Flying with firearms can be daunting since every airline has a different set of rules. Use these three tricks to breeze through airports when traveling with guns to avoid the unwanted TSA poke-and-grope (unless you dig that sort of thing). Remember, always know the laws concerning firearms possession in your state, as well as your destination. We’ve never claimed to be lawyers.
Traveling With Guns 101
Verify that all of the firearms you will be checking at the ticket counter are completely unloaded and have chamber flags. Now check again. And one more time. Believe me, you do not want to be racking a slide while in line. Ensure all of your ammunition is separated and contained in factory boxes; you can fly with up to 11 pounds, but that doesn’t mean you can throw it in a Ziploc bag.
Lastly, it’s a good idea to use padlocks on the gun case (not your normal luggage) since you are the only person who should be accessing the case, not Mr. Sticky Fingers in the baggage handling area.
Know Your Airline Rules
It is not uncommon for you to know the airline rules better than the ticket agent. Brush up before your flight by visiting the airline’s website. Always be courteous to the ticket agent, and guide them through the process if they are unsure. There is no harm in asking for a TSA agent to help if your Spidey Sense starts to tingle. Be a good gun community member and remain respectful.
You will sign a declaration that everything is unloaded and place it in your case, which you will then lock. Most importantly: never let an unlocked gun case out of your sight, even if the agent says it is OK. Lock it up tight.
Get To Baggage Claim Immediately
Once you reach your final destination, don’t get distracted by the siren smells of the Cinnabon counter. Go immediately to baggage claim and wait for your bags. Sometimes your locked case will come right through the normal carousel. Don’t panic if you don’t see it. You’ve got your claim ticket, right? Head to the baggage claim office and speak with a representative. More often than not, they will have it at their desk, just as if it were oversized luggage.
Choosing the Right Gear
There are plenty of options available on today’s market when it comes to travel with firearms. The latest offerings from Magpul, Pelican, and Vertx make sure that your guns and gear are not just safe but also secure. Many new modular configurations ensure that the firearms stay in place no matter how rough the baggage handler may be with them. Backpacks are a great option with their velcro fastening system when just heading out for a simple range day session with friends, but a rugged, secure case is an absolute must for airline travel.
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