Traveling with firearms can be tricky. Whether you are traveling the friendly skies or across state lines, it is very important to “Know Before You Go”.
Not all states will recognize your CWP (Concealed Weapon Permit) or have reciprocity. Here are tips for traveling with firearms and bulk ammo on an airplane.
There’s no secret that security is tight almost everywhere. Airports are among the worst, given that invasion of privacy and personal space is all a matter of national defense. The average passenger of an airplane feels violated when their luggage is searched and they are asked to remove articles of clothing to pass the inspection. Imagine if any of those passengers are trying to bring a gun on a plane!
While you might think that doesn’t happen, you’d be wrong. The fact is, if stored correctly, it is legal to carry a firearm and bulk ammo onto an airplane. There are many professions that require traveling with firearms. Of course, that’s a whole other level of security. If you’re one of the individuals who need to travel with any type of firearm, you want to be prepared. You don’t want to be turned away for improper storage, or accused of trying to harm others due to misinformation. Don’t take your chances when you get to the airport.
Although there is a standard, outlined by the TSA, there are different rules and regulations implemented by certain airlines. The rules for one company may not be the same as the rules for another. If you can’t find the information you’re looking for on their website, make a phone call. Talk to someone who is informed about this subject. You need to know for sure that you’re following the regulations. On that note, you’ll want to keep updated with the TSA policy as well. This is an updating policy that could be changed at any time. You don’t want to be caught with your pants down (metaphorically, and literally). There is no such thing as too much information. Again, if you don’t understand something in the policy, or can’t find what you’re looking for, ask someone who can help you.
This is mandatory, but also a good idea in general. No one else should have access to the key of your case. Don’t use combination locks or something simple to break. You want security, especially on the trip. These cases range in price, but the cost is nothing when you compare it to the ease of getting through airport security. Your firearm in a locked case demonstrates the care you have. You are allowed to carry bulk ammo, as long as it is stored correctly. All gun ammo should be stored in a secure place as well. In fact, you can store your ammunition in the same locked case with your firearm! Technically, you are allowed to store the gun ammo inside of the magazine, as long as the magazine is not inside of your gun. However, you may want to empty out your magazine, just for security.
This is an important step than many people overlook in general. When you’re carrying a firearm along with bulk ammo, you’re going to want to know how much the case weighs. You are always charged extra for the weight over what is generally allowed. You’re not going to want to put a firearm in baggage. You’re also not going to want to pay an arm and a leg to carry your case on board. So, you’ll want to know before you arrive. Keep in mind that you are allowed to carry about 10 pounds worth of bulk ammo.
When you’re approaching security, you want to calmly inform the staff that you are declaring a firearm in your luggage. You will then have to follow the procedures for declaring your gun ammo and firearm. As long as you do exactly as you’re told, there should be no issues. From there, you’ll fill out some paperwork, part of which will be stored inside of the locking gun case you are bringing onto the plane. This simply states that the firearm has been declared and you have passed the inspection.
You are bringing a firearm and bulk ammo into an airport. You can only imagine the reactions and the red tape that might be a part of this experience. You may be left to wait for an inspection. It’s hard to know. Each airline has different methods of handling firearm transportation. So, be patient and be alert.
USCCA has this great video for traveling with your weapon that we wanted to share with you.
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