Firearms Traveling on Airplanes

Firearms Traveling on Airplanes

Obtaining your FFL license may prompt you to want to travel with your firearm- for whatever reason, maybe target shooting, or hunting, or a carbine course. It’s common knowledge that after 9/11, airline regulations became much stricter. It’s important to realize this when you decide to take firearms with you on your flight. Although each airline has its own particular method for checking baggage containing firearms, some rules are the same across the board.

First, and probably most well-known, is that firearms are absolutely prohibited on the airplane. This also includes any pieces and parts of a firearm and cartridges. Even one single round violate regulations and can result in fines and criminal penalties. None of these items should make it as far as the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) checkpoint.

Because none of your firearms are allowed as carry on, they must be checked. All persons carry firearms, even law enforcement officers, must comply with the ATF’s provisions in 49 CFR § 1540.111. The following is a basic summary of what those provisions say.

  • You must declare all firearms to the air carrier. Be sure to check in at the ticket counter and not via an electronic service such as the internet or a kiosk.
  • All of your firearms absolutely must be unloaded and locked in a hard-sided container. This includes all of your ammunition or firearms parts.
  • Only the passenger should possess the combination to the lock or key to the lock on the container as access to the container needs to be restricted. If the TSA needs the container to be opened for inspection, it’s suggested that the key or combination be turned over to the screener.
  • In addition to needing your ammunition in a locked, hard-sided container, it must be packed within the container in a certain way. Ammo should be securely packed in fiber (such as cardboard), wood, or metal boxes or other packaging specifically designed to carry small amounts of ammunition. Firearm magazines/clips do not satisfy the packaging requirement unless they provide a complete and secure enclosure of the ammunition.
  • Ammo should also be packaged in a way that does not let it move around in the checked baggage during transportation.
  • Finally, black powder and percussion caps used with black powder type firearms are not permitted on board aircraft either as accessible property or checked baggage.

It’s advised that any time you travel, you check your airline’s specific policies on checking firearms. They may have certain procedures you should adhere to or a limitation on the number and types of firearms you may check.

For more information on traveling with your firearms or how to become a federal firearms license holder, Join today!

See NRA Review of  See benefits of an FFL License

Brandon Maddox :