Persons Prohibited from Purchasing/Possessing Ammunition
In 2019, New Jersey amended the law prohibiting certain categories of individuals from purchasing, owning, possessing or controlling firearms to also include ammunition. For a list of individuals prohibited from purchasing or possessing firearms and ammunition in New Jersey, see Prohibited Purchasers Generally in New Jersey.
In order to sell, transfer, purchase or otherwise acquire any handgun ammunition in New Jersey, the transferee must be a licensed gun dealer, wholesaler or manufacturer, or possess a Firearms Purchaser Identification Card, a permit to purchase a handgun, or a permit to carry a handgun.1
Handgun ammunition may be transferred for lawful use in certain narrow circumstances.2 In addition, the sale of a “de minimis” amount of handgun ammunition for immediate use at a firearm range is permitted if the range is operated by a: 1) licensed firearms dealer; 2) law enforcement agency; 3) legally recognized military organization; or 4) rifle or pistol club which has filed a copy of its charter with the Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police.3
Ammunition Seller Record-keeping
Retail sellers of firearm ammunition are required to maintain a permanent record of ammunition acquisition and disposition.4 Acquisition records must be kept at the business location and record the name of the manufacturer, the type, caliber or gauge, quantity of the ammunition acquired, the date of each acquisition and person from whom the ammunition was acquired. Disposition records must be in bound form and contain the date of the transaction, name of manufacturer, caliber or gauge, quantity of ammunition sold, name, address and date of birth of purchaser, and identification used to establish the identity of the purchaser. Sellers must record sales or other dispositions of handgun ammunition and ammunition that may be interchangeable between rifles and handguns, as well as hollow-nosed or dum-dum ammunition.5
In 2022, New Jersey created new record keeping and reporting requirements for handgun ammunition dealers and manufacturers. As of February 1, 2023, every manufacturer, and wholesale and retail dealer, of handgun ammunition must keep a detailed record of all handgun ammunition sold. The record must be in electronic form and contain the date of the transaction; the type, caliber, or gauge of the ammunition; the quantity of ammunition sold; the name and address of the purchaser; and any other information the Superintendent of State Police shall deem necessary. The records shall be available for inspection at all reasonable times by any law enforcement officer. Manufacturers and dealers must create a system of maintaining electronic records by February 1, 2024.6 The Superintendent must create a program to electronically report handgun ammunition sales and transfers and a searchable database for use by law enforcement.7
Additionally, retail dealers of handgun ammunition must make the required records available at all reasonable hours for inspection by any law enforcement officer, and electronically reported to the Superintendent.8 Until the electronic reporting system is established, retail dealers must require handgun ammunition purchasers to sign a registry with the required information.9 Retail dealers must immediately report to the State Police the sale or transfer of 2,000 or more rounds of ammunition.10 Purchasers must present government-issued photo identification to purchase handgun ammunition.11
Minimum Age to Purchase/Possess
New Jersey prohibits any person from selling, giving, transferring, assigning or otherwise disposing of handgun ammunition to a person under age 21.12
Regulation of Unreasonably Dangerous Ammunition
New Jersey generally prohibits any person from knowingly possessing, manufacturing, transporting, shipping, selling, or disposing armor piercing ammunition.13
New Jersey also prohibits the knowing possession of any hollow nose or dum-dum bullet.14 Hollow nose and dum-dum are terms associated with bullets designed to expand on impact. These terms are not specifically defined under New Jersey law.
The federal prohibition on certain kinds of armor-piercing ammunition also applies.
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- N.J. Stat. Ann. § 2C:58-3.3b.
- Pursuant to N.J. Stat. Ann. § 2C:58-3.3f, ammunition may be transferred for use in a lawfully transferred firearm for: 1) temporary transfers for use at firing ranges under the direct supervision of the lawful owner of the firearm or a dealer or instructor (N.J. Stat. Ann. § 2C:58-3.1); 2) temporary transfers of a firearm for training purposes only (N.J. Stat. Ann. § 2C:58-3.2); or 3) limited exceptions to the ban on possession of firearms by minors (N.J. Stat. Ann. § 2C:58-6.1).
- N.J. Stat. Ann. § 2C:58-3.3g.
- N.J. Admin. Code § 13:54-3.14(b).
- N.J. Stat. Ann. § 2C:58-1(1)(e).
- N.J. Stat. Ann. § 2C:58-3.3.
- N.J. Stat. Ann. § 2C:58-2(b)(2).
- Id. at (c).
- N.J. Stat. Ann. § 2C:58-2(b)(3).
- N.J. Stat. Ann. § 2C:58-3.3.
- N.J. Stat. Ann. § 2C:58-3.3c.
- Amor piercing ammunition is defined as (1) a projectile or projectile core which may be used in a handgun and is constructed entirely, excluding the presence of traces of other substances, from one or a combination of tungsten alloys, steel, iron, brass, bronze, beryllium copper, or depleted uranium; or (2) 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. Armor piercing ammunition shall not include shotgun shot required by federal or State environmental or game regulations for hunting purposes, a frangible projectile designed for target shooting, a projectile which the United States Attorney General finds is primarily intended to be used for sporting purposes, or any other projectile or projectile core which the United States Attorney General finds is intended to be used for industrial purposes, including a charge used in an oil gas well perforating device.N.J. Stat. Ann. § N.J.S.2C:39-1(gg); N.J. Stat. Ann. §§2C:39-3(f), C:39-9f(1). See also N.J. Admin. Code § 13:54-3.14(d), which prohibits any person from selling, giving, transferring, assigning or otherwise disposing of “body armor penetrating bullets” to persons other than certain federally-licensed collectors of firearms and ammunition, the Armed Forces of the United States or the National Guard, law enforcement agencies and licensed firearms dealers.
- N.J. Stat. Ann. § 2C:39-3f.