Prohibited Persons

Under Maryland law, a person may not possess ammunition if that person is prohibited from possessing a regulated firearm under Maryland’s Public Safety laws.1 “Ammunition” for these purposes means a cartridge, shell, or any other device containing explosive or incendiary material designed and intended for use in a firearm.2 See the Prohibited Purchasers Generally in Maryland section for details on circumstances that prohibit a person from possessing a regulated firearm.

Loading Ammunition

Maryland requires any person engaged in the business of “loading or reloading small arms ammunition” to obtain a license.3 A license is also required for possession or storage of quantities over five pounds of: 1) “smokeless powder for the loading or reloading of small arms ammunition;” or 2) “black powder for the loading or reloading of small arms ammunition.”4 Exceptions are included for persons who handle smaller quantities of smokeless or black powder for personal use so long as the powder is stored in the original shipping containers.5 Maryland does not regulate the sale or possession of other kinds of unreasonably dangerous ammunition, although the federal prohibition on certain kinds of armor-piercing ammunition applies.

In addition, no person may possess or store explosives for use in firearms in “multifamily dwellings, apartments, dormitories, hotels, schools, other public buildings, or buildings or structures open for public use.”6

Minimum Age to Purchase/Possess Ammunition

In Maryland, no person may sell, rent or transfer ammunition solely designed for a handgun or assault weapon to a person under age 21.7 No person may sell ammunition for any firearm to a person under age 18.8

Maryland does not:

  • Require a license to sell regular ammunition;
  • Ensure that sellers of ammunition maintain records of the purchasers; or
  • Require a license to purchase or possess regular ammunition.

See our Ammunition Regulation policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Notes
  1. Md. Code Ann., Pub. Safety § 5-133.1(b). See Md. Code Ann., Pub. Safety § 5-133(b), (c) for the state’s prohibited categories. ⤴︎
  2. Md. Code Ann., Pub. Safety § 5-133.1(a). ⤴︎
  3. Md. Code Ann., Pub. Safety § 11-105(b)(1). ⤴︎
  4. Md. Code Ann., Pub. Safety § 11-105(d)(1). ⤴︎
  5. Md. Code Ann., Pub. Safety § 11-105(d)(1). ⤴︎
  6. Md. Code Ann., Pub. Safety § 11-105(d)(2). The State Fire Marshal may issue a permit for temporary possession of explosives for use in firearms in buildings or structures open for public use. Md. Code Ann., Pub. Safety § 11-105(d)(3). ⤴︎
  7. Md. Code Ann., Pub. Safety § 5-134(d)(1)(i).  Though Maryland prohibits sales and transfers of ammunition solely designed for a handgun or assault weapon to persons under 21, in 2011 the state repealed its law prohibiting persons under age 21 from possessing ammunition such ammunition. See 2011 Md. H.B 519, amending Md. Code Ann., Pub. Safety § 5-133(d). ⤴︎
  8. Md. Code Ann., Pub. Safety § 5-134(d)(1)(ii)(2); Md. Code Ann., Crim. Law § 1-101(g). ⤴︎