Buyers Remorse, Can You Return Ammunition?

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Examples of Ammunition Return Policies

When it comes to ammunition return policies, each store outlines its own rules and regulations. For most stores, return policies have been set by corporate management. 

If a store claims to not allow ammunition returns, the chances of you convincing them to allow others is very low. 

In each subsection below, we’ve detailed a list of non-returnable items for each store, including ammunition.

Can You Return Ammunition to Walmart?

As one of the largest sporting goods stores in the world, some mistakenly think that firearm and ammunition purchases are refundable. However, their explanation of return policies state that you may not return the following items:

  • Firearms
  • Ammunition
  • Food
  • Paper goods
  • Home cleaning supplies
  • Laundry soap
  • Pharmacy
  • Health & beauty
  • Apparel items

Can You Return Ammunition to Dicks Sporting Goods?

You may not return the following items:

  • Firearms
  • Ammunition
  • Hunting Bows
  • Crossbows
  • Black Powder
  • Rifles/Muzzleloaders
  • Gunpowder
  • Primers
  • Items Requiring Gasoline or Fuel
  • Used Bikes
  • Airbeds
  • Special Order Items
  • Autographed Collectibles & Memorabilia

Can You Return Ammunition to Big 5 Sporting Goods?

You may not return the following items:

  • Firearms
  • Ammunition 
  • Background check fees
  • Licenses, permits, tickets, and related items 
  • Items not in their original condition

Can You Return Ammunition to Cabelas?

You may not return the following items:

  • Firearms
  • Ammunition
  • Gunpowder
  • Primers
  • Tree stands
  • Mouth calls
  • In-store Bargain Cave purchases

Can You Return Ammunition to Sportsmans Warehouse?

You may not return the following items:

  • Firearms
  • Ammunition
  • Primers
  • Gun Powder (or other propellants)
  • Bullets
  • Bear Spray
  • Pepper Spray

Can You Return Ammunition to Bass Pro Shops?

If an item has been purchased in-store from a Bass Pro Shop location, you have 60 days to return any item. 

However, they do further clarify their return policy statement, saying “For safety reasons we do not accept mail-in returns on ammunition, black powder, primers, reloading lead and brass or bullets.”

Additionally, Bass Pro Shops does not accept the return of firearms.

Can You Return Ammunition to Academy Sports + Outdoors?

Academy does include a 60-day refund policy that matches the original form of payment. For example, a cash or check purchase will result in a cash refund. 

For any firearms or ammunition purchased at Academy, returns are not acceptable. 

However, Academy does explicitly state, “With the exception of brands sold exclusively by Academy, all ammunition sales are final, and customers must return any damaged or defective ammunition to the manufacturer for warranty repair or claims.”

In other words, unless the ammunition is under the brand name of Academy, you may not return it. 

Academy is one of the few stores that permit the return of firearms or ammunition.

However, additional shooting accessories and similar items are non-returnable, as “all sales are final.”

Why Do Stores Prohibit the Return of Ammo?

In the case of most stores (not just the ones we’ve listed above), the prohibition of returning ammunition is due to liability reasons. 

Once a store sells the ammunition, they simply don’t know if you’ve tampered with it. Even if you convince them you haven’t used the ammo, many stores still enforce their policy.

Stores don’t want to hold accountability in the case that something goes wrong with reselling ammo that has been returned.

Even if it was an accidental purchase, ammunition may not be returned. For example, let’s say you walked into your local big-name store and bought the wrong gauge of shells. Could you return them? The answer would still unfortunately be no. 

Once you purchase the ammunition and walk out the door, it’s yours to keep—and there are no exceptions.

This is why it’s important to always remember to double-check your items before purchasing. Most people who find themselves needing to return an item have simply just bought the wrong item.

Even if the product packaging says there’s a certain type of ammunition, always check with the cashier to be sure.

If you’ve already purchased ammunition but haven’t left the store, you might still be able to return the product, especially since there’s no evidence that you tampered with it. 

However, in this case, an employee might be instructed to contact upper management to approve the return.

What Does the Federal Law Have to Say?

There is no written federal restriction regarding the return of ammunition. In most cases, the decision is generally up to corporate management. 

In the case that you attempt to return ammunition and a store employee tries to bring federal law into the conversation, just remember that there is no federal law governing the return of ammunition. If an employee takes a strong stance, understand that it is simply their store’s policy.

However, an employee could still be aware of the federal law but still use it as a means to refuse your request. 

But why would they give false information?

The answer is rather simple. If an employee says it’s a store policy, customers tend to argue. If an employee says it’s a federal law, customers tend to keep their mouths closed and walk away. 

Occasionally, calling the store headquarters and explaining the situation may cause them to change their mind about your case. But that is a rare instance. 

Federal law does, however, impose several restrictions on the transfer and possession of firearm ammunition. 

Convicted felons, controlled substance users, and anyone under a domestic violence restraining order may not purchase or hold ammunition. 

The federal law also says that anyone under the age of 18 may not purchase or hold long gun ammunition. Additionally, it also states that anyone under the age of 21 may not purchase or hold handgun ammunition. 

The laws regarding the purchase and sale of ammunition also vary from state to state. Delaware and Illinois, for example, prohibit some of the same groups restricted by federal law from obtaining or holding ammunition.

In most states, an employee will require you to present a firearm identification card (which is essentially seen as a permit) before buying ammunition. To become eligible for the card, applicants must meet a specified number of requirements.