Is It Possible to Bring Your Gun on a Flight?

Yes, it’s possible.

Find out how.

People flying across the nation have increased in number over the last few years, explaining the rise in instances of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) flagging firearms in the luggage of passengers.

The TSA confiscated over 4,432 guns in 2019 at about 278 airports in the United States of America.

This is an increase from the 2018 figures of 4,239 firearms. In comparison to the 2010 figures of 1,123 guns, it experienced a 277% spike. The trend is bad, hence the need to create awareness on the legal way to travel with your firearm on a flight.

The Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport is the airport with the highest number of gun confiscations at 323 firearms. What’s more, 87% of the firearms were found loaded.

The first gun confiscated only a couple of weeks into the 2020 New Year was at Newark Liberty International Airport. Don’t be statistic if you want to travel with a firearm because bringing your gun on a flight isn’t illegal.


You must follow particular guidelines and rules to travel with your firearm. Visit the official TSA website to access the most recent local, state and national rules and regulations on how to travel with your firearm on an airplane.

Similarly, the Lehigh Valley International Airport witnessed an increase in the number of customers trying to board their flights with guns hidden in their luggage.

However, there’re various steps you must follow to legally board a plane with your gun. About 8 passengers tried to board a flight out of the LVIA airport either with a firearm in their luggage or on them.

Six other passengers tried to improperly declare their firearm prior to boarding a flight. A Florida man also tried to board a flight with grenade launcher that’s disassembled and a similar grenade.

When found with an illegal gun at a security checkpoint, the incident can inconvenience all passengers traveling through the same route. It can also result in a hefty fine, up to $4,000 penalty for a first-time offender.

How to fly with your gun on a commercial flight legally

You must unload your firearm and lock it in a hard-sided case to travel with it on an airplane. Place all ammunition in their original packaging before putting it inside the case with your gun.

Ranging from nice to expensive pistol case options, you can find a cheap one online for as low as $10.

Commercial flights allow passengers to travel with unloaded firearms as long as they’re packed in the right way. And, check it in at the airline counter.

The case should have locks to prevent unauthorized users from prying it open and accessing your firearm and/or ammo. Multiple locks are required for larger cases used to hold shotguns or rifles.

You don’t need to use vendor locks for your gun cases. However, TSA agents usually have master keys for all vendor locks.

Check in the case at your airline’s check-in counter

Declare your firearms at the airline’s check-in counter before going through the security checkpoints.

With proper storage of your unloaded gun and ammo in a locked case, you’ll fill out a document as small as an index card. However, the police will likely be alerted if you don’t follow the right procedure.

When checking in your unloaded firearm, you’ll be asked to fill out a form. And, TSA agents label gun cases with unloaded firearms.

An airline representative will take the firearm after you’ve met all the procedures and requirements, and filled out the right documents. You’ll then proceed to the security checkpoints.

How to pack your gun for air travels

First, unload your firearm to travel with it. No live rounds of ammunition is allowed in the cylinder or chamber. What’s more, no ammo is allowed in your weapon’s magazine.

Lock the unloaded gun in a hard-sided case. And, submit it as a checked bag directly upon entering the airport.

You can lock your case with a code, key, fingerprints, or a combination of the lock mechanisms. However, only the owner can have the code or key to the case. You aren’t allowed to transport your firearm as a carry-on baggage.

How to check your ammo

You can also travel with ammunition based on specific rules governing air travels with firearms such as AR 15 pistol choices from GNF. However, you can check in your baggage as long as it’s packaged properly and declared appropriately.

Securely box ammo and magazine clips. You can also include it in the locked or hard-sided case with your unloaded gun.

Various rules govern traveling with small arms ammo. Check with your specific airline before flying to ascertain that the amount of ammo you bring doesn’t exceed the allowed limit.

What you should do at upon arriving at the airport

Report directly to your specific airline counter to declare your weapon, the moment you arrive at the airport. A TSA agent will ask for the weapon’s owner to open the locked gun travel case.

The agents will ensure that the firearm is unloaded and the ammo packaged properly. The agent also ensures that other local or state regulations are followed to the letter.

Next, the firearm is locked securely in its hard-sided case for safe transportation as a checked bag to your destination.

You can pack your rifle scope in a carry-on bag into a flight, but not firearm parts such as bolts, magazines, firing pins, and others you’ll find at On the other hand, toy weapons are packed in a normal bag or suitcase, not a carry-on bag. However, rules and guidelines vary from one airport or airline to another.