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License to Sell Ammunition

Illinois does not require ammunition sellers to obtain a license or maintain records of ammunition purchasers.

License to Purchase/Possess Ammunition

Illinois generally requires residents to obtain a Firearm Owner’s Identification (“FOID”) card before they can lawfully purchase or possess ammunition, as well as firearms.1 Sellers are generally prohibited from transferring ammunition in Illinois unless the transferee displays a valid FOID card.((430 Ill. Comp. Stat. 65/3(a).) For detailed information on the requirements for a FOID card, see Licensing of Gun Owners & Purchasers in Illinois section.

Any resident purchasing ammunition outside the state must provide the seller with a copy of his or her valid FOID card and either his or her Illinois driver’s license or Illinois State Identification card prior to the shipment of the ammunition. The ammunition may be shipped only to an address on either of those two documents.2

People Prohibited from Purchasing or Possessing Ammunition

Illinois prohibits the purchase or possession of ammunition by people who are ineligible to purchase or possess firearms under state law.3 Federal ammunition purchaser prohibitions also apply.

Minimum Age to Purchase or Possess Ammunition

Illinois generally prohibits people under the age of 21 from obtaining a FOID card, which is required to purchase or possess ammunition.4 A person under 21 must have the written consent of a parent or legal guardian to purchase ammunition.5

Safe Storage of Ammunition

Illinois generally does not require firearm owners to safely store their ammunition. However, ammunition kept or stored in child day care facilities, foster homes or similar locations must be kept in locked storage separate from firearms and inaccessible to children.6

Regulation of Unreasonably Dangerous Ammunition

Illinois prohibits the knowing manufacture, sale, purchase, possession, or carrying of any armor-piercing bullet, dragon’s breath shotgun shell, bolo shell, or flechette shell.7

Illinois also bans the knowing manufacture, sale, offer of sale, or other transfer of any bullet or shell which is represented to be an armor piercing bullet, a dragon’s breath shotgun shell, a bolo shell, or a flechette shell.8

Illinois prohibits the reckless use or discharge of an armor-piercing bullet, flechette shell, dragon’s breath shell or bolo shell.9 The state also prohibits the possession, concealed on or about the person, of an armor piercing bullet, dragon’s breath shotgun shell, bolo shell, or flechette shell.10

Illinois prohibits the sale, manufacture or acquisition and possession of exploding ammunition.11 “Explosive bullet” means the projectile portion of an ammunition cartridge which contains or carries an explosive charge which will explode upon contact with the flesh of a human or an animal. “Cartridge” means a tubular metal case having a projectile affixed at the front thereof and a cap or primer at the rear end thereof, with the propellant contained in such tube between the projectile and the cap.12

Federal law also prohibits certain kinds of armor-piercing ammunition.


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  1. 430 Ill. Comp. Stat. 65/2(a)(2).[]
  2. 430 Ill. Comp. Stat. 65/3(b-5).[]
  3. See 430 Ill. Comp. Stat. 65/2(a)(2), 430 Ill. Comp. Stat. 65/4, 430 Ill. Comp. Stat. 65/8.[]
  4. 430 Ill. Comp. Stat. 65/2(a)(2); 430 Ill. Comp. Stat. 65/4(a)(2)(i).[]
  5. 430 Ill. Comp. Stat. 65/4(a)(2). Federal age restrictions for the purchase and possession of ammunition also exist.[]
  6. 225 Ill. Comp. Stat. 10/7(a)(14).[]
  7. 720 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/24-2.1(a). “Armor piercing bullet” means any handgun bullet or handgun ammunition with projectiles or projectile cores constructed entirely (excluding the presence of traces of other substances) from tungsten alloys, steel, iron, brass, bronze, beryllium copper or depleted uranium, or fully jacketed bullets larger than 22 caliber designed and intended for use in a handgun and whose jacket has a weight of more than 25% of the total weight of the projectile, excluding those handgun projectiles whose cores are composed of soft materials such as lead or lead alloys, zinc or zinc alloys, frangible projectiles designed primarily for sporting purposes. “Dragon’s breath shotgun shell” means any shotgun shell that contains exothermic pyrophoric mesh metal as the projectile and is designed for the purpose of throwing or spewing a flame or fireball to simulate a flame-thrower. “Bolo shell” means any shell that can be fired in a firearm and expels as projectiles two or more metal balls connected by solid metal wire. “Flechette shell” means any shell that can be fired in a firearm and expels two or more pieces of fin-stabilized solid metal wire or two or more solid dart-type projectiles. Id.[]
  8. 720 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/24-2.2.[]
  9. 720 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/24-3.2(a), (b).[]
  10. 720 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/24-3.2(c).[]
  11. 720 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/24-1(a)(11); 720 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/24-3.1(a)(6).[]
  12. 720 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/24-3.1(a)(6).[]