Laws And Sectioned Ammo


Does sectioned or cutaway ammo go by the same BATF/ state laws? Thinking of doing my first gun show sale ever, in Florida who has more strick laws than South Carolina. According to Matthew Collins book “Pistol-Caliber Penetrators” (great book), FL has restrictions on pistol caliber AP. Thats about half is what was going to be for sale.
Thanks wolf


It’s my understanding that you can do anything with completely sectioned cartridges (case, primer, and projectile) anywhere in the U.S. - even in CA, IL, and Wash D.C. since they are no longer “cartridges”. They can’t be used in any other way than a paperweight or collectible. I think that any D.A. or cop would find it hard to see it any other way. Same as deactivated and welded/cut machine guns or rocket launchers - anyone can own one, anywhere in the U.S… Similar to inert keychain cartridges whereas as people not eligible to own ammunition in some areas (minors, felons, etc…) can still own keychain cartridges since they are inert. You might want to write the word “inert” on each of the baggies that you put them in when sold.

Florida’s law refers to projectiles in cartridges able to be fired in pistols, and your sectioned bullets aren’t technically projectiles after you cut them in half since they can be fielded by no weapon, and no cartridge can make them work once they are halved.


It is important in California that the projectile be sectioned also. I am not sure how clear the law is on the projectiles - have not read it in some time - but some agents in the past have seized inert rounds on the basis that the projectile can be removed and loaded into live ammunition. Of course, the whole thing is silly. “Cop Killer bullets” are a crime waiting to happen! I have heard that there is not one single case of a police officer shot through his vest with “special” ammunition in the U.S. Don’t know if that is true or not. I guess if we outlawed Banks, there would never be another bank robbery.


“crap” if sectioned rounds were illegal…half my colleciton would be illegal (pun intended)


Whilst visiting a museum in Switzerland the guide referred to deactivated/inerted/sectioned ammunition and guns as “Castrated”. This seemed to be a pretty good description to me.



No DEWATS in my state.

I would not test TSA on the keychain cartridges. I know it has been done - and they lost. Probably not a fair test with TSA and all. :>)


I agree that the TSA is not worth testing in terms of something like a keychain.

In Iowa however, I would argue that their law is such that anyone could own a welded/cut machine gun or other destructive device. Their law of 724.2 describes an “offensive weapon” and that only police, military, corrections, etc… can own them and that civilian people cannot, which is pretty standard law and matches the federal law. In the definitions section (724.1) however, it defines all the “offensive weapons” as machine guns or devices designed to shoot or which have explosive charges (exploding ammo or shotgun flame-shells are included in this). Deactivated items don’t have, or can’t perform in that way (should include sectioned exploders or flame shells), so they do not fall under the law since they are not able to shoot or explode. In 724.2 under “authority to possess” it does describe that museums or similar places can possess permanently deactivated offensive weapons and that residents can possess deactivated weapons if they are C&R and the person has a C&R permit. But this is contradictory, unnecessary, and pointless to declare (a poorly written law) since the definitions section already describes offensive weapons ONLY as functional items which can shoot or explode. A subsection of a law cannot contradict or expand upon what the primary law already prohibits though declaring things that are prohibited above & beyond the primary law.

I see this all the time with pistol AP laws because the people writing the laws have little understanding of cartridges/guns, and they end up getting the procedures and enforcement logistics confused or contradictory when they write the law. Not that they are ever enforced.


DKConfiguration–When you said “I see this all the time with pistol AP laws because the people writing the laws have little understanding of cartridges/guns,”, reminds me of a situation here in Michigan back in 1987. This was in the era of all the uproar of the Teflon “Cop-Killer” bullets. The state legislature (or at least their high paid lawyers) wrote a proposed law that defined an AP bullet as any bullet containing less than 70% lead. A public hearing was held for the committee responsible for presenting the law. As a representative of Forensic Ammunition Service, I attended that hearing. When asked if anyone had any comments, I stood up and walked up to the table where the committee members were seated and commenced to pull out of my pocket about 50 different types of cartridges that would be prohibited under the proposed bill. (Try to do that today!!). The cartridges included Paper Bulleted Blanks, Rubber Bullets for indoor target practice, Aluminum Core Short Range bullets, Plastic bulleted rounds, etc. None of the committee members had ever seen any of these cartridges before, but all agreed that none of these could be construed as AP, but would indeed be illegal as the proposed law was written. [color=#FF0000]It showed their total ignorance of the subject.[/color] The law died in committee that day and so far no new laws about AP bullets have re-surfaced in Michigan to this day.


To clarify the TSA rules, as they have been explained to me.

TSA has seperate rules for handcarry and checked baggage.

Inert ammo, or anything that looks like ammo isn’t allowed in handcarry—period! This appears to be to prevent confusion and issues during screening.

Inert items are OK in checked baggage, IF THEY ARE CLEARLY INERT, and there lies on issue. How do the TSA people know they are inert? There is also the issue of anything over .75 caliber, or inert ordinance items. Some TSA people have no problem with inert items over .75 caliber, but some, like the guy who spoke to us at SLICS was hard over that nothing over .75 caliber was allowed in checked baggage, even if inert.




Thanks everyone for the replies, they were what I expected and hoping for. Sometimes the little stupid questions must be asked, thats what usually keeps you out of jail for something simple.
TSA needes to come up with one standard that all agents need to abide by. Its different at every airport, and sometimes you don’t know what to expect. Read that SLICS had some TSA agents at the show and helped out with suggestions. Then after tornado, many traveled to different airports and were questioned at what they were doing. Maybe a suggestion to the main TSA people from the IAA would carry wieght and help set a standard. wolfgang


Wolfgang, if TSA comes up with one level for all it will be the lowest (and for us the worst), means almost everything will be forbidden since those guys checking the luggage are clueless when it comes to ammo.


VERY interesting information. I can honestly say I have never asked a law enforcement official their views on the matter. I will. I received my information from folks that were supposed to know (FFL holders, Class 3 dealers, etc).

Thanks for the info.


I’m not sure that any law enforcement or legislator would know, or even be familiar with the law. You’d probably have to have a lawyer research it, and cross-check with a D.A. to get a firm answer.


That could end up just opening a can of worms. The word no comes out of official mouths a lot easier than yes.
It is the default answer which means they don’t actually have to put their neck on the line by making a decision that may come back and bite them at some later date.