Flying with your guns, in checked luggage of course, can be intimidating. But it can be done.
First I recommend reading through the TSA regulations on transporting firearms in checked luggage.
- You must follow the laws of where you are flying from and where you are flying to.
- You will have to declare the firearms when you check your luggage in at the counter. They will place a declaration tag inside the luggage or case (they cannot mark the outside of the luggage.
- Firearms must be unloaded and ammunition stored separately from the firearm.
- Firearms must be transported in a hard side lockable case. That case can be placed into other luggage as well.
Airlines may have some variations in these rules, but will not be more relaxed than these. The rules can be found in 49 CFR 1540.111 and 49 CFR 175.10
A couple of our suggestions are as follows:
You want to be sure no one can pry open the case. Use locks on every available area to avoid anyone prying open the case. Do NOT use TSA locks on gun cases. TSA locks compromise the security of the firearm and violate the law if used on gun cases. Only the passenger is to have access to the firearm, only the passenger is allowed to have the key or combo. The TSA bring the passenger to the case/luggage if the need access to it, they are not allowed to access the firearm without the passenger present ( 49 CFR 1540.111)
Typically magazines need to be empty, but that depends on the airline. We recommend using the original factory box, or labeled cartridge boxes designed for ammunition, it cannot be loose or stored in bags.
Firearms must be unloaded and its helpful to use chamber flags. Though they aren’t required, they do help speed-up the inspection process and bring peace of mind.
When you arrive at your destination, your luggage may be found on the carousel or it may have been held in the baggage claim office, there is no consistency with this. We recommend checking the carousel first, and then checking with the office if it didn’t show up.