Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites


Since the 1960s, gun control supporters have tried to get one or another variety of ammunition banned, severely restricted, prohibitively taxed or excessively regulated, to discourage the acquisition of guns and undermine their use.

For example, though the Gun Control Act of 1968 preamble stated that the law was not intended “to place any undue or unnecessary Federal restrictions or burdens on law-abiding citizens with respect to the acquisition, possession, or use of firearms,” the law required purchasers of handgun-caliber ammunition and rifle-caliber ammunition that could be used in a handgun to sign ledgers documenting their purchases. Because the requirement resulted in a massive amount of paperwork that served no law enforcement purpose, Congress in 1982 rescinded it as it applied to .22 rimfire ammunition and in 1986, as part of the Firearms Owners Protection Act, rescinded it as it applied to center-fire ammunition.

In the 1980s, gun control supporters claimed they wanted to restrict new handgun bullets made of metals harder than lead, which had been invented to enable law enforcement officers shoot through walls and doors, but they instead pushed legislation that would have banned traditional ammunition manufactured with bullets made of lead, commonly used for self-defense, hunting and sports. The Departments of Justice and the Treasury, and the NRA, opposed the legislation and the NRA helped write the “armor piercing ammunition” law that Congress instead adopted in 1986.

In the 1990s, gun control supporters again proposed banning traditional ammunition, a move rejected by the Treasury Department. Separately, they also sought a 1,000 percent tax on 9mm, .25, and .32 caliber ammunition, a 50 percent tax on all handgun ammunition, a ban on mail-order ammunition sales, a requirement for a background check to purchase ammunition, and a limit on the amount of ammunition a person could own without an “arsenal license.” 

In February 2015, two years after failing to get Congress to ban the AR-15 and other general-purpose rifles, the Obama administration attempted to bypass Congress to ban the second most common ammunition used in the rifle. It withdrew the proposed ammunition ban after a majority in each house of Congress and over 80,000 Americans opposed the ban in letters and emails to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and Congress threatened to reduce the chronically problematic agency’s budget.

Gun control supporters quickly took advantage of the situation to again call for a ban on traditional ammunition, like the bans that Congress rejected in 1986, and the Treasury Department rejected in 1997. Meanwhile, gun control supporters are trying to get traditional ammunition banned on environmental grounds as well.


issues top stories
Issue Articles

Action News Now  

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

California: Three county sheriffs 'strongly oppose' Prop 63's potential gun controls

Sheriff’s from Butte, Shasta and Modoc counties spoke out against proposition 63 today, saying it won't achieve its ...

San Francisco Chronicle  

Monday, August 29, 2016

California: Almost 200 proposed laws await governor’s OK — or not

The fate of hundreds of bills will be decided by Wednesday, when state lawmakers wrap up their two-year ...

Orange County Register  

Thursday, August 25, 2016

California: Gavin Newsom touts legal marijuana, more gun control

Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom’s track record of getting out in front on issues has helped him emerge as ...

San Diego Union-Tribune  

Monday, August 22, 2016

California: Gun laws only burden those who obey laws

Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom's perversely named "Safety for All" initiative will appear on November's ballot as Proposition 63, ...

Fresno Bee  

Monday, August 22, 2016

Politicians protect rights of accused, not law-abiding gun owners

It was dismaying to see congressional Democrats, led by California Sen. Dianne Feinstein, demanding that anyone on the ...

CBS News  

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Biden sets sights on restricting sale of "armor-piercing" bullets

The meeting was also attended by Vice President Joe Biden, who spoke with CBS News about the armor-piercing ...

CBS Sacramento  

Thursday, July 7, 2016

California Gun Law Changes Have Advocates Up in Arms

Local gun rights advocates are fired up about the new gun control laws going into effect in California ...

Los Angeles Times  

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

California: Gov. Jerry Brown signs gun-control proposals into law

Gov. Jerry Brown on Friday signed six gun-control bills into law, including new restrictions on semiautomatic rifles and ...

Los Angeles Times  

Friday, July 1, 2016

California lawmakers pass unprecedented package of gun control bills

California lawmakers on Thursday sent Gov. Jerry Brown a sweeping package of gun control bills, including a ban ...

Nevada: Proposed Hunting Caliber Restriction Vote Postponed


Monday, June 27, 2016

Nevada: Proposed Hunting Caliber Restriction Vote Postponed

Thanks to your phone calls and comments, the Nevada Board of Wildlife Commissioners postponed making a decision on ...

More Like This From Around The NRA


Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.