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Ins and Outs of Traveling with a Firearm

Owning a firearm is an awesome responsibility. While there is perhaps no better personal protection than possessing a firearm, they are also one of the most dangerous weapons known to man. That’s why most states require not only a license to carry a handgun, but they also require extensive training courses on how to use them. To possess both handguns and long guns, most states require a federal background check.

However, even if you are licensed to carry a pistol, there are some instances where your gun might be confiscated. For instance, if you experience a traumatic home invasion, and you shoot the intruder, it’s quite possible the law will take your firearm away, at least for the duration of a trial which can take many months, leaving you unprotected. That’s when you need to hire a lawyer.

Says Evan F. Nappen, Attorney at Law PC, a gun possession lawyer, you need to seek out a reputable attorney who will aggressively fight for your second amendment rights. The firm should not only provide a wide range of criminal defense services for all crimes in all courts, but who also focuses primarily in the area of firearms and other deadly weapons.  

But what if you’re a gun owner, and in particular a handgun owner, who needs to travel on a plane with your gun? What are the precise steps you must engage in to carry the gun in accordance with the existing laws?

According to a recent report, it might surprise you to know that traveling with a firearm in your possession is actually straightforward procedure. Whether you’re traveling with a gun for your personal protection or for a hunting expedition, there are specific steps you are required to abide by for safe travel with a dangerous weapon. Keep in mind there are specific protocols for both gun and ammunition.

Gun Ownership in the U.S.

A recent Pew Research Center study shows that 3 out of every ten adults in the U.S. own at least one firearm. 4 out of ten live with someone who owns at least one gun. Says the most recent U.S. census, there are approximately 327 million people in American. Nearly 80 percent of them are considered adults. The data implies that about 77 million U.S. residents legally own guns, but the number is probably much higher.  

Owning a gun is one of your most important Constitutional rights. People own them not only for personal protection in an increasingly lawless society, but also for hunting which means sometimes you need to travel with your guns if you’re after the big game.

Flying with Your Guns

It’s quite possible to safely transport your guns while traveling by air. Here are some of the rules you should abide by. You cannot have a gun on your person (although there are a few exceptions such as certain law enforcement officers who are on an actual mission).

You are allowed to travel with your gun, but it’s imperative that you follow the TSA (Transportation Security Administration) regulations which means you must check it properly as checked baggage. The rules for flying to foreign countries are said to vary which means a gun owner need to do one’s research with regards to both the airline and the destination.

TSA Rules For Flying with a Gun

The TSA’srules for flying with a gun are said to be very clear. Firearms must be transported as “checked baggage only.” Your gun or guns must be unloaded with no rounds in the chamber and zero rounds inserted in the magazine.

You gun must be stored inside a “locked hard-sided container.” Plus, you need to declare your firearms(s) plus the ammunition to the airline at the baggage check counter. In turn, you will be required to fill out some necessary forms.

Take note that your firearm travel container is required to be fully secured in order to prevent the gun from being accessed while in transport. If you check the TSA website, it notes, “Be aware that the container the firearm was in when purchased may not adequately secure the firearm when it is transported in checked baggage.”

Air passengers flying with guns must keep the combination and/or key to their locked firearm travel contain private unless TSA personnel request to open it. 

Gun parts such as magazines, firing pins, bolts, clips, etc, are prohibited as carry-on baggage and must be included in your checked baggage. Replica weapons such as Airsoft guns must also be included in checked baggage.

Rifle scopes however, can be included in your carry-on baggage.

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About the author

Juergen T Steinmetz

Juergen Thomas Steinmetz has continuously worked in the travel and tourism industry since he was a teenager in Germany (1977).
He founded eTurboNews in 1999 as the first online newsletter for the global travel tourism industry.

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