How Much Ammo Can I Legally Own In The US?


You will most likely own some ammo if you are a gun owner. However, some might tell you have too much on hand. Well, is there a thing such as too much?

Are there laws regulating how much ammo you can own? Well, read on, and we will answer the question of how much ammo you can legally own and how to go about finding out more information about the subject.

As far as I know, there is no limit on how much you can legally own ammo in the US. Background checks for ammunition were at least required in some states, like California, where no limit was placed on how much ammunition could be purchased.

Unless someone informs the police that you are carrying too much ammunition at one time, there would be no way for the police to know. Not that they would even care.

There is no expiration date on ammunition. Keeping it carefully will extend its shelf life. Someone could keep it in their closet/gun safe for a long time without knowing it.

Truthfully, I am much more worried about a criminal with only one cartridge rather than a lawful neighbor who buys and keeps thousands of ammos.

How Much Ammo Is a Citizen Allowed to Stockpile in the US?

Feel free to take as much as you like. Although there is no limit on storage, time is a concern. To maintain a relatively stable temperature, ammunition must be stored in a dry environment.

It isn’t going to be good to buy 5.56 ammo, package it in cardboard boxes for retail sales, and store it in a non-climate-controlled warehouse for 10 to 15 years.

What’s the reason? Moisture tends to be absorbed by paper boxes. A caustic and bleaching process is used to make paper. Corrosive chemicals leave residue on cardboard and are usually corrosive.

Anywhere brass comes into contact with moisture or silverfish poop, it will rust. As proof, I have the corroded ammunition.

Silica packs are usually used to absorb moisture when bulk ammo is purchased in sealed containers and drums.

In the event of huge temperature swings, that won’t last forever either. Stockpiling ammo is legal, but make sure you store it properly, or your investment may suffer.

So, How Much Can You Own?

Well, getting right into the question of how much ammo you can legally own, we have to be honest upfront and say that it depends. Some countries have tighter restrictions than other countries.

For your particular situation, you will have to look up information based on your country. Going by the country, though, may not even give you a straight answer.

That is because if you live in a country with different regions or states, then the rules might be made up by them. This is the case in the United States. Each state has its own regulations on how much ammo you can own.

Where To Look?

For finding information, it might be hard to find it sometimes. However, you can start with an internet search to see if your state has ammo regulations posted.

In many states, there is no limit on how much ammo you can own, but for some states, there are.

The ammo rule can even go down to the county or city to make the rule. If you can’t find information on how much ammo you can own, you will have to contact your local government.

One of the best people you can contact to find out possible rules is your local fire department or fire marshal.

That is because one of the main concerns of having a lot of ammo stockpiled is being a fire hazard. So, this is why in a lot of areas, the fire marshal makes the rules.

Storage Tips

Sometimes the rules of how much ammo you can own vary based on how it is stored. This is because if you store it away safely, it is less of a fire hazard, and you can have more ammo on hand.

The best way to store your ammunition is in a locked fireproof cabinet. If a fire happens, the rounds will not go off.

Also, keeping it locked will keep other people out of it, which is important. Your guns should also be stored away in a locked and safe place.

Other Restrictions

Some areas may not have limits on how much ammo you can own, but they might have restrictions on other parts of gun rounds. For example, if you make your own rounds or reload your bullets, these restrictions might affect you.

Some areas restrict how much black powder or propellants you can have on hand. Again, this is because they can be fire hazards, and they want to keep the neighborhood safe.

If you have black powder or propellants, you will need to look into the thing and make sure that there are no laws limiting the amount of those you can own.

Again, the best place to find information is to check your state’s and city’s websites. Then contact the fire marshal or another government official for more information.

Ways Around

If your state or local area has rules on how much ammo you can own, but you don’t want to get rid of it, there are normally ways around it.

Many areas with ammo restrictions offer a license that allows you to own more ammo.

The licensing costs a little money, and sometimes they might have you take a class or make sure you are storing the ammo right, but they normally aren’t hard to get.

Once you have the license, you can own as much ammo as you want. Having an extra license for ammo is just like needing a license to own a gun in the first place.

It isn’t a big deal to get, but the extra step helps the area with a lot of ammo on hand now.


Ammo regulations vary by area, so there is no straight answer to how much ammo you can legally own. Different countries have rules, and you will have to look them up based on your country.

Sometimes this won’t give you a straight answer, and you will have to go narrower by looking at your state, county, and city laws.

Many places in the United States don’t care how much ammo you own, but you should store it safely in a locked, fireproof case. An under-bed gun safe would be a good choice.

The best way to find out if your area cares, though, is to check online and talk to your local fire marshal or another county official.

The concern for large amounts of ammo is a fire hazard, so that is why the fire marshal is good to talk to.

After reading this, you are now on your way to finding out how much ammo you can own in your area based on local laws.

You know the places to look, the steps to take, and also that you need to ask about propellants because there are different rules for them than ammo if you have them on hand.

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