USA – Welcome back to The Legal Brief, the show where you thought I didn’t dress nicely.
I’m wearing a suit today because;
- 1) I’m an attorney
- 2) I’m also running for the NRA Board of Directors
- 3) Jon and I were out doing a photo shoot for my website adamkraut.com.
As you probably guessed, I’m your host Adam Kraut and today we’re talking getting airborne with firearms.
A lot of people have asked what is the proper way to fly with a firearm?
Flying with a firearm is not any more difficult than flying generally, it just requires that you need to be aware of the regulations surrounding flying with a gun.
Let me start by saying that each airline has its own set of policies and procedures, and this video is only meant to address the federal regulations. We’ll begin with the transportation of a firearm before moving on to the ammunition itself.
And for the love of God check your frigging carry on [for guns, ammunition, gun parts, knives and empty shells,] before you line up to be groped by TSA.
49 CFR Section 1540.111 regulates the carriage of weapons, explosives and incendiaries by individuals with regard to civil aviation. It states that an individual may not transport, offer for transport in a checked bag, or in baggage carried in an inaccessible cargo hold a 1) loaded firearm or 2) unloaded firearm unless four criteria are met.
So if you want to transport a gun on a plane, these four criteria must be met:
First, the passenger must declare to the aircraft operator (read ticket agent) either verbally or in writing before checking their baggage that the passenger has a firearm and that it is unloaded. Second, the firearm has to actually be unloaded. Third, the firearm must be in a hardside container and fourth, the container in which the firearm is carried must be locked and only the passenger retains the key or combination.
As a side note, you cannot carry any of the firearm parts (save for a Scope) in a carry on. It all must be checked. Now the fourth point is probably the most important. You and you alone are to have the ability to open the container that has the firearm in it. There have been reported instances of TSA agents demanding a passenger relinquish their key so they can open the container. I can’t for the life of me figure out a reason which would require them to be able to open the container as they can see through it with an x-ray machine and there is no reason for them to open the thing.
With regard to ammunition, Section 1540.111 states “This section does not prohibit the carriage of ammunition in checked baggage or in the same container as a firearm.”
However, 49 CFR Section 175.10 regulates small arms ammunition. It states that ammunition for personal use may be carried by a passenger in checked baggage if securely packed in boxes or other packagings specifically designed to carry small amounts of ammunition.
Ammunition clips and magazines must also be securely boxed. In other words, you can’t have ammunition in an ammo can or just thrown into a box.
Factory packaging or the MTM boxes some of us reloaders use will suffice.
Jon ran into an issue one time when trying to fly with ammunition because the amount of ammunition was greater than the weight limit set by the airline he was flying. Some airlines may have a specific weight limit for the amount of ammunition you are carrying.
Here are a few tips for flying with a firearm.
Arrive early, so that way you don’t encounter any unexpected delays with TSA. When I was coming back from Boise, TSA wanted to swab my luggage AFTER I declared there was a firearm in it. I’m not sure what they were expecting to find, perhaps gun powder residue, but that would make sense given there was a 4#@!$#@ gun in the luggage.
If traveling with a pistol, I lock the hard side container to the frame of the suitcase. My thought is it is a bit harder to walk out of an airport with a suitcase than a hardside case in a backpack. Check the website of the airline you are flying with to see if they have any special company restrictions.
So flying with a gun really isn’t that bad. Much like other gun laws individuals have made it sound more complicated than it really is.
Hopefully you’re now a little more comfortable with the idea of flying with a firearm. If you guys liked this episode, you know what to do, hit that like button and share it around with your friends. Have a question you want answered on this show, head over to The Legal Brief section on theguncollective.com. Be sure to check out my website adamkraut.com for more information on my quest to serve YOU on the NRA Board of Directors. Don’t forget to like The Gun Collective on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Full 30, Snap Chat and wherever else you can catch us on social media.
And as always thanks for watching!
Links for this episode:
- 49 CFR 1540.111 – Carriage of weapons, explosives, and incendiaries by individuals. : https://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/49/1540.111
- 49 CFR 175.10 – Exceptions for passengers, crewmembers, and air operators. : https://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/49/175.10
- TSA – Transporting Firearms and Ammunition : https://www.tsa.gov/travel/transporting-firearms-and-ammunition
- DOJ Letter : http://www.handgunlaw.us/documents/doj_doc_nyc_air.pdf
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