You may want to carry your guns when traveling to a new destination. As an American, it is your right to possess and bear arms. Individuals 18 years or older are allowed to travel with firearms and ammunition while traveling by flight. However, you need to follow certain rules if flying with firearms is something you have in mind.
This article discusses what you need to know about flying with firearms within the US. Here, we only talk about the rules regarding domestic travel. Carrying a gun to a foreign country can be a little trickier. Check US Customs and Border Protection website to know more about traveling internationally with a firearm.
Pack Your Guns and Ammunition as per the Rule
Transport Security Administration (TSA) requires you to pack your firearms in a locked, hard-sided container. The weapon must be unloaded, and it should go as checked baggage. That means you cannot carry a gun on board. The same applies to firearm parts, which include magazines, bolts, firing pins, and clips.
TSA also specifies that the container must be completely secure. A gun case that can be easily opened is not suitable for this purpose. You may want to secure the case with an additional padlock to ensure safety.
Ammunition can be carried in the original packaging from the manufacturer or must be packed in a secure fiber, wood, plastic, or metal box. Also, remember that you are allowed to carry only up to 11 pounds of ammunition while traveling by flight.
Check Your Airline’s Rules
All the airlines operating in the US follow the above rules. However, there can be certain airline-specific rules that you need to follow. For example, United Airlines allows you to pack only up to five firearms in one container. However, you are allowed to check in as many cases as you want. Delta Airlines has a different upper limit per box depending on the type of firearms you are carrying.
Declare the Gun and/or Ammunition
Declare each firearm and ammunition to the airline when checking your baggage at the ticket counter. The airline official may send your baggage for an additional round of screening to ensure the packaging complies with the requirements. After ensuring that your weapon is unloaded and properly packed, the airline’s agent will ask you to sign a form and store it with the gun.
Collect the Gun at the Destination
When checking your firearm, enquire how to collect it at the destination airport. The rules may differ depending on the airlines and/or the destinations. In most cases, you need to present your ID proof at the baggage office to collect the gun. The airline may zip-tie the bag or the case to ensure that you cannot open it within the airport premises. Airlines officials may also escort you off the premises before they hand over the weapon to you.
Check the Gun Laws at the Destination
Gun laws are not equal in every state. The laws regarding the possession of firearms vary by local, state, and international governments. You must look up the gun laws for your destination before you decide to carry your gun. Enquire if the destination state is an open carry state or does it only allow concealed carry. Also, remember to check for any other restrictions the destination may have in place.
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