Of all the states in the country, Virginia has some of the laxest gun laws. This means that there are relatively few restrictions regarding the sale, possession, or carrying of ammunition. However, there are a few exceptions and violations may lead to criminal charges. If you have questions about the legality of your ammo, a Prince William County ammunition lawyer could clarify the legal parameters. Knowing the law ahead of time could prevent you from making a violation, but if you are facing a gun charge related to ammunition, a seasoned gun attorney in Prince William County could defend you and court and explain your legal options.
In Virginia, the knowing and intentional possession or transportation of ammunition is illegal in situations such as:
Outside of those three categories, Virginia law does not prohibit other individuals ineligible to possess firearms under state law from possessing ammunition. Virginia law also does not prohibit the sale or possession of unreasonably dangerous ammunition. As with firearm ownership in Virginia, there is no required license to purchase, possess, or privately sell ammunition.
However, federal law requires an individual to be at least 21 years of age to purchase handgun ammunition, and at least 18 years old to purchase rifle or shotgun ammunition. Federal law does not require sellers of ammunition to verify the age or criminal backgrounds of buyers. If you have been charged with illegal possession of ammo under those mandated ages in Prince William County, an ammunition lawyer could explain the criminal justice process and build a strong defense.
While Virginia statute does not forbid the possession of nearly any type of ammunition, there are certain federal laws that restrict the ammo an individual can keep, and it is illegal to use “restricted firearm ammunition” while committing or attempting to commit a crime. Types of restricted ammunition include:
Notable exceptions to these restrictions are shotgun shells and shot, and solid plastic or rubber bullets commonly used in non-lethal self-defense. Using any one of these restricted types of ammunition could be an enhancing factor during sentencing.
Outside of Virginia law, federal law prohibits the manufacture, importation, sale, or delivery of armor-piercing ammunition with very limited exceptions. Armor-piercing ammunition sometimes referred to as metal-piercing ammunition, are cartridges designed to penetrate metal or armor, including the body armor commonly worn by police officers in Prince William County. Ammunition lawyers could explain not only local firearms ordinances but federal statute as well.
Under federal law, 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. Armor-piercing ammunition is essentially a handgun round larger than .22 caliber whose jacket weighs more than 25 percent of the whole bullet.
Just like the sale and distribution of firearms, the sale and distribution of ammunition in Virginia is largely unregulated, and almost never recorded. As such, it is difficult for law enforcement in PWC to track ammunition sale and distribution if it is not done at an established commercial dealer that keeps purchase receipts, inventories, and is willing to hand that information over. In Virginia, your second amendment rights are taken very seriously, as is your fourth amendment right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure.
If you have been charged with violating an ammo law, a Prince William County ammunition lawyer may be the ally you need to ensure that you were charged lawfully and to build a defense. Call today to schedule a consultation for your case.
Patrick Woolley Attorney At Law