With Thanksgiving upon us, many Gunsite family members will be travelling throughout the Republic for family festivities. We recognize the state of the world and the threats by our enemies to strike the homeland. As a result, we try to travel prepared. (Read: Armed!) We also need to remember that your Mental Awareness is something you can always improve upon. (Recall your Mindset Lecture and the Color Code. If not, time to re-read Principles of Personal Defense.)
It would be incumbent upon you to review the laws of where you are travelling (and those states you transit through) to see if your Concealed Carry Weapons Permit is valid and how you can transport through those jurisdictions.
Fortunately our friends at the National Rifle Association (NRA) have made research of the various state laws easy for us on their website: https://www.nraila.org/gun-laws/. Gunsite graduate and friend Bryan Ciyou (a good guy attorney) also has a book, Gun Laws By State, that is easy to read and understand. You must know the laws of the states you transit and carry in.
Finally, if you fly commercially, the TSA has guidelines as well as the various airlines for transporting firearms, ammunition and accessories. (Below find the requirements of TSA and at https://www.tsa.gov/travel/transporting-firearms-and-ammunition) You must also visit the web page of your respective airline to see if they have any additional requirements.
I have flown several times this year across the country on various airlines and have had no issues with TSA nor airline staff whatsoever in checking my firearms, magazines and ammunition. Having said that, I was familiar with their requirements and strived to meet them. Further, it might be good to remember that many of the airline staff and TSA employees are not “gun people” and know little other than what their employer has instructed them. The old adage: “You will draw more flies with honey than vinegar” is good advice. If you have an issue, it is always better to be a polite professional with the staff than be foul. (Sometimes it is good to have a copy of the TSA and airline requirements with you and to politely ask for a supervisor.) always allow a little extra time as well for the extra work they must do.
You may transport unloaded firearms in a locked hard-sided container as checked baggage only. Declare the firearm to the airline when checking your bag at the ticket counter. The container must completely secure the firearm from being accessed. Locked cases that can be easily opened will not be accepted. Be aware that cases that are supplied when purchasing a firearm may not be appropriate for securing the firearm when flying.
- Comply with regulations on carrying firearms where you are traveling from and to, as laws vary by local, state and international governments.
- Declare all firearms, ammunition and parts to the airline during the check-in process. Ask about limitations or fees that may apply.
- Firearms must be unloaded and locked in a hard-sided container and transported as checked baggage only. Firearm parts, including firearms frames and receivers, must also be placed in checked baggage and are prohibited in carry-on baggage.
- Replica firearms may be transported in checked baggage only.
- Rifle scopes are permitted in carry-on and checked bags.
- All firearms, ammunition and firearm parts, including firearm frames, receivers, clips and magazines are prohibited in carry-on baggage.
United States Code, Title 18, Part 1, Chapter 44, firearm definitions includes: any weapon (including a starter gun) which will, or is designed to, or may readily be converted to expel a projectile by the action of an explosive; the frame or receiver of any such weapon; any firearm muffler or firearm silencer; and any destructive device. As defined by 49 CFR 1540.5 a loaded firearm has a live round of ammunition, or any component thereof, in the chamber or cylinder or in a magazine inserted in the firearm.
- Firearm magazines and ammunition clips, whether loaded or empty, 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 rifle or pistol and shotgun shells of any gauge, may be carried in the same hard-sided case as the firearm, as described in the packing guidelines above.
If you are fortunate to spend the holidays with family, please take a moment to say a prayer for our military and public safety and their families as they work to keep us safe while we share the blessings of Thanksgiving.
Gunsite wishes you and yours a blessed Thanksgiving and hope to see you back at the Gunsite Ranch again.
Sheriff Ken Campbell (Ret.)
Chief Operating Officer
Gunsite Academy, Inc.