Traveling with a firearm on a commercial airline can be legal as long as the firearm is transported and unloaded in a locked, hard-sided container as checked baggage. Anyone traveling with firearms and/or ammunition should always check with every airport being used and their commercial airline in any other state they are visiting with firearms to verify any applicable firearm laws, regulations, and policies before traveling.

Lawful conduct in one state may be a felony criminal offense in another state. The Transportation Security Administration or TSA has a number of rules which must be followed in order to carry a firearm and/or ammunition aboard a commercial airliner or in the sterile areas of an airport. Firearms must be unloaded, stored in a locked, hard-sided container, and then checked. The TSA allows plastic or metal hard-sided cases as long as the case completely secures the firearm from being accessed, and you are the only person who has the key or combination to the lock.

TSA-approved locks are recommended on checked firearms, ammunition, and any magazines, whether loaded or empty. They also must be securely boxed or included within the hard-sided case. No firearms, firearm parts, or ammunition are allowed in carry-on baggage. It must be declared and checked with the airlines. Different airlines and airports have varying policies on how they want you to declare your firearms and or ammunition. It is recommended to verify any policies with your airline and airport. All ammunition must be securely packed in cardboard, wood, metal boxes, or in other packaging specifically designed to carry small amounts of ammunition. It can also be loaded into magazines that are securely boxed or placed in the hard-sided locked container holding the firearm.

Airlines may have their own preferences as to how they want ammunition packaged and the amount you may have in checked baggage. Contact your airline for more details regarding ammunition. Call U.S. LawShield and ask to speak to your Independent Program Attorney if you have any questions concerning securing and transporting firearms when flying.