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I am traveling from Germany to Bulgaria over the upcoming holidays.

Information: My uncle is a hunter and wants me to bring him some bullet caps that are not available in Bulgaria. I would transport them in my checked luggage. So overall there would be no black-powder or even shells; it would be just the bullet tips.

Am I allowed to have the bullet tips in my luggage? Do I need to worry about being held up by either German or Bulgarian border-control/police?

I do not possess a firearms licence and i have both German and Bulgarian citizenship if that should matter in any way.
Flying with Lufthansa directly to Sofia airport.

  • For the sake of terminology here, a clarification: a round is made up of a primer, shell, powder and projectile. The projectile (or metal piece at the front of the round) is the only part technically called the bullet, and I believe is what you are transporting, correct? See HTTP://library.med.utah.edu/WebPath/jpeg2/FOR105.gif – stanri Dec 19 '17 at 11:53
  • @stanri Yes, you are correct. I'm sorry if i caused any confusion, I have no knowledge of ammunition and probably lacking a bit of English vocabulary on this subject aswell. – Georgi Dec 19 '17 at 12:41
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I believe you are talking about entire bullets (projectiles), not just the tips of a bullets. If there were special hardened tips, the bullets might be military ordnance.

  • If you read appendix 1, subsection 3.1 of the German weapons law, you will notice that projectiles without propellant are not ammunition.
  • While the bullets may be entirely legal in Germany, there are laws requiring fake weapons (Anscheinswaffen) to be carried in enclosed packages. In a security area like an airport I'd err on the side of caution where that is regarded.
  • Some German police are not very knowledgeable about weapons laws. They know that persons carrying complete cartridges must have an ammunition permit (Munitionserwerbsschein), but they may not be aware what doesn't need such a permit. Being right won't help you if you missed your flight.

You might want to read up on Bulgarian law. If they're legal there, too, the risk of misunderstanding remains.

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  • I am just making an assumption here but if they are legal in Germany, I am almost certain they will be legal in Bulgaria. Thank you for the links. I guess I will take the bullets with me and hope I won't be held up. – Georgi Dec 19 '17 at 13:14
  • @Georgi, weapons laws can be weird. You are taking a risk of being held up, or causing a security alert. Ask your uncle if he can tell you why they are legal in Bulgaria, it might help if you can quote the law. And print the German laws out ... – o.m. Dec 19 '17 at 15:24
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As the bullet caps are just metal and contain no ammunition and as you seem to be able to purchase them freely in Germany, I would try to take them along. I would still suggest to place them in the checked luggage AND to avoid misunderstanding place a label on the box explaining the content, as it may say "ammunition" on the box.

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    I don't think this is a good answer. It doesn't address the legality of bullet caps in Bulgaria, and only seems to address the legality of taking them on an aircraft in Germany in a cursory manner. I think it's very presumptuous to say that since something can be purchased, it must be legal to take on an aircraft. There are plenty of counterexamples to this assumption. – MJeffryes Dec 18 '17 at 14:02
  • He didn’t ask about legality in Bulgaria, he asked about legality on a flight within EU. Is Bulgaria in EU? – WGroleau Dec 18 '17 at 14:18
  • @WGroleau Bulgaria is a member of the EU but not a member of the Schengen Area. Also i am allowed to possess and buy the bullet caps in Bulgaria, i am just not sure wether i am allowed to carry them(even in checked luggage) on a flight. – Georgi Dec 18 '17 at 14:31
  • I tend to believe that i should be allowed to, but i am not certain and want to know if someone has some actual proof that i will not be questioned/held up or even breaking any laws. – Georgi Dec 18 '17 at 14:34
  • I think it is an excellent answer to the question actually asked. In checked luggage, worst case is that a sniffer detects traces of gunpowder from something else in the shop where they were bought, and the inspection to find out it’s a false alarm delays the bag to the next flight. – WGroleau Dec 18 '17 at 21:27

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