It’s not secret than many individuals have been able to fly on airlines with guns, and have done so for decades. With many of the new security procedures placed in airports around the world, many firearm owners don’t feel that they are able to board a plane safely or comfortably with their equipment. If you are planning on taking a flight and are looking to take your firearm with you, you will need to follow strict guidelines which have been set by the TSA (better known as the Transportation Security Administration) and also the particular airline with which you will be planning on flying with. The information within this article can provide you with a smoother flight with very minimal trouble or interference from airline staff.
1. A lockable hard case is a must.
Per the official regulations set by the TSA, your case can either be integrated with secure combinations locks, or a hard case with multiple holes in order to secure heavy duty padlocks. Please remember, you should NOT use the locks provided to you by TSA. This is a very misunderstood area of the rules and law. In actual fact it’s illegal for you to use their locks. The law states, only you must have possession of the combination or keys in order to open your case. You cannot secure or lock it in such a manner that other individuals have access.
2. Always verify your airline’s website in order to check their policies.
While most airlines come with the same policies and regulations, there may always be an exception. It’s highly recommended that you print out the airline’s policy page and bring it with you to the airport. Not every member of staff will have a complete knowledge or understanding of their own airline’s gun policy. Bringing a copy of the policies can often prevent any lengthy and unnecessary confirmation announcements with management.
3. Don’t forget to verify the TSA policy website in order to gain the latest information.
It is not uncommon for specific rules, regulations and policies to change. It is highly recommended that you print out the policies from TSA’s website, as different TSA agents may have different understandings towards their own policies.
4. Make sure your gun and magazine is unloaded.
This step must be done in the comfort of your own home. Double and triple check that the chamber is empty. We recommend packing your firearm accessories with the cylinder or action locked open. This makes it very clear that the gun is safe. This is not a requirement, but it can often help.
5. You are allowed to pack ammo into the same locking case as your firearm
Your ammo will need to be stored in the same form of safe container as your firearm and not stored loose.
6. Inform your ticket agent of your firearm.
When it’s time to check in, do not hastily or shout loudly that you are carrying a gun. That will certainly alarm those around you. Calmly inform the ticketing agent that you are carrying a secured firearm and wish to declare it. The agent will then tell you what you will need to do, and may even call TSA in order to inspect your case. You will be required to fill out a declaration form or card which will be placed in or on your gun case.
7. Keep your padlock key securely in your carry on luggage
For a matter of security, it’s highly recommended that your padlock key remains with you at all times.
8. Anticipate lots of questions.
TSA may be more than happy to approve your firearm on your departure, however, other TSA agents may be far more happier to cut off your locks off between your departure gate and your arrival destination. They are not entirely obliged to do this without good reason, but there has been cases where this has happened.
Preparation before your flight will certainly make things far more smoother. Your trip should be far less eventful with the aid of insight and what to expect. Always remember, if you are ever in doubt contact your airline to discuss your travel arrangements for your firearm.
At Mounting Solutions Plus, we’re proud to promote safe gun ownership while traveling.