Elk NetworkGear 101: Flying With Weapons

Gear 101 | September 6, 2018

Have Case Will Travel

Flying commercially isn’t exactly a good time. If you to plan bring along a rifle or bow, things might get weird, for both you and TSA, which could lead to missed flights or worse. Knowing the rules and regulations is key. We’ll walk you through the basics.

Before you fly

Read TSA guidelines on traveling with firearms. Printing them out and bringing them with you to the airport can help provide valuable clarity and backup if things go awry. Get the latest regs at www.tsa.gov/travel/transporting-firearms-and-ammunition.

Read the guidelines for the specific airline that you’ll be flying.Print those out and bring them with you, too. There are inconsistencies between airlines.

Do not buy TSA-approved locks. Spend the money on beefy locks for which only you have the key. No one should have access to those weapons but you.

Pack your unloaded firearms securely in the foam. Ammunition can go in the case as well, but keep it in the box. Do not have loose ammo anywhere. 

At the airport

Don’t try to check a firearm at curbside check-in; TSA won’t let you. 

Once inside, smile at the ticket agent and say you’d like to declare your firearm. You will fill out a form stating your firearm is unloaded and proceed to security.

Give yourself time to remain in the luggage area until your case is cleared at security. TSA may ask you to open your case, and you are the only one with the key.

Like firearms, bows must be checked baggage, but you don’t have to declare it. You do want to protect it, though, which is why a hard-sided case is a must for your bow and archery gear. This Plano Field Locker is a stout choice with fully-customizable foam. Once your bow is packed, feel free to stuff shirts and underwear around the components to provide even more padding.

Just in case, put your broadheads in their own hard-sided case. If an arrow breaks free from the quiver, you don’t want those razors bouncing around your string—or cutting up a TSA agent.