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New Everytown Report Details the Ease with Which Minors Can Illegally Purchase Ammo from Online Retailers


Investigation of Several Major Online Ammunition Retailers Finds That None Appear to Verify a Purchaser’s Age, Nor Whether They Can Legally Purchase Ammunition

NEW YORK – Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund today released a new report highlighting the ease with which minors can illegally purchase ammo from online retailers. The report details an investigation by Everytown of several major online ammunition retailers — BH Ammo, Brownells, Firearms Depot, Global Ordinance,, Palmetto State Armory, and Outdoor Limited — which found that none appeared to verify a purchaser’s age, nor whether they could legally purchase ammunition.

At most, the report found some of these sites bury the legal requirements of purchasing ammunition in their terms and conditions, or they have a checkbox that a purchaser must click — but none of these measures do anything to prevent a minor from checking out of the site with ammunition. To make matters worse, ammunition can be shipped directly to individuals in most states, removing any need for customers to visit a brick-and-mortar store with age verification measures. The full report can be found on Everytown’s “Smoking Gun” website, the leading repository of information about the gun industry.

The lack of precautions employed by the ammunition industry raises particular concerns given the products they sell. Six of the seven online retailers investigated sell military-surplus AR-15 ammunition, making it easy for underage customers to obtain the same “military-grade and [U.S.] military-subsidized” ammunition used in some of the country’s deadliest mass shootings

“If you market and sell ammunition, you have a basic responsibility to ensure underage purchasers aren’t skirting the law. Yet our investigation reveals these online ammo sellers don’t appear to be taking any meaningful steps to prevent kids from obtaining ammo online,” said Justin Wagner, Everytown Senior Director of Investigations. “Gun violence is the number one killer of kids and teens in our country, yet these online ammunition companies don’t appear to be preventing online sales of ammo to underage kids. This report isn’t just academic: We have real examples of young people who have procured ammo from these reckless companies, who then turned around and committed acts of violence.”

“This investigation provides yet another example of how the gun industry puts profits over public safety,” said Eric Tirschwell, Executive Director of Everytown Law. “We’ve sued online sellers of firearms and ammunition that failed to verify the age of their purchasers before, and we will continue to bring these cases forward until the industry cleans up its act and takes meaningful steps to ensure it is not selling lethal weapons to teenagers and other prohibited persons.”

While websites in other industries — including gambling websites and tobacco and alcohol e-retailers — employ a variety of age verification tools either at the time of purchase or at the time of delivery, none of the seven online ammunition retailers investigated in this report requested that the customer prove their age by supplying a driver’s license, for example, before completing the transactions.

The investigation comes just days after Everytown Law filed a lawsuit in Michigan seeking to hold online retailer JSD Supply accountable for recklessly selling a ghost-gun-building kit to a 17-year old — without ever verifying if he was old enough to purchase and possess a pistol — who then accidentally and negligently shot plaintiff Guy Boyd in the eye, causing devastating injuries. This same 17-year-old obtained his ammunition from Outdoor Limited, one of the retailers discussed in this report. Both the lawsuit and report highlight that Outdoor Limited too does not appear to conduct any age verification before selling ammo online, even though sales to underage purchasers are not permitted.

Everytown previously sued online ammo seller LuckyGunner, alleging it sold ammunition online to a 17-year old without verifying his age. That 17-year old then used the ammunition to carry out a mass school shooting in 2018 at Santa Fe High School in Texas, which left 10 dead and 13 wounded. After LuckyGunner failed in its attempt to hide behind a federal law that gives the gun industry special protections from lawsuits, the case settled, with LuckyGunner agreeing to maintain an age verification system at the point of sale for all ammunition sales in which anyone whose age cannot be verified or who is verified to be under 21, is refused a sale.

Situations like these could easily be prevented by online ammunition sellers using standard online age verification tools to ensure purchasers are of legal age, including requiring government-issued identification from customers.