"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 projectile[2]

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?

No.

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 alien[4]

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 maybe 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.

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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.

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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