When it comes to flying with your gun, first and foremost you cannot carry open or concealed at the airport. Whatever you do, don’t forget about your gun in your carry-on bag. Many Oklahomans rush to the airport only to discover their concealed carry gun stayed in a backpack, purse, or other carry-on luggage. TSA can charge a hefty administrative fine or refer the case to the district attorney for prosecution. It is a misdemeanor to carry a pistol under the Self-Defense Act into a government building. There is an exception for carrying an unloaded firearm, a pistol, rifle, or a shotgun in a locked gun case for delivery to an airline agent for the purpose of transportation to an ultimate destination. The local law for accidentally carrying through or into a secured area is quite strict. The TSA agents who man the security gates may in their discretion refer the case for prosecution to a federal administrative judge or refer the case for prosecution to the local district attorney.
I have not heard of a policy where the offending weapon is retrieved from the scanner and delivered to its owner for return to the car. There is no distinction between handguns and long guns. However, there is a distinction between illegal guns and legal guns such as sawed-off shotguns and legally purchased guns. Another common question is, “Are there any differences between local airports and municipal airports?” There are no Oklahoma-specific flying regulations that have control over the federal regulations for transporting firearms in your luggage; however, there are some distinctions between airports that are private airports operated, constructed, and owned by private industry and municipal airports. Most airports in Oklahoma are owned, operated, leased, or managed by local municipalities. There can be no open or concealed carry of firearms in the airports operated by local municipalities.
Private airstrips and private airports may decide for themselves whether to allow the carry of firearms on private property. The Self-Defense Act applies when you are on your way to the airport; however, a person does not need to have a CCL to transport an unloaded firearm to the airport. When you transport your gun to an airline, make sure the gun is in a hard-sided case, that it is unloaded, and in the trunk of your car or in a gun case that is visible if your vehicle does not have a trunk. Because auto accidents can happen on the way to the airport, make sure that none of your passengers are convicted felons. If anyone riding in your car has a felony on their record, make sure to provide separate transportation for them. Convicted felons cannot ride in the same car when a gun is being transported. A minor fender bender may slow down the process of getting to the airport; however, someone with a felony would be rerouted to jail instead of getting on the plane.
U.S. LawShield members, should you have any questions, please feel free to give U.S. LawShield a call and ask to speak with your Independent Program Attorney.