Most people don’t realize that you can safely and legally fly with firearms. Although the regulations can make your head spin, if you’re like me and you want to be prepared, learning how to legally transport firearms is a must.
I travel a lot, and there are certain places that I wouldn’t consider going without having a weapon. Hell, even staying at a hotel in a so called “good neighborhood” isn’t always the safest thing to do. That’s why I think it’s important to be able to carry your weapon while traveling.
The Safe Passage Act:
KNOW YOUR RIGHTS: The U.S. Department of Justice issued a written opinion that people who travel on airlines with guns are protected under the Safe Passage Act in the Firearms Owners Protection Act. This means that if you follow their regulations, you should be able to bring your guns with you on most trips.
The regulations have a number of stipulations that you should be aware of:
- You must be traveling to and from a location that you may legally have a firearm.
- When driving to the airport your firearm must be unloaded and unreachable from the passenger section of the vehicle.
- The Firearm must be transported directly to the check in desk unloaded and in a locked hard-sided container. (Your Case must be completely secure and should not be able to be pulled open when locked.)
- Guns need to be declared at check-in.
- The person transporting the firearm needs to go directly from his vehicle to the check-in desk.
- Ammunition must be secured in a fiber (cardboard), wood, or metal box specifically designed to carry ammunition.
- Keep in mind that some airlines have their own rules and regulations considering traveling with firearms. It’s always a good idea to ask the airline for their policy before planning your trip.
I should also point out that because gun laws are constantly changing, and can vary from state to state, you should always double check with the TSA and local law enforcement in any area you plan on traveling. Not checking the local gun laws has landed a number of people in jail who are now facing very long jail terms, so please don’t take it lightly.
Attempting to bring a firearm, ammunition, or any other weapon on a plane in your carry-on luggage or on your person can and will land you right in jail.
Don’t go crazy! I’m all for self defense, but I also want to limit the amount of TSA scrutiny and hassle while I’m traveling. The last thing I want to do is be held up by some overzealous agent who has a problem with the second amendment. In most cases, I try to limit what I bring.
Handguns and generic looking rifles tend to speed up the inspection process. In other words, traveling with something that looks “tactical” is more likely to increase your time and is probably not worth the hassle.