Sunday, September 02, 2012

TSA Locks and Firearms (Flying)

A number of shooters have the belief that TSA locks cannot be used to secure a firearm case when flying.

TSA locks have been authorized for use starting in late 2009!

Q. What is the proper lock that I should use to secure my hard-sided firearms case?A. Travelers can use a single key or combination lock to which only the traveler has the key or combination, or a TSA-recognized lock.

Q. Are TSA-recognized locks permitted for securing firearms in a hard-sided case? A. Yes.

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Travelers may only transport UNLOADED firearms in a locked, hard-sided container in or as checked baggage. All firearms, ammunition and firearm parts, including firearm frames and receivers, are prohibited in carry-on baggage.

Firearm possession laws vary by state and locality. Travelers should familiarize themselves with state and local firearm laws for each point of travel prior to departure.

Airlines may have additional requirements for traveling with firearms and ammunition. Travelers should also contact the airline regarding firearm and ammunition carriage policies.

Also, please note that other countries have different laws that address transportation and possession of firearms. If international travel is planned, check the regulations of the destination country to ensure compliance with their requirements.

  • Travelers must declare all firearms to the airline during the ticket counter check-in process.
  • The firearm must be unloaded.
  • The firearm must be in a hard-sided container.
  • The container must be locked. A locked container is defined as one that completely secures the firearm from being accessed. Locked cases that can be pulled open with little effort cannot be brought aboard the aircraft.
  • If firearms are not properly declared or packaged, TSA will provide the bag to law enforcement for resolution with the airline. If the issue is resolved, law enforcement will release the bag to TSA so screening may be completed.
  • TSA must resolve all alarms of checked luggage. If a locked container containing a firearm alarms, TSA will contact the airline, who will make a reasonable attempt to contact the owner and advise the passenger to go to the screening location. If contact is not made, the container will not be placed on the aircraft.
  • If a locked container alarms during screening and is not marked as containing a declared firearm, TSA will cut the lock in order to resolve the alarm.
  • Travelers should remain in the area designated by the aircraft operator or TSA representative to take the key back after the container is cleared for transportation.
  • Travelers must securely pack any ammunition in fiber (such as cardboard), wood or metal boxes or other packaging specifically designed to carry small amounts of ammunition.
  • Firearm magazines and ammunition clips must be securely boxed or included within a hard-sided case containing an unloaded firearm.
  • Small arms ammunition, including ammunition not exceeding .75 caliber for a rifle or pistol and shotgun shells of any gauge, may be carried in the same hard-sided case as the firearm, as long as it follows the packing guidelines described above.
  • TSA prohibits black powder or percussion caps used with black-powder.

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    Do not exceed airline weight allowance of 11 pounds gross weight (five Kgs.) for both ammunition and packaging.

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    Flying with Firearms

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