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Traveling with Firearms by Plane

January 5th, 2021
Traveling with Firearms

If you are considering traveling somewhere this year or in the future by plane with your firearm, you will need to take into account all of the rules and restrictions around traveling with a firearm. It is not that you cannot travel with a gun, gun parts, or ammunition, by plane but it does require some extra planning and research into how to correctly do so to follow the rules and ensure a smooth trip. Today on our blog, we’d like to go over with you some of the main key points you will need to consider when traveling with firearms to make your life easier. As always, be sure to check with the airline you are using and the airport to get any additional questions answered.

Tips for Safely Traveling with a Firearm by Plane

  • Always check the website for the most updated rules and restrictions for traveling with a gun by plane.
  • For traveling within the US, look into state and local laws as they vary from location to location. This includes the basic laws on carrying guns too once you get off of the flight and remember, what is allowed in one state might not be legal in another. The website USA Carry is a great resource for finding out what is legal and illegal in carrying a firearm per state.
  • Each country is different so for international travel check the U.S. Customs and Border Protection website for information, restrictions and requirements prior to traveling internationally.
  • Be sure to declare the firearm to the airline you are flying with when checking in a bag at the airline counters. They will give you a card fill out with your information to go along with the firearm to officially declare it. Ask any additional questions you have here to avoid conflict.
  • Remember firearms must be always unloaded in order to travel by plane.
  • Locked cases that can be easily opened or tampered with are strictly prohibited.
  • Cases must be locked and must have a hard side container with a combination or key lock. These can usually be purchased online or at outdoor and sporting good stores.
  • Be sure to find a carrier that is airline approved for firearms. The carrier that the firearm was purchased in may not comply with what the airline accepts and so you will need to buy something suitable.
  • Guns must be in a locked hard-sided container as checked baggage only.
  • Ask your airline and airport about fees associated with checking in a firearm for travel beforehand.
  • Firearm parts, like magazines, for example, are also allowed on airplanes but must also be transported through checked baggage only.
  • Firearm toys or replicas must also be through checked baggage only.
  • Riflescopes are permitted in carry-on and checked baggage.
  • Ammunition is permitted in checked baggage only so this means no carry-ons.
  • Be sure to check with your airline on ammunition amounts allowed as some airlines are limited.

For more information on traveling with firearms and ammunition, visit the website, and when in doubt contact your airline and airport for specific questions. Err on the side of caution and make sure to have all of your ducks in a row before flying with firearms as breaking these strict rules can be punishable.

Watch the video from TSA demonstrating how to fly with firearms below:

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