Traveling with Guns
Whether you travel frequently for work, or if you’re the adventurous sort, you’ll need to take precaution and plan accordingly when traveling with firearms. It’s not that you cannot travel with guns, but you’ll want to follow protocol to ensure that your trip goes without interruption. Needless to say, you can’t just pack your guns into your carry on luggage, so we’ve outlined a few tips on traveling with firearms that might save you some headache.
Know TSA Policy
Firearm parts, including magazines, clips, bolts and firing pins, are prohibited in carry-on, but may be transported in checked bags, according to the TSA’s very own website. But, you’ll need to take it a step further with checking with the individual airline regarding their policies as well. As mentioned already, you’re not allowed to store weapons in your carry-on luggage, but you are able to pack them away in checked luggage, with some restrictions. You’ll also want to check with both local and state governments as laws cary vary.
Use a Lockable Hard Case
There are many reasons why you’d want to use a hard case when storing your guns during air travel, but one of the most obvious reasons, is to protect your investments. Let’s face it, our guns are very expensive and very valuable, so ensuring that the case you put them in during travel is secure from damage as well as theft is important. Baggage handlers don’t exactly treat your luggage like they would their own, so make sure you choose a case that can withstand a drop (or two). You also want to make sure that the case you choose has adequate locking ability. You can also use this case to store your ammo as well, given you have the space. Just don’t lose the key!
Show Up Prepared
You don’t want to show up at the ticketing counter not prepared. Prior to heading to the airport, you’ll want to unload your firearms, pack them accordingly into your hard case, and lock it prior to getting to the airport. Upon arriving at the ticket counter, you’ll want to communicate that you are checking firearms. This should not come as a surprise to most ticketing agents as they deal with it daily. Be sure to follow their instructions and you should be good to go. As an added step, you might want to stick around just a few minutes until your luggage is sent back to ensure it’s not subject to further checks.
Business as Usual
Upon arriving at your destination, you’ll pick up your case at the carousel like you would any other piece of luggage, assuming it’s not an oversized hard case. You’ll want to be mindful of local laws when you arrive to comply with both State and City laws. Traveling with firearms adds an extra step to your journey, but if you do your homework and follow the rules, it’ll mitigate any unexpected turns in your travels.
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