Can My Choice of Ammo Land Me in a Virginia Jail Cell?

Under federal law, armor-piercing ammunition is illegal. Under Virginia law, restricted firearm ammunition is determined to be illegal. So, what is armor-piercing ammunition? The federal law defines it as a projectile or a projectile core, which may be used in a handgun, and which is constructed entirely from one or a combination of tungsten alloys, steel, iron, brass, bronze, beryllium copper, or depleted uranium; or it is a full-jacketed projectile larger than a .22-caliber designed and intended for use in a handgun and whose jacket has a weight of more than 25% of the total weight of the projectile.

Turning to Virginia law, Virginia Code Section 18.2-308.3 makes it a felony offense to possess restricted firearm ammunition. Restricted firearm ammunition includes bullets, projectiles, or other types of ammunition that are coated with or contain in whole or in part polytetrafluoroethylene or a similar product, commonly known as KTW bullets or French Arcanes. It also includes any cartridge containing bullets coated with a plastic substance other than lead or lead alloy cores, jacketed bullets with other than lead or lead alloy cores, or cartridges of which the bullet itself is wholly comprised of a metal or a metal alloy other than lead.

However, this definition does not include shotgun shells or solid plastic bullets.

First Aid for Gunshot Wounds 2A Institute

Comment section

4 comments on “Can My Choice of Ammo Land Me in a Virginia Jail Cell?

  1. So does this mean C.O.P, copper only projectiles are illegal in Virginia, Does this ban on non-lead core include the G2 RIP’s or the copper polymer ARX by Ruger

  2. The title “Can My Choice of Ammo Land Me in a Virginia Jail Cell? is a bit confusing and it should state it relates to HANDGUNS. The description states “Under federal law, armor-piercing ammunition is illegal. ” so this implies ALL rifle/pistol/shotgun armor piercing ammunition is illegal. What about an AR15/AK configured as a “pistol” this begins to cloud the issue.

  3. 18.2-308.3 only applies if you are using such ammunition in a crime. You are absolutely allowed to possess and use it for non-criminal purposes.

  4. This article recently appeared on a VCDL facebook post. The code VA cited describes ammo that is restricted and that it would be a felony to use it in the commission of a crime. The article describes possession as a crime, but I didn’t see that in the VA code section referenced. What am I missing?

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