Since 9/11, security has been on high alert at airports in the United States and around the world. Now you have to measure the number of ounces of liquid coming on board with you, certain items are banned all together, and weapons will definitely raise some eyebrows.
With all of those new regulations and rules, you probably think that traveling with a firearm is out of the question. But, did you know that you can actually take your gun on a plane safely, and not get into trouble with the law? It’s true! You just have to know the laws and follow some general guidelines; you should be able to travel with your firearm, if you have a carry permit. Here are some helpful hints to remember about flying with your gun.
Pack It Right
You have to carry your gun in a hard sided container, not on your person. This is a TSA regulation, not a suggestion. It also has to be a locking container.
Your gun will have to be checked with your other bags, not put in your carry on bag. If you can’t bring scissors or a pocketknife into the cabin, you most definitely can’t bring your gun.
TSA regulations also state that your gun must be packed unloaded. I did read that there is some speculation about packing a loaded magazine, but I would not chance it. Just unload your magazines and avoid any potential hassle.
When you get to the counter, simply inform the ticket agent that you are checking a firearm. You’ll need to fill out some paperwork, and they will ask you there to show them the gun, check the locks, and show that it is unloaded. Security may want you to unlock it for them, but maybe not. Some airlines and airports will check every piece of luggage you bring if you are traveling with a gun, some will not.
Know the Laws
If you are traveling between states, you’ll need to check with the destination to see if your carry permit is valid there. If not, just leave your gun at home. Different states have different regulations, so this is one step you can do ahead of getting to the airport. It will definitely save you some time and hassle if you know that info beforehand.
Pack Ammo Separately
Always pack your ammo separately. It is also important to check ahead of time to see how much ammunition you can actually bring with you. This will vary from airport to airport, too. Put your ammo in a hard case like your gun. If it is in a cardboard box, all the handling it will get is likely to beat the box up pretty good. Also, no loose ammo should be in any of your baggage. Check one time, then check again. Even one loose bullet can cause problems at check-in.
Check the TSA website for a complete breakdown of all of their regulations regarding flying with a gun. If you follow their rules, and follow the rules of the airline, airport, and your destination, traveling with a gun should go fairly smoothly. Have you ever had an issue trying to take your gun on a flight?