Whether you’re moving, going on a big hunting trip, or simply heading to the shooting range, you’re going to need to transport your gun at some point. If you’re planning on doing it soon, you’ll want to ensure you’re doing it the correct way. That’s why we’ve put together a guide on what you need to know when traveling with your firearm.
Due to the nature of the laws surrounding guns, the exact rules for traveling with them will vary from state to state and country to country. If you’re going to be crossing any borders with your firearm, you’ll want to brush up on that region’s specific rules—we couldn’t possibly begin to cover them all here.
Traveling by Car
The key to traveling by car with a firearm is to keep it in a place that’s out of reach for the driver and their passengers. In most cases, this will be the vehicle’s trunk or truck bed. Putting it back there isn’t enough, though; it also needs to be in a hard-sided, lockable gun case. If you need one of those for your handgun, check out the quick-open pistol safe we have on our website. Lastly, you’ll need to ensure that you’ve unloaded the gun and stored the bullets in a separate container. That container doesn’t have to have a lock, but having one anyway doesn’t hurt.
If you have a concealed carry license, you can carry your gun on your person while in the car, but you will likely have to comply with the above rules if you leave the state in which you have the license.
Traveling by Air
The rules you need to know when traveling with your firearm by air are similar to those for traveling by car. You must store the gun in a place that’s out of reach for you or anyone else on the flight. That means it will have to be in your checked luggage. It must be unloaded and locked up in a hard-sided case. However, unlike in the car, you can keep the ammo inside the same safe as the gun. Just make sure you disclose all of this information to TSA personnel when you’re checking your bag.
The biggest difference between traveling with a firearm by plane or by car is that concealed carry is never allowed on a plane. The only part of a weapon you can legally pack in your carry-on is a scope. You must put everything else in your checked luggage.