Tips for Transporting a Firearm on an Aircraft - Hunting Magazine
Tips for Transporting a Firearm on an Aircraft - Hunting Magazine

Taking a firearm with you when you fly is something that requires some planning.

It’s important to familiarize yourself with the rules before you fly. You are permitted to transport an unloaded firearm in your checked baggage, as long as it is locked in a hard-sided container. Alternatively, you can choose specialized freight services.

There are some other steps you should be aware of that may make life easier for you when you pass through the airport:

1 – Declare the firearm when checking your bag in before you fly

2 – Declare any ammunition you have in your luggage too

3 – Learn the rules for any states or countries you are going to, so you can act in compliance with their individual firearm restrictions

4 – Check the U.S. Customs and Border Protection website for information about declaration requirements for your destination before you travel.

5 – Declare your firearm (or firearms) each time you present your baggage if the trip has multiple stops. Your airline may charge a fee for the transportation of firearms.

6 – Your firearms must be unloaded and securely stowed in a locked, hard-sided container.

7 – The magazine must be removed from the firearm even if the magazine itself is unloaded, to ensure compliance with Federal law 49 CFR 1540.5

8 – Firearm parts such as clips, bolts, firing pins or magazines may be stowed in checked baggage but cannot be kept in carry-on baggage

9 – Firearm replicas, including toys, must be kept in checked baggage only

10 – Riflescopes may be transported in carry-on or checked baggage

The container you stow your firearm in must be completely secure. A locked case that is easy to force open is not considered sufficiently secure. The container that was supplied with the firearm may not be secure enough to be used to transport a firearm in checked baggage.

The key or combination lock for your container should be kept in your possession unless a TSA representative requests the key to inspect the firearm and confirm that its storage complies with TSA regulations. The lock can be of any variety that is adequately secure, including a TSA-recognized lock.

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