Updated December 14, 2022
Is Stockpiling Ammunition Legal in Texas?
In the current political climate, it is common for gun owners to question whether what they are doing is legal. Thankfully for us here in Texas, when it comes to storing ammunition, the short answer is an emphatic “yes.” The laws concerning “stockpiling” ammunition are straightforward.
There is no limit on the amount of ammunition you can purchase or possess in the State of Texas. Like most savvy consumers, gun owners benefit from buying ammo in bulk, and there isn’t a law preventing Texans from doing so.
Unlike other states which strictly regulate types of ammunition, Texas only prohibits armor-piercing ammunition designed exclusively for handguns. So as a general rule, if you can buy it at your local sporting goods store—you should be good to go. Federal law, on the other hand, has additional restrictions on ammunition with no sporting purpose, such as bullets larger than .50 caliber, and explosive munitions, which could be classified as destructive devices1. So while these types of ammo aren’t outright prohibited, there are some additional legal hoops to jump through.
The State of Texas prohibits local governments from infringing on your Second Amendment rights2. State law supersedes municipal law and prevents local governments and cities from passing their own rules regarding the possession and storage of ammunition. Although cities and counties may not pass laws restricting the possession of ammunition, they may pass laws restricting explosives used in the reloading of ammunition3.
What About Reloads?
Many firearms enthusiasts reload their ammunition using raw components for various reasons. A central element for the reloading process is smokeless powder. As with ammo, in some cases, it makes economic sense to buy ingredients in bulk. While this is a clever idea, municipalities may restrict the amount of powder you can store.
How many pounds of Black Powder can you keep?
Under Texas law, municipalities may regulate the possession and transportation of explosives, but may not restrict black or smokeless powders in amounts under 25 pounds3. Similarly, counties may restrict the storage and transportation of explosives but may not limit the possession and transportation of reloading powder in quantities under 50 pounds3. This does not mean that if you live in a city, you will not be able to possess more than 25 pounds of reloading powder; it means that cities may pass regulations concerning powder for amounts over 25 pounds.
Generally speaking, a person exercising safe storage practices with 25 pounds of reloading powder or less shouldn’t run afoul of the law. However, for storing 25 pounds of powder or more, you should check your local and county ordinances for restrictions.
What You Need to Know
While Texas and federal law don’t limit the quantity of ammunition you store or “stockpile,” there may be restrictions on the ammo type.
When it comes to black or smokeless powder, city and county ordinances may limit the amount of powder you can possess and store. So, before you take up reloading ammo as a hobby, take the time to learn your local laws.
HAVE A LEGAL QUESTION?
The attorneys at Walker & Taylor, PLLC, offer consultations to answer your legal questions. Our consultations are for Texas and related federal law.
Speak to an attorney and get answers to legal questions regarding firearms, self-defense, gun rights, or related criminal or civil law. Give us a call today at (281) 668-9957.
Author: Dylan Price