There are many reasons why people own guns. Whether it’s for protection, hunting, sport shooting, or any other reason, safety is always paramount. Unfortunately, some gun owners fear traveling with their guns due to the common misconception of difficulty. Well, in America, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) made it legally easier for you to add your gun to your travel packing list. That’s said, the following tips will help you travel with your gun with a peaceful mind.
1. Check the laws of your destination.
Before anything else, you need to take your time and go through the gun regulation policies at your destination state or country. Since gun laws differ from place to place, you should double check the TSA and airline guidelines. If possible, you can print or screenshot the copies to help you verify. Some of the things to check include the type of firearms accepted in the destination state. Additionally, take note of the amount of magazine capacity allowed. Also, check whether the state allows individuals to carry concealed weapons and permits. After you have familiarized yourself with the gun rules, you will make an informed decision on which gun to pack and which permit to carry alongside.
2. Pack in a hard-shelled gun case
Packing your gun in a secure hard-shelled case is very necessary for the safety of those around you and the lifetime of the firearm. Guns also need to be protected from wear and tear. A hard-shelled case ensures the weapon is held in a fixed position preventing it from any damages. Also, the case should be lockable either with padlocks, keys, or a combination. Having a lockable gun case also ensures you comply with the TSA regulations. Alternatively, you can also secure your gun with hard foam. However, this option is only suitable for those traveling over short trips.
3. Double-check the weight of the gun case and ammo
Every airline does have a specific weight limit for your gun case and ammunition. Therefore, you need to confirm with the airlines before packing. Generally, the majority of airlines will accept up to 50 lbs. weight limit for the gun case and 11 lbs. for ammunition.
Again, you should ensure that your ammo is appropriately packed in a safe container or box. This is part of TSA regulations you have to comply with.
4. Ensure the gun is empty.
While it may seem obvious, this is one crucial step that is easy to forget. When packing, ensure that you unload the gun and the ammo is packed in a different bag. Make sure that the chamber and the magazines are emptied before leaving your home. This will help you avoid the hassle and tussles with the airport officials. Even if you think the gun isn’t loaded, it’s recommended that you double-check.
5. Use correct locks
Usually, when you approach the inspection point, you should declare your weapon to officials. After this, the TSA agents will inspect your luggage and issue a clearance notice. Then, the gun is safely placed in its casing and secured with TSA locks. As a golden rule, always bring your own locks and use them instead of those provided by TSA. The reason for this is that it will ensure no one accesses your luggage. Previously, people have complained of their gun case being accessed after securing them with the TSA locks. Remember that once issued a clearance notice, no one else should access your luggage.
At some point in time, every gun owner would want to travel with their gun for various reasons. When such a scenario presents, it’s essential that you comply with the necessary rules and policies to ensure uninterrupted travel. Whether you are traveling by vehicle or plane, the above-mentioned tips will help you through.