If you are a new gun owner, or if this is the first time you needed to take a firearm with you on a trip, you may not be acquainted with all of the airline and Federal laws regarding traveling with your firearm. Unfortunately, too many travelers are unpleasantly surprised when they get to the airport and discover that they can’t get through security! Here are some of the basics.
According to the TSA website: “You may only transport firearms, ammunition and firearm parts in your checked baggage [emphasis added]. Firearms, ammunition and firearm parts are prohibited from carry-on baggage.” In other words, don’t forget to check your gun: if you try to get on a plane with your firearm (either loaded or unloaded), you will be detained and the police will be called.
How To Send Your Gun Via Checked Luggage
–You must declare the gun at the airline’s ticket counter
–Guns must be packed UNLOADED and stored in hard-sided containers such as gun safes
–The safe or other hard-sided container must be locked at the time it is packed
–Make sure to stay with your luggage until it has passed through the screening process and is on its way to your plane. Your presence will be required to unlock the gun safe if the TSA wants to inspect its contents.
–Ammunition must be securely packed in cardboard, wood or metal boxes, but does not need to be locked. If you wish, you may pack ammunition separately from the weapon into the same safe with your firearm.
The above packing criteria are those that have been set by the TSA. Keep in mind that your individual airline may have its own rules and regulations regarding traveling with guns. In order to prevent unpleasant surprises, always check with all the airlines you will be using on your trip to see what their requirements are.
In most cases, you can travel with your firearm: just be sure to follow all regulations to a “t.” Happy travels!