Maryland: California-Style Ammunition Background Check Bill

NRA-ILA ammo
The NRA-ILA reports that Maryland is trying to pass California-style ammunition background check laws. IMG NRA-ILA

U.S.A. -( The General Assembly starts its 2021 session this week and House Bill 175, a bill with California-style restrictions on ammunition sales, has already received a committee assignment. Please contact the House Judiciary Committee to OPPOSE HB 175.


House Bill 175 is a deeply flawed bill that requires “ammunition vendors” to conduct a federal NICS background check on prospective recipients of ammunition. “Ammunition vendor” is vaguely defined in the legislation and could potentially mean that private individuals cannot sell or give ammunition to friends, family, fellow hunters, range buddies, etc.

Federal law only allows Federal Firearms Licensees (FFL) and state authorities to run NICS checks, and they may do so only for firearms. Businesses selling ammunition are not required to hold an FFL. Many small businesses such as sporting goods stores, hardware stores, and antique shops sell ammunition without transferring firearms. Both licensed firearm dealers and ammunition-only vendors are unable to run a NICS check for an ammunition-only sale.

The bill exempts ammunition transfers by vendors at shooting ranges that hold a “business or other regulatory license” only if the “ammunition is at all times kept within the facility’s premises.” That means that people may not keep ammunition that they purchased to replenish expended ammunition brought from home or keep leftover ammunition without taking the time to go through government red tape. Vendors for those shooting on private property, such as a visiting instructor bringing ammunition for students, presumably may not distribute ammunition.

The bill exempts transfers of ammunition by vendors to holders of a Handgun Qualification License (HQL), but this exemption also falls short. Many law-abiding gun owners do not hold an HQL, such as those who have not purchased a handgun since 2013, those who have no desire to purchase handguns, young adults aged 18-20, individuals from out of state, and current or retired military personnel who are exempt from an HQL.

Please click the “Take Action” button above to ask the House Judiciary Committee to OPPOSE HB 175. Stay tuned to and your email inbox for the latest news on Second Amendment issues during the 2021 legislative session.

About NRA-ILA:

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. Visit:

National Rifle Association Institute For Legislative Action (NRA-ILA)

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While Liberals are not very smart they are persistent.


I would enjoy interviewing Shaneka:

“If HB175 passes, it will have no effect on crime. What gun control laws will you then propose? Have you considered doing anything to improve the culture in Baltimore?”


But because of their lack of brain cells, all they know how to do is what worked for them in the past. Here on the back side of the power curve, they are helpless. Repeating what worked for them before… now just deepens the stall. Makes them weaker. That’s what happens on the back side. Adding power now just makes it worse. The more they add, the weaker they get. And, having little brain power, they cannot muster the sense to break out of it. Only add more and more power to their propaganda until…. SPLAT!!! They ride the Ship… Read more »

Last edited 1 year ago by Knute

@Knute Knute – Talking about gun control, federal “relief” spending, or both? Any way – I agree. Just wish my family and I were not along for the ride. We are all so used to government provided or enabled “stuff” that few of us know how to survive without. Take away fire/police/EMT, take away roads, shut down interstate commerce and we’ll see starvation, deprivation, and of course violence on an unimaginable scale. Live off the grid on a self sustaining plot – raising livestock and growing sufficient food for them and yourself? How many days can you spend fighting off… Read more »


All of the above, and much more. The whole of US empire is dying, and it will take the whole world down with it, much as Rome did when it fell.
It’s easy for me to be objective. I take care of cattle on an out-of-the-way plot of land, in an out-of-the-way corner of Montana, an out-of-the-way State. 🙂

J Gibbons

I work in a gun store. I run NICS checks all the time. We see so many delays (3 business days plus 1) and even quite a lot of false denies. This will have no purpose other than to overwhelm the NICS system, create more delays and denies and build a registry of those purchasing ammo. It will have zero effect on crime or even on investigation and conviction. I wonder if the next big idea will be for “ammunition parts” like Biden wants to do for “gun parts.” Will criminals be stopped if they buy a Hornady loader, casings,… Read more »

Last edited 1 year ago by J Gibbons

Just say no. This is an unconstitutional, unreasonable impediment to the exercise of your most fundamental rights. Massive resistance by noncompliance is a duty. Reload. Stockpile. Resist.


Depending on particulars of the law – but if it matches california’s nonsense – reloading or stockpiling would not be resistance. Second approach only buys time for individuals who succeed during remaining time until the curtain falls. True resistance would entail one of two acts (1) Purchasing from retailers in violation of the new law – which would require willing retailers. Good luck with that one. (2) Purchasing out-of-state and importing. Many retailers in Nevada refuse to sell ammo to californians. I expect if Maryland starts this, most of the surrounding states (who are almost as bad) would follow suit… Read more »

Get Out

Another bad BS requirement that’ll keep the run on ammo going. IMOA, it’s another ruse to compile a list of gun owners. Unless the bill includes all BGC data must be destroyed the data could then be used to track who bought what ammo, by caliber (Equates to type of gun) and the buyers address. Don’t forget it’s also an infringement of the 2A.

Last edited 1 year ago by Get Out
J Gibbons

The text of the bill includes a requirement for an electronic database of the contact information, ammunition mfr, type, caliber, quantity, etc. Since you can’t tie ammo to a crime without having the barrel that was used or a fingerprint on a shell casing (in which case why would you need the database), this is all about furthering the registry of who is exercising their 2nd Amendment rights.


These measures have nothing to do with crime control. They are about building a registry of gun owners. The Progressive New Left is not afraid of your guns. They are afraid of your liberty. That is the target. This is a Cultural Revolution. Anyone judged by the Red Guards to be not sufficiently woke is a target for destruction.


Person arrested for possession of a large capacity ammunition feeding device, possession of unregistered ammunition, and carrying a pistol without a license.”

LEOs have spoken up before about issues concerning crime. It would be refreshing to see concerned police form a group and make a statement indicating magazine capacity and “unregistered ammunition” are not among the problems on the streets and they would prefer it if legislators worked on things that resulted in more successful prosecutions of violent criminals and ways to keep them incarcerated for longer periods of time.


Don’t let this happen to you. California is first to be last with anything to do with the 2nd Amendment. If there’s a reason to restrict, ca democrats will find a way. Ammunition has been on the list and 2 years ago they implemented a $1.00 background check for each purchase. In addition they restricted internet sales both in and out of state. The automatically created an extreme supply and demand shortage within the state. This is been tied up in court by AG Becerra who sponsored by Kamala Harris took her position when she became a senator. CA has… Read more »


I only quibble with “If there’s a reason to restrict” – it’s more like “If they think there’s a chance they’ll get away with restricting”. I see no reason for them to restrict importing ammo, particularly for non-residents or immigrants.


SEE, kommifornia shining through. Kommiefornia already has pending law suits against this and so far it has been determined that it is against the law to require a background check to purchase ammo or have a license requirement for a person to buy ammo. IMO I think their philosophy is if they can get a number of states to put in place these kinds of laws, others will jump on the band wagon. If they could get 26 states to impose this law, they can say, hey, over half of America has this law, it should be federal law all… Read more »


Sorry to burst the bubble, but stop referring to what has, or is happening, as “unconstitutional”. There is NO LONGER any Constitution; as it has been replaced by the “Rules of Lawlessness”! In some ways I’ve given up blaming “ol’ time Democrats” for being naïve about voting for Sleepy Joe, cause we saw how the machines were “fed” what THEY needed!