Transporting Firearms and Ammunition
Firearms, ammunition and firearm parts may only be transported in checked baggage. Firearms, ammunition and firearm parts are prohibited from carry-on baggage.
There are certain limited exceptions for law enforcement officers (LEOs) who are authorized to fly armed by meeting the requirements of 49 CFR § 1544.219.
Following is a summary of key regulatory requirements to transport firearms, firearm parts or ammunition in checked baggage:
All firearms must be declared to the air carrier during the ticket counter check-in process.
The firearm must be unloaded.
The firearm must be carried in a hard-sided container.
The container must be locked.
It is preferred that the passenger provide the key or combination to the screener if it is necessary to open the container, and then remain present during screening to take back possession of the key after the container is cleared. If you are not present and the screener must open the container, the TSA and/or airline will make a reasonable attempt to contact the passenger. If this is unsuccessful, the container will not be placed on the plane since unlocked gun cases (or cases with broken locks) are not permitted on aircraft due to Federal regulations.
Any ammunition transported must be securely packed in fiber (such as cardboard), wood or metal boxes or other packaging specifically designed to carry small amounts of ammunition.
Firearm magazines/clips do not satisfy the packaging requirement unless they provide a complete and secure enclosure of the ammunition (e.g., by securely covering the exposed portions of the magazine or by securely placing the magazine in a pouch, holder, holster or lanyard).
The ammunition may also be located in the same hard-sided case as the firearm, as long as it is properly packed as described above.
Black powder and percussion caps used with black-powder type firearms are not permitted in carry-on or checked baggage.
The regulations are strictly enforced. Violations can result in criminal prosecution and the imposition of civil penalties of up to $10,000 per violation.
Air carriers may have their own additional requirements on the carriage of firearms and the amount of ammunition an individual may place in checked baggage. Therefore, travelers should also contact the air carrier regarding its firearm and ammunition carriage policies.
I have flown with a firearm several times since 9/11, and it is truly no big deal. Just follow these rules and you should be fine.
[Jayne] "Six men came to kill me one time, and the best of them carried this. It's a Callahan FullBore AutoLock,customized trigger and double cartridge thorough-guage. It's my very favorite gun." [/Jayne]