Iowa law does not:
- Prohibit individuals ineligible to possess firearms under state law from possessing ammunition;
- Require a license for the purchase or possession of ammunition; or
- Require a license to sell ammunition.
Minimum Age to Purchase/Possess Ammunition
Iowa prohibits any person from selling or otherwise transferring handgun ammunition to a person under age 21.1 However, a parent or guardian or spouse who is age 21 or older may allow a minor of any age to possess handgun ammunition for any lawful purpose while under the “direct supervision” of the parent, guardian or spouse, or while the person receives instruction in the proper use of a handgun from an instructor age 21 or older, with the consent of the parent, guardian or spouse.2
Iowa also generally prohibits any person from selling rifle or shotgun ammunition to a person under age 18.3 A parent or guardian over age 18, or another with the express consent of the minor’s parent or guardian, may allow a minor to possess rifle or shotgun ammunition.4 See the Iowa Minimum Age to Purchase/Possess section for further information.
Regulation of Unreasonably Dangerous Ammunition
Iowa generally prohibits any person from knowingly possessing any bullet or projectile containing any chemical compound or mixture designed to explode or detonate upon impact.5
Iowa generally prohibits the possession of any shotgun shell or cartridge containing “exothermic pyrophoric misch” metal as a projectile, which is designed to throw or project a flame or fireball to simulate a flamethrower.6
The federal prohibition on certain kinds of armor-piercing ammunition also applies.
See our Ammunition Regulation policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.
- Iowa Code § 724.22(2).
- Iowa Code § 724.22(5). “Direct supervision” is defined to mean “physical presence near the supervised person” by a parent, guardian, spouse or a firearms instructor over age 21, when the supervising individual “maintains visual and verbal contact at all times with the supervised person” and is not intoxicated or under the influence of an illegal drug. Id.
- Iowa Code § 724.22(1).
- Iowa Code § 724.22(3).
- Iowa Code §§ 724.1(7), 724.3.