This video is a unique one on firearms from the Military Arms Channel – it talks about the laws and regulations regarding flying with a firearm on commercial airlines. He also includes tips on what to do, gathered from his many years of experience.
Lately, he says he’s been doing a lot of traveling and has been taking his personal defensive handgun with him. There are some very strict regulations which must be followed when traveling on a commercial aircraft with a weapon. He’ll be discussing the types of case that must be used, the type of locks that go with them, the process for checking the firearm at the airport, and carrying ammunition, magazines and accessories.
All airlines follow federal laws, but some airlines might do things differently. For example, there are those that charge a fee for bringing a firearm onboard. The TSA-approved case is a hard shell case that is non-flexible, with enough locking points that when the case is locked, it cannot be pried open. If TSA officials can get it open just half an inch, it’s not getting on the plane. Pelican cases are TSA approved, for example.
He opens the case to shows what it looks like, which has a pre-cut compartment. It’s a deep case, and he can take the top layer out to reveal storage for two boxes of ammunition and a loaded magazine. All ammunition must be contained in the case, with no loose rounds.
The TSA mandates that these cases should be locked with non-TSA locks. They must have locks that only the owner has the key to, and the keys must always be with the owner and not in the checked baggage, in case airline personnel ask to see the case.
At the airport, check in normally, but declare the firearm at the baggage counter. This is very important – don’t put the firearm in the carry-on bag. Even toy guns should be checked. Make sure the gun is not loaded, because some personnel might inspect before checking it. It’s going to get a sticker that says it is unloaded. Ammunition, magazines or stripper clips, firing pins, bolts, trigger components, slides, frames or barrels must all go in the checked baggage. Optics, however, can go on carry-on.
There is a maximum limit for ammunition – just 11 pounds, and nothing over the .75 caliber. This information came straight from the TSA agents. They must be locked in a box made of the same material as a handgun or rifle case, with the same locks. He has gotten away with taking his holster on his carry-on because it is not considered a firearm.
A reminder to everyone: make sure to comply with the laws of whatever state is the final destination, as each state has different laws.