TSA Will Allow You To Bring Disabled Bullets Through Security, Unless They Can Keep Liquids Cold

The TSA isn’t very good at finding dangerous items going through security checkpoints, so they can’t let you bring in bullets even without a gun for firing them.

There’s a good chance you might find a gun airside to use them in. The gun might have been left by air marshals in the bathroom (Michael Corleone-style). Or they might have been taken through accidentally by a police officer or by a marine.

TSA policy allows you to bring empty shell casings with the primer removed or discharged. So bullets that have been disabled and cannot be fired are fine.

Unless that bullet could keep your drink cold in which case they’re going to confiscate it. Since they have plenty of abandoned drinks at the checkpoint they want their drinks to be cold.

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What you see here are bullet-shaped whiskey stones. Once chilled, they keep your whiskey cold without watering it down as ice cubes would. Anyhoo, whiskey stones are fine to pack in carry-on bags, but not when they look like live bullets. To bring them on a trip, you’d have to bite the bullet and pack them in a checked bag. These were discovered recently in a carry-on bag at the Lewiston–Nez Perce County Airport (LWS) in Idaho. … These of course are not dangerous, and we’re not posting them to try and say we saved the day by finding them. This is just an attempt to pass along a friendly travel tip so others don’t make the same mistake. … While we’re talking about friendly travel tips, here’s the scoop on traveling with ammo. This info could really help you dodge a bullet. … Small arms ammunition (In checked bags only), including ammunition not exceeding .75 caliber and shotgun shells of any gauge must be securely boxed or included within a hard-sided case containing an unloaded firearm. … As far as empty shell casings, they’re allowed through the checkpoint as long as the projectile is no longer intact, and the primer has been removed or has been discharged. … If a bullet has no gun powder, yet still has the projectile attached, it is considered a replica and is not allowed in carry-on bags. These are common on necklaces and keychains. They need to be packed in checked baggage. … #RandomThought – Too much whiskey can lead to shooting your mouth off, so it could be said that you’d be dodging a bullet by drinking in moderation. … #tsa #lws

A post shared by TSA (@tsa) on

The TSA reports seizing six whiskey stones shaped like bullets. If you want to keep your whiskey cold but don’t want to let it get watered down, whiskey stones are your answer.

According to TSA,

  • Whiskey stones are fine to pack in carry on bags
  • Disabled bullets that cannot be fired are fine to pack in carry on bags
  • Whiskey stones shaped like bullets cannot be brought in carry on bags

The agency acknowledges that “[t]hese of course are not dangerous, and we’re not posting them to try and say we saved the day by finding them.”

As of this writing their social share has garnered over 9000 likes, which is 9000 more than the number of terrorists the agency has ever caught. And please don’t tell me they deter terrorists when they miss 90%+ of the dangerous items going through the checkpoint and the agency itself has admitted there aren’t any active plots against US aviation.

(HT: Hit and Run)

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Seems odd they’d admit they aren’t dangerous but confiscated them anyway. If you know something isn’t dangerous, why take it? My entire bag is full of things known to be not dangerous. Seems like the exact opposite of what they should be doing.

  2. TSA – Making up the rules in the war on beverages since 2001.

    To me this tweet should have pointed out how they are techincally ok but to avoid confusion and delays at security please put in checked bags.

  3. Related to DaninMCI comment: Still remember in Europe the war on contact solution. I need it for my contacts. Unfortunately, the size of contact solution was about 120ml which is over the limit of 100ml. I had my contact solution confiscated several times at Heathrow and once at DeGaul.

    Another totally unrelated nit. I just realized that “shrinkification” has struck again. While writing this comment, I noticed that the new bottles of Boston Simplus are now 105ml instead of the 120ml. In other words, a 14% price increase. Yet, according to the USA Bureau of Labor statistics, the CPI-U has increased ONLY (1.5% + 1.6% + 0.1% + 1.3% +2.1%)/5+=1.3% from 2013 to 2017. I am willing to bet these economist yahoos have not fully considered the impact of shinkification.

  4. “TSA policy allows you to bring empty shell casings with the primer removed or discharged. So bullets that have been disabled and cannot be fired are fine.”

    “empty shell casing” != bullet.

    A bullet that cannot be fired is *not* fine. If the shell casing still has the bullet in it, it will be confiscated even if there is no powder or primer.

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