defense attorneys at 702-DEFENSE (702-333-3673) for a FREE consultation. We may be able to get the charge reduced or dismissed.

Also see our article on carrying concealed firearms in Nevada.

Legal References:

  1. NRS 202.273.
  2. 18 U.S.C. §§ 921(a)(17), 922(a)(7), (8); 27 C.F.R. § 478.37. 
  3. 8 U.S.C. § 922.
  4. NRS 202.362(1).
  5. NRS 202.273.
  6. 18 U.S.C. §§ 921(a)(17), 922(a)(7), (8); 27 C.F.R. § 478.37. 
  7. NRS 179.245.





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