In 2018 over 1.8 billion US citizens lodged a travel trip. That’s a ton of people who want to get out of their small town or 9 to 5 job.
When it comes to travel, people want tips that get them there and back without stress. But, whether you’re going across borders or across town, most people have no clue what to do when traveling with a firearm.
Over 118 million households own a gun. That’s a lot of people who need to know how to carry and transport their gun when they want some fun in the sun.
So what things should you know when traveling with a gun? Read on to find out.
5. Law and Regulations
Gun laws differ state by state. You can find out your gun carrying laws on the NRA’s official website, but some tips aren’t clear, such as the laws that apply to interstate gun laws.
If you’re traveling with a firearm across the interstate, you have to have a permit to carry a gun or have one with you at all. In most cases, you need to have your gun and ammunition separated and out of reach.
Here’s a tip: if you’re traveling from one state to another, research the gun laws in the state you’re traveling to and from. For example, if you’re heading from California to Alaska, if you can have a firearm you can conceal it.
That is, in Alaska, it’s legal for 21-year-old firearm owners to conceal their weapon. There are other states where reciprocity is applied. If you’re in a state that is in accordance with Alaska state laws, you’re allowed to carry and conceal your gun as well. Vice versa.
What’s the upshot of all this?
If you’re planning on traveling in the US, pay attention to each states gun laws. Some of these laws will overlap between regions, giving you a break. If they do not, you will need to have your permit ready, and your weapon ammunition visible.
If you plan on traveling to another country, research their gun laws before arriving. Always study gun carry laws before you travel, even on boats. In the case of boating, for instance, you aren’t checked before you sail. But, being found with illegally carried firearms after arriving can be a big problem.
Let’s say you’re going on a backpacking adventure. You might think with the little room you have a few extra rounds stored in your bag is fine. If you’re traveling by bus, you cannot.
There aren’t many travel options that afford you the right to bring gun ammunition aboard. Any Greyhound bus or train gives you a firm no. In some cases, such as if you’re heavily permitted, you’ll be allowed.
What about on planes?
The TSA requires that you report ammunition before boarding the plane. You have to box and secure all small arms ammunition and large magazines. You can also bring your own personal ammo storage in some cases.
The size of ammunition matters too. If you exceed .75 caliber rounds you’ll be forced to store your ammo separate from your weapon.
There is also a limit on the amount of ammunition you can bring. 350 rounds and above can create warning signs for TSA. In the case of Southwest Airlines, you can bring 11 pounds max.
3. Firearms In Airports
Traveling to Asia, for instance, requires you bring your firearm on a plane. The TSA expects you to pack your gun, like you ammunition, in a secured box. What else do you need to know?
When you first arrive, you’ll need to declare your firearms with the airline ticket counter. Before you do this, make sure that all of your weapons and ammo are secured.
If you’re boarding a plane, your gun should be put into a checked bag. The box you store your gun it should be hard sided and locked. The box should also be empty of any ammunition.
That is, you should only store your gun the locked box, nothing else. The same applies to rifles and shotguns.
One of the few exceptions to TSA’s unarmed policy is if you’re a member of law enforcement. Still, you have to meet some specific requirements:
- You have to prove you are a legally bound police officer. Furthermore, prove that you are approved in your state and your district.
- You must be sworn (and commissioned) to represent your force, and its promise to reduce crime and immigration issues.
- Show proof that you are then allowed to carry a firearm by your branch and district.
- Completed TSA’s armed flying training course.
After you’ve passed these basic checks, you have to prove your reasons for armed travel. Here are some reasons that work.
- That your reason for traveling is to serve or protect in the place you land.
- That you are guarding a criminal.
- That you are protecting an official.
Even if these cases are met, you cannot travel armed if you are still in training, or if your purposes are not in the category the TSA mentions.
2. Doing Hunting Trips Right
This step can be summarized by adding up all the steps before it. If you’re going on a hunting trip you not only have to prove you can carry a firearm but prove you are able to hunt where you’re going.
If you’re bringing weapons with you, it’s advised you bring a personal case you know won’t get bent out of shape. That said, consider the rifle cases that are sturdiest for travel by plane.
It’s also important to contact your airport agent ahead of time. If you’re bringing gear with you, prepare to have it checked. By calling ahead of time you get to move through the line faster.
Typical baggage claims don’t always apply to guns and hunting gear. Your airline representative can also tell you where your gear will end up once you’ve landed. Typical baggage claims don’t always apply to guns and hunting gear.
Still, there are some tips to consider.
If you’re dressed in camo with a rifle slung over your shoulder TSA will slow you down considerably. If you have a gun this will happen either way, but there are things you can do to speed up the process:
- Pack your camo separately.
- Wear something “normal” so you don’t appear as a red flag.
- Be candid with your ticket agent. She will make the process go better for you.
Pack A Disposable Bag
Try not to overestimate how much you can bring. Even if you meet all requirements with bag inspection and TSA, you can still end up losing a bag.
That said, try keeping your priority weapons and ammunition organized. Do not put all of your guns in one bag, as this could risk you having to dump everything out and start again.
Another piece of advice, if you’re going hunting, don’t put your prized gun or tool in a bag you think you might lose.
1. Brands to Bring Along
If you’re transporting firearms you’ll need a brand of weapon that doesn’t break and disassembles easily. For instance, if you’re taking a weapon that doesn’t have a removable scope, it becomes difficult to separate and store the gun for flight.
Brands like Faxon Firearms are a great example. You can bring along high-quality barrels and ammunition without worrying about dysfunctional equipment when you land.
You should also consider quality when you’re packing for your travels. Here are some tips:
- You can’t bring all your ammo. Try sorting through rounds that will fit your needs best before going.
- You can’t check in every gun. Some are too large, some too heavy. That said, rely on firearms that suit your purposes and don’t make your chances on a plane worsen.
Finally, it’s best to bring firearms that are straightforward. That is, if you bring something into an airport that looks sketchy, it might take you longer to check your things in. Pick guns that are simple and perform their function without raising alarms.
Traveling With A Firearm Can Be A Breeze
Whether you’re traveling across the US or jumping half-way across the world, there are sure-fire ways to bring your gun along with you.
If you plan on taking a gun on a trip, try researching all the regulations before going. Then, pack your firearms in a way you can trust and the world won’t freak out.
Traveling with a firearm can be easy. You just need to learn the basics and then you’re all set. So what do you say? Get your things together and prepare for one heck of an adventure!